Lutetium PSMA therapy is a treatment for cancer that uses a special type of radiation called lutetium-177 to target and destroy cancer cells. This therapy is used specifically for prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is called metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a protein found on the surface of prostate cancer cells, and it can be targeted by attaching a molecule called PSMA-617 to lutetium-177. The PSMA-617 molecule is designed to bind to the PSMA protein on the surface of prostate cancer cells, while the lutetium-177 releases radiation that damages the cancer cells from the inside out.
Before starting lutetium PSMA therapy, patients will undergo a series of tests to determine if they are a good candidate for the treatment. This includes blood tests and a gallium PSMA PET/CT scan to confirm that the cancer cells express the PSMA protein.
The actual treatment involves injecting the lutetium-177 PSMA-617 molecule into a vein, which then circulates throughout the body and binds to the PSMA protein on the surface of cancer cells. The radiation released by the lutetium-177 then kills the cancer cells, while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Patients will typically receive up to six rounds of lutetium PSMA therapy over the course of several months. During this time, they will be closely monitored by their healthcare team to ensure that the treatment is working and to manage any side effects.
Some common side effects of lutetium PSMA therapy include nausea, fatigue, and low blood cell counts. However, these side effects are usually mild and can be managed with medication or other supportive care.
Overall, lutetium PSMA therapy is a promising new treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, and it offers hope to patients who may not have many other treatment options. This therapy may play an important role in the future of cancer treatment.