With the exception of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in men. It affects 13 out of every 100 men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Out of the 13% of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, an estimated 2-3 die from it. These statistics highlight the importance of early detection and cutting-edge treatments 一 both of which play a big role in reducing mortality rates.
If you’re concerned about prostate cancer, you might wonder how it’s diagnosed, how it’s treated, or if it’s possible to treat with radioisotope therapy. Read on as the Excel Diagnostics & Nuclear Oncology Center team answers these questions.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Receiving a cancer diagnosis isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright terrifying. However, knowing what you’re battling is the first step to fighting it, and in this case, knowledge is power. Like many cancers, prostate cancer is diagnosed with a series of imaging tests, physical exams, and lab work including the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
In regard to imaging tests, PSMA imaging plays a big role in your diagnosis. PSMA, or protein-specific membrane antigen, is a protein that prostate cancer cells make. PSMA imaging uses positron emission tomography (PET), which allows for highly accurate visualization of prostate cancer cells. This technique can detect prostate cancer at an early stage, assess the extent of the disease (part of what’s called staging), and pinpoint areas of metastasis.
PSMA imaging is particularly valuable for men with rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, and can help guide treatment decisions.
How is prostate cancer treated?
Once prostate cancer is confirmed, your treatment plan is created based on the staging of the cancer, how far it’s spread, your age, and your overall health.
For some men who are too old or too sick for traditional therapy, the safest approach may be watchful waiting until the cancer causes symptoms where the benefits of treatment outweigh the cons.
Other treatment options include:
- Prostatectomy to remove your prostate
- External radiation therapy
- Internal radiation therapy i.e., brachytherapy
- Hormone therapy
In some cases, you may receive a combination of treatments, such as surgery followed by chemotherapy.
Looking into radiotherapy for advanced cases
Cancer researchers are constantly testing, researching, and developing new medications and treatments to treat cancer, especially advanced cases of cancer. That’s where Pluvicto ® ((lutetium Lu 177 vipivotide tetraxetan) therapy comes into the picture. Pluvicto is a relatively new treatment for advanced prostate cancer. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pluvicto for metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer.
What is Pluvicto?
It's a targeted alpha-particle radiotherapy that delivers high-energy alpha particles directly to your prostate cancer cells. This precision therapy minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissues while effectively killing cancer cells.
How does it work?
Prostate cancer cells express the biomarker PSMA 一 the same biomarker that was detected during your PSMA imaging test. Pluvicto targets the PSMA+ cells and attaches to them. At that point, the cancer cell absorbs the Pluvicto and releases radiation to damage and kill the PSMA+ cancer cells.
In clinical studies, Pluvicto is showing great potential in extending the survival rates, improving progression-free survival, and improving the quality of life of men with metastatic prostate cancer.
Get help for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer imaging tests and treatment options have seen remarkable advancements in recent years, and PSMA imaging and Pluvicto are just two of those new advancements. Together, they provide highly accurate diagnostic capabilities and Pluvicto therapy offers a precise and targeted treatment approach.
To learn more about radiotherapy treatments for prostate cancer or to explore your diagnostic options, call our Houston, Texas, office at 713-300-4886 today. Or, use our online form to get started.