New Molecular Targeted Therapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer Wins FDA Approval At Hoag Family Cancer Institute

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Pluvicto, the First FDA-Approved Prostate-Specific Antigen for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

The agent, which is being marketed as Pluvicto by the Swiss pharmaceutical conglomerate Novartis, is the first FDA-approved prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted radiotherapy for metastatic prostate cancer.

Radioligand therapy with Lu-PSMA-617 prolonged imaging-based progression-free survival and overall survival when added to standard care in patients with advanced PSMA-positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, according to the New England of Medicine Journal article.

Vision Trial Established Efficacy

Pluvicto is provided intravenously to patients and delivers radiation to prostate cancer cells to prolong survival in metastatic prostate cancer patients with fewer complications than chemotherapy, according to phase 3 VISION trial results.

“Among the 581 patients in the analysis set, the median imaging-based progression-free survival was 8.7 months in the Lu-PSMA-617 group, as compared with 3.4 months in the control group,” according to the study.

Hoag’s Dr. Gary Ulaner

In an interview, last week with TrialSite, Dr. Gary A. Ulaner, a radiology, and nuclear medicine specialist, at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Family Cancer Institute in Irvine, California said that the treatment adds a new weapon in the arsenal of cancer-killing molecular agents.

“This is a relatively new field,” Ulaner said. “Not everyone has it and we’re the only current molecular imaging and therapy center in Irvine. We use molecular agents to help detect cancer and to treat cancer through radioactive molecules.”

Pluvicto’s Pioneering Researchers

Ulaner praised cutting edge medical scientists including Dr. A. Oliver Sartor, the medical director of the Tulane Cancer Center and a C. E. and Bernadine Laborde Professor of Cancer Research at the Tulane University School of Medicine, and Johann de Bono, the head of the Division of Clinical Studies and the Regius Professor of Cancer Research at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, for developing the new protocol and making it possible for the Irvine hospital to pioneer the approach in standard of care practice.

“The Pluvicto contains something that emits a very high amount of radiation, Ulaner said. “It’s called a beta particle. That’s enough to kill cancer cells. So, by binding to the PSMA molecule on the prostate cancer cells we’re able to bring this medicine that kills cancer cells directly into contact with those cancer cells.”

Imagining Radiology as a Burgeoning Field

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian was the first in Orange County to offer PSMA-targeted radiotherapy to patients with metastatic prostate cancer in clinical trials and now offers access to this newly FDA-approved therapy to patients.   

“I would say that molecular imaging and therapy is a truly remarkably growing field probably started in 2016 with new imaging and therapy agents for patients with neuroendocrine tumors,” Ulaner said. “And this has since grown to FDA-approved agents for patients with breast and prostate cancers. And there are trials all over the world for virtually any type of a malignancy. So this is a huge growth area, with a very steep portion of the curve for the growth of this field.”

By: Trial Site News