Is there progress in precision oncology for prostate cancer? Dr. David Wise shares his perspective about precision oncology and an update about ongoing research.
Dr. David Wise is Director of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health. Learn more about Dr. Wise.
Dr. David Wise:
Sure. So, yes. One of the key steps going forward for our research is to look for more of these precision targets that we can take advantage of. We certainly think that there are more genetic features out there that have yet to be treated effectively. And so, those are the kinds of treatments that we’re really excited about.
And so, along those lines, we have clinical trials here that are looking at specific mutations in the androgen receptor gene, for example, which is a clear gene that promotes the development of prostate cancer and its resistance to established treatments. So, we have clinical trials here targeting the androgen receptor, particularly when it’s mutated, okay? So, that’s one example. We have immunotherapy trials here that are really looking to target PSMA, so with the same sort of precision target.
But instead of looking for a different target, we’re trying to treat the same target but with a different treatment modality. So, instead of using radiation targeted towards that PSMA, we’re trying to use antibodies that bring the immune system towards that target in order to provide a potentially better tolerated and longer-lasting treatment to patients with PSMA on their cancer.
And even taking it to the next step, what we’ve found is that…how do we help boost the long-term durability of our treatments? A lot of these precision treatments give us an initial excellent result only to eventually stop working. And so, how do we extend durability? That’s a very important area of research. And we think part of that is boosting the immune system’s response to the treatment. And so, we’re actually also going to begin a trial in the next few months, which we think is really exciting, where we’re combining lutetium PSMA to target those PSMA-expressing prostate cancers.
But then we’re combining that with a type of immunotherapy that we think will more fully expose the cancer to the treatment effect and remove some of the barriers in the body towards fully killing those remaining cancer cells.