Oral Fenretinide in biochemically recurrent prostate cancer: A California cancer consortium phase II trial

Eric Cheung, Jacek Pinski, Tanya Dorff, Susan Groshen, David I. Quinn, C. Patrick Reynolds, Barry J. Maurer, Primo N Lara, Denice D. Tsao-Wei, Przemyslaw Twardowski, Gurkamal Chatta, Mark McNamara, David R Gandara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Fenretinide is a synthetic retinoid that is cytotoxic to a variety of cancers. We conducted a phase II trial of oral fenretinide in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. Patients and Methods: Eligible patients had histologically confirmed prostate cancer and a confirmed rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ≥ 2 ng/mL following either radical prostatectomy and/or pelvic radiation therapy, without clinical or radiographic evidence of metastasis. The primary endpoint was PSA response, which was defined as a confirmed decrease by ≥ 50%, and ≥ 5 ng/mL, from the pretreatment value. Treatment comprised oral fenretinide 900 mg/m 2 twice daily for 1 week, every 3 weeks, for 1 year. Results: After a median follow-up of 17.7 months, out of 23 patients, 7 (30%) patients had PSA stable disease (SD), 11 (48%) patients had PSA progression within 3 months, 4 patients had minimal increases over 3 months that did not qualify as SD or progression (17%), and one patient (4%) was not evaluable. Median time to PSA progression was 4.6 months (95% Cl, 3.2-8.2 months). Observed grade 3 toxicities included fatigue, pain, hypermagnesemia, a rise in lipase, and nyctalopia. Conclusion: Although well-tolerated, oral fenretinide did not meet prespecified PSA criteria for response in biochemically recurrent prostate cancer; however, 30% of patients had SD, which suggests modest single-agent clinical activity. The role of different formulations of fenretinide, which might allow for higher serum concentrations of the drug, is currently under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Genitourinary Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • 4-HPR
  • Alanine aminotransferase
  • Aspartate aminotransferase
  • Prostate-specific antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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