Targeted therapy improves outcomes for some metastatic prostate cancer

Advocacy Groups | <b>FORCE</b>

Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is currently an incurable disease, although many types of drugs may delay cancer progression and lengthen life. To improve treatment of this type of metastatic prostate cancer, studies have been underway to identify targeted drugs that can zero in and kill cancer cells in a specific way while leaving other parts of the body unharmed.

The VISION study tested the drug Pluvicto as a potential targeted therapy for treatment of adult patients with prostate cancer. Pluvicto is a two part drug: one part sticks to a cell surface protein called PSMA (short for prostate specific membrane antigen) and the other part emits radiation which can kill nearby cells. PSMA is present at low levels in normal prostate cells but it is found at high levels in some prostate cancer cells. Pluvicto preferentially sticks to prostate cancer cells that have high levels of PSMA and those cells are exposed to radiation that can kill them. Promising result from the VISION trial led to FDA approval of Pluvicto for treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer in March 2022.

Along with Pluvicto, the FDA also approved the imaging drug Locametz. Locametz is also a two part drug: one portion sticks to PSMA (akin to Pluvicto) but the other portion gives off a signal that can be detected in PET imaging. Because of this imaging signal, Locametz can help identify which prostate cancer patients have tumors with high levels of PSMA that would make them good candidates for Pluvicto treatment.

Read more about this promising treatment for metastatic prostate cancer in our XRAY review.