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A new treatment for advanced prostate cancer improves survival
27 Jan' 21

A new treatment for advanced prostate cancer improves survival

 


Radiation therapy is getting more precise, enabled by technologies that make it easier to kill tumors while sparing their surrounding tissues. Some newer therapies are even given intravenously rather than by machines, and that they deliver radiation particles onto the neoplastic cell itself. one among these new therapies a kind of bomb targeted at malignant cells is now generating promising data for men with the foremost aggressive prostatic adenocarcinoma. 

In early June, investigators reported results from a phase 3 clinical test showing that among men who received the experimental treatment, there was nearly a 40% reduction in deaths throughout the study, compared to men who didn't. 

The treatment is named lutetium-177-PSMA-617, or LuPSMA, and it's two components: a compound that targets a neoplastic cell protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen, or PSMA, and a radioactive particle that destroys the cells. Healthy prostate cells don't contain PSMA, or do at very low levels. and a few men with prostatic adenocarcinoma have more of the protein than others. Doctors can detect the protein by employing a specialized imaging scan.

To qualify for enrollment within the study, called the VISION trial, men had to be PSMA-positive. In all, 831 men were split into two groups: one group got the experimental treatment plus standard of care, while men within the control group got standard of care only. All the lads had metastatic castration-resistant prostatic adenocarcinoma, meaning that the disease was spreading within the body and not responding to drugs that suppress testosterone (which fuels growing tumors).

Results after 21 months showed that cancer progression was delayed for extended among the LuPSMA-treated men: 8.7 months on average versus 3.4 months among the controls. The treatment was also related to better overall survival: 15.3 months versus 11.3 months.

The VISION study comes on the heels of an earlier phase 2 study (known as TheraP) that compared LuPSMA to chemotherapy during a population of 200 men. During that study, investigators monitored how the treatment affected prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, which usually increase if cancer starts growing. In two-thirds of the LuPSMA-treated men, PSA levels fell by 50% or more. And as within the VISION trial, the experimental treatment was better at delaying cancer progression, which was confirmed with traditional imaging tests.

Dr. Thomas Hope, a radiologist, and professor at the University of California, San Francisco, has been closely following this research. He says that therapy is arguably the higher study, since investigators therein case compared LuPSMA to chemotherapy, whereas the standard of care within the VISION study excluded chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other agents that doctors would otherwise try. In other words, Hope says, the VISION study compared LuPSMA to "nothing," which might ordinarily never happen. "So, the VISION trial doesn't assist you the maximum amount in terms of deciding which treatment to settle on," he says.

LuPSMA was generally well-tolerated, but it also had side effects including fatigue, nausea, kidney problems, and bone marrow suppression. Dr. Hope says more research is required to work out how and when to use the drug, "since if you've got an 8 to10 year expected lifespan, these side effects are often problematic."

If it's approved by the FDA, LuPSMA is going to be the primary PSMA-targeted drug for prostatic adenocarcinoma to succeed in the market.

"The addition of both diagnostic and treatment advances represents true milestones in improving the outcomes of men with resistant prostatic adenocarcinoma. the present studies are particularly important because the criteria for using the new therapeutic radioactive substance is provided only to men who show that their cancers express the target of the new treatment. this is often increasing our precision in both selecting treatments and administering them to patients who have the best likelihood of deriving benefit. Physicians who treat prostatic adenocarcinoma patients are excited by these advances, and appearance forward to the broader availability of both novel diagnostic and targeted treatment modalities.”

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