How Theranostics Differs From the Current Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

December 1, 2020
Jessica Skarzynski

While the current field of prostate cancer research is experiencing an era of “warp speed developments,” perhaps the most exciting option on the horizon is theranostics, according to Dr. Phillip J. Koo.

While the current field of prostate cancer research is experiencing an era of “warp speed developments,” perhaps the most exciting option on the horizon is theranostics, according to Dr. Phillip J. Koo.

In a recent interview with CURE®, Koo, the chief of diagnostic imaging at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Phoenix, explained how theranostics, or the method of using one radioactive drug to identify cancer and a second radioactive drug to treat that cancer, is fundamentally different from the currently available therapies in prostate cancer.

By focusing specifically on prostate cancer cells by targeting PSMA, or prostate-specific membrane antigen, which is found in high levels in prostate cancer cells, theranostics offers “even more weapons to help someone who has metastatic prostate cancer fight their disease,” said Koo.

Transcription

Currently, there are so many different therapies available and, you know, in Dr. Alan Bryce's lecture that he gave during CURE®'s Educated Patient Summit, he talks about this era of warp speed development in research and prostate cancer in developments. You have various different mechanisms of action. So, various different ways drugs are actually helping patients, perhaps, live longer or live a better life.

The great thing about theranostics is it's very different from the therapies we've had in the past for prostate cancer. So, I like to, you know, sort of group radiopharmaceuticals as one big bucket. And within that, we've had radium 223. It's an alpha particle, it's a radiation particle that we inject into patients, it distributes throughout the body, it goes to the bones and kills the prostate cancer cells, but it focuses just on the bones. This takes it a step further; it focuses on the prostate cancer cells themselves, wherever they might be because it's targeting PSMA.

And to take it beyond that, we actually compare that therapy with an imaging test. So we could do an imaging test in you, see where all the sites of disease are, give you that radiopharmaceutical and then after we give it to you, we can image you and confirm that all those sites a disease that we saw on the diagnostic test, taking up the radiopharmaceutical that is now treating it, so it provides this confirmation as well. That, I think, adds a lot of security and comfort in knowing that, you know, it's getting to where it needs to and hopefully will do what it needs to, as well to kill those prostate cancer cells.

So, again, it's mechanisms of action, it's a completely new type of therapy, that just gives us even more weapons to help someone who has metastatic prostate cancer fight their disease.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.

Related Content:

CURE TV | Prostate Cancer