Are there developments in prostate cancer research that patients should know about? Dr. Alicia Morgans discusses highlights from the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting.
Dr. Alicia Morgans is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
Dr. Alicia Morgans:
Just recently in June, ASCO, which is our American Society of Clinical Oncology, meeting was held here in Chicago, and it was a virtual meeting. It was actually very exciting for people who take care of prostate cancer and for men who have prostate cancer in several advances. Some of those advances were around imaging and new strategies that we’re going to have, I think, in the relatively near future using PSMA-targeted imaging for men who have prostate cancer that is high-risk before they go through things like surgery or radiation, or for men who have a rising PSA after they’ve had their initial treatment for prostate cancer.
We also learned the survival data that was associated with three agents that we now have to treat non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. And this is prostate cancer where we have had a group of men who have already had treatment of their prostate, but now have a rising PSA blood level despite having imaging that doesn’t really show any areas of cancer on the scans. And there are three drugs that we have to use for men with this particular stage of prostate cancer, or state of prostate cancer, and we learned that those drugs not only prolong the time until men develop metastatic disease or disease that we can see on those scans, but they also help men live longer.
And this tells us that if we move those therapies earlier on in the stage of treating prostate cancer, we can actually, probably bend the curve of that man’s survival for the rest of his life. Intervening early, at our earliest opportunity, in this particular situation may be so helpful for men over the rest of their journey, no matter what their next treatments might be.
And finally, we learned information about a drug called lutetium, which is not yet approved for the treatment of prostate cancer, but was tested in a clinical trial for men with more advanced prostate cancer and called metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. And we learned that this drug can be both tolerable and potentially as effective, or perhaps more effective, than the chemotherapy that we have traditionally used in this state. So, lutetium is a drug that we expect will eventually be approved for the treatment of prostate cancer, pending some clinical trial data that we are still waiting for. And that was real exciting, to learn about the upcoming advances with this particular drug.