Prostate cancer clinical trials using Prostate-Specific-Membrane Antigen (PSMA) are ushering in a new generation of treatment therapies and diagnostic tools offering breakthrough benefits for patients.
PSMA is different from Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA). PSA floats freely in the blood, while PSMA is found at high concentration on the surface of prostate cancer cells compared to healthy prostate tissue. This major difference between prostate cancer tissue and healthy tissue, has opened the door for the creation of novel tools, which improves the identification (i.e., imaging drugs) and treatment (e.g., radioligand therapeutics) of prostate cancer.
PSMA technology is made of two key parts, the first part attaches to the PSMA on the surface of cancer cells. The second part carries a radioactive compound, which either is detectable by a PET/CT scanner for imaging or is taken up by the cell and causes the cell to die (e.g., radioligand treatment therapy). PSMA imaging is already available and being used. Figure below gives an example of how radioligand therapy works.