BACKGROUND: Bone metastases in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) are associated with debilitating pain and functional compromise.
OBJECTIVE: To compare pain palliation as the primary endpoint for cabozantinib versus mitoxantrone-prednisone in men with mCRPC and symptomatic bone metastases using patient-reported outcome measures.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A randomized, double-blind phase 3 trial (COMET-2; NCT01522443) in men with mCRPC and narcotic-dependent pain from bone metastases who had progressed after treatment with docetaxel and either abiraterone or enzalutamide.
INTERVENTION: Cabozantinib 60mg once daily orally versus mitoxantrone 12mg/m2 every 3wk plus prednisone 5mg twice daily orally.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: The primary endpoint was pain response at week 6 confirmed at week 12 (≥30% decrease from baseline in patient-reported average daily worst pain score via the Brief Pain Inventory without increased narcotic use). The planned sample size was 246 to achieve ≥90% power.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Enrollment was terminated early because cabozantinib did not demonstrate a survival benefit in the companion COMET-1 trial. At study closure, 119 participants were randomized (cabozantinib: N=61; mitoxantrone-prednisone: N=58). Complete pain and narcotic use data were available at baseline, week 6, and week 12 for 73/106 (69%) patients. There was no significant difference in the pain response with cabozantinib versus mitoxantrone-prednisone: the proportions of responders were 15% versus 17%, a -2% difference (95% confidence interval: -16% to 11%, p=0.8). Barriers to accrual included pretreatment requirements for a washout period of prior anticancer therapy and a narcotic optimization period to maximize analgesic dosing.
CONCLUSIONS: Cabozantinib treatment did not demonstrate better pain palliation than mitoxantrone-prednisone in heavily pretreated patients with mCRPC and symptomatic bone metastases. Future pain-palliation trials should incorporate briefer timelines from enrollment to treatment initiation.
PATIENT SUMMARY: Cabozantinib was not better than mitoxantrone-prednisone for pain relief in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and debilitating pain from bone metastases.