Study suggests potential of new treatment (177Lu-PSMA-617) for patients with PSMA-positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Radioligand therapy prevents tumor growth and replication by delivering targeted radiation to the tumor while limiting damage to surrounding cells.
Advanced Prostate Cancer develops in the prostate gland located in the pelvis of men. Despite hormonal treatments that lower testosterone, tumors can still show signs of growth, such as rising Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA levels in castration-resistant prostate cancer, also known as CPRC. In cases with metastatic CRPC, or mCRPC, the tumor spreads to neighboring parts of the body, such as tissues in bones and organs.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, next to skin cancer with about 1 in 8 men being diagnosed during his lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, there are 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer every year.
A recent study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new targeted radioligand therapy called Lu-PSMA-617. This investigational therapy is for patients with PSMA-positive mCRPC. Compared to the best standard of care alone, the trial met both primary endpoints of overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival which means its closer to becoming the targeted treatment for over 80% of patients suffering from advanced prostate cancer.
The results give hope by confirming the potential of Lu-PSMA-617 as a new treatment through phenotypic precision medicine. More than 80% of prostate cancer tumors express a phenotypic biomarker called Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen, also known as PSMA. This makes it a promising PET scan imaging diagnostic as well as a therapeutic target for radioligand therapy. A radioligand is a radioactive biochemical substance that is used for a research-oriented study or diagnosis. Radioligand therapy combines a ligand and a therapeutic radioactive isotope that damages tumor DNA. A ligand is a targeting compound that binds to markers that are expressed by tumors such as the prostate cancer cells expressing PSMA. Once bound, this allows for specifically targeted radiation to the tumor and limiting damage to surrounding tissue, thereby inhibiting tumor growth and replication.
Trial findings are to be presented at upcoming 2021 medical regulatory submissions meetings in the US and EU. A new wave of over 15 radioligand research therapies for cancer are underway to possibly provide more treatment options in the future for patients living with prostate cancer.