Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, with one in eight males diagnosed in their lifetime.
On March 23, 2022, prostate cancer treatment for those with advanced disease took a step forward with the FDA approving the first targeted therapy for the treatment of progressive, PSMA-positive prostate cancer that has spread or metastasized to other parts of the body.
Vincent Joe, MD, a radiation oncologist on staff at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, explained that the new medication is a type of precision radiotherapy that targets a specific protein on the prostate cancer cells called prostate-specific membrane antigen, or PSMA. When it attaches, the medicine delivers a concentrated form of radiotherapy directly to the cancer cells no matter where they are in the body.
"This therapy is designed for those whose cancer isn't responding to standard treatment options like chemotherapy or anti-testosterone hormone treatment. This new therapy has been shown to extend the life of people with terminal prostate cancer and slow down cancer's spread," Dr. Joe said.
For patients, the first step is to have a PSMA positron emission tomography (PET) scan. This test can tell doctors if the prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body, as well as help to determine their
eligibility for the new drug.
Dr. Joe added that if a patient qualifies for the new therapy, it's given through an IV infusion. "Patients receive an infusion every six weeks for a total of six infusions over 30 weeks. In between treatments, we check blood work to make sure they are tolerating the medication and can modify the dosage if necessary."
Missouri Baptist Medical Center is one of three sites in Missouri that is currently offering this treatment.
"While this treatment is not a cure, it is a very promising therapy for patients who have exhausted other options," Dr. Joe said.
For more information about this treatment, call: 314-996-5199.