Tag Archive for: precision oncology

Three New Developments in Prostate Cancer Care

The goal of PEN’s TelemEDucation Empowerment Resource Center is to significantly improve Prostate Cancer patients’ and caregivers’ familiarity with remote access to healthcare, and thus increase quality of care regardless of geographical location. 

This one-of-a-kind resource center is intended to educate the prostate cancer community on the practical usage of telemedicine tools, to humanize patient and provider experiences.

With the emergence of telemedicine in the prostate cancer care toolbox, we have published our Patient Empowerment Network (PEN) Telemedicine Specialized Care Directory, Prostate Cancer Edition and Directorio de Atención Especializada de Telemedicina: Edición del cáncer de próstata in both English and Spanish for prostate cancer patients and care partners. The downloadable and printer-friendlt information-packed guides contain valuable resources for navigating prostate cancer with the assistance of telemedicine including:

  • Telemedicine videos with prostate cancer expert Dr. Heather Cheng
  • Advice for connecting to specialized prostate cancer care
  • Resources to locate and evaluate doctors
  • Information about mobile-optimized tools, artificial intelligence (AI), next-generation sequencing, and telegenetic consultations

For prostate cancer patients and care partners who can learn optimally in Spanish, these individuals have an additional option. The telemedicine resources are also provided in Spanish for learning more about telemedicine care.

Now here’s a look at the summary of latest developments in prostate cancer care.

What are the latest developments in prostate cancer, and how can patients and care partners be assisted in navigating their journeys through care? In the “New Developments in Prostate Cancer Care” program, expert Dr. Heather Cheng from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance shares three key developments in prostate cancer care. These developments were presented at one of the top annual meetings of oncologists – the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2022 annual meeting.

1. Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment for Early Stages

Prostate cancer researchers are studying the results of using advanced prostate cancer combination treatments for patients in earlier stages. The approach uses the theory that the drug combinations will be even more effective when they used earlier in disease progression and before patients have become very sick. Immunotherapy is one of the treatments under study in combination treatments earlier in progression of prostate cancer. With immunotherapy, a patient’s own immune system is harnessed and used to fight against cancer.

2. Precision Oncology

Precision oncology is a research development to use tailored therapy for prostate cancer treatments. An array of key factors are examined to tailor treatment for optimal patient care, including factors like cancer genetics, patient genetics, overall health, co-morbidities, and possibly others. In using the more personalized therapy, prostate cancer patients should experience a higher quality of life during treatment and improved health outcomes.

3. Targeted Radiation Therapies

Targeted radiation therapies and a new treatment called lutetium (Pluvicto) take a more focused treatment approach that avoids damage to non-cancer cells. With lutetium, the treatment seeks out cells that express the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). If PSMA is expressed, lutetium treatment attacks those cells and bypasses healthy cells where PSMA is not expressed.

By staying updated on the latest developments in prostate cancer care, patients and care partners can gain knowledge and confidence to talk with their doctors about care that may be best for them or for their loved one. If you want to expand your knowledge, check out our prostate cancer information.

See More From Prostate Cancer TelemEDucation

How Is Genetic Information Used for Prostate Cancer Treatment?

How Is Genetic Information Used for Prostate Cancer Treatment? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Prostate cancer can impact patients differently depending on their risk group. Dr. Heather Cheng from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance explains how genetic information is used in prostate cancer treatment and other factors that can impact patient outcomes.

See More from Prostate Cancer TelemEDucation

Related Programs:

Prostate Cancer Genetic Testing and Family Testing Guidelines

Prostate Cancer Genetic Testing and Family Testing Guidelines 

Telemonitoring and How It Benefits Prostate Cancer Patients

Telemonitoring and How It Benefits Prostate Cancer Patients 

What Is the PROMISE Study for Prostate Cancer Patients?

What Is the PROMISE Study for Prostate Cancer Patients?


Sherea Cary:

Can you speak to how you and your colleagues are using genetic information to help with the treatment and understanding prostate cancer for different risk groups?

Dr. Heather Cheng:

Yeah, thank you that…that’s something that I think is following the lines of this idea of precision oncology or tailoring. Tailoring people’s management, either if they don’t have cancer and we’re worried about the risk of cancer, we can use genetic markers that we can test from saliva or blood to help understand that person’s risk of prostate cancer better, and in some cases, there are some families where there are markers or genes that run in the families that might increase the risk of developing prostate cancer, but also sometimes the same genes are increased the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and if they’re present, then it’s important to think about knowing that, getting that information, because then there are strategies that we can use to find it earlier and to treat it more aggressively and hopefully have much better outcomes in a much better likelihood of curing prostate cancer. But then also the other related cancer, so for men, this is really important because we haven’t previously been thinking about it in the same way, but that’s one example of how genetics can affect the thinking about the risk of prostate cancer. We know that Black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer to begin with, and we were beginning to understand why that might be.

Some of it may be genetic, some of it may be access to healthcare and knowledge, which we’re trying to help disseminate the knowledge here, and then sometimes it’s care delivery, so we want to focus on all of those things, but genetics are part of that.

Could Genetic Mutations Impact Your Prostate Cancer Treatment Options?

Could Genetic Mutations Impact Your Prostate Cancer Treatment Options? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Can prostate cancer treatment options be impacted by a patient’s genetic mutations? Expert Dr. Tomasz Beer defines precision oncology and explains how DNA repair and mutations can affect treatment options.

Dr. Tomasz Beer is Deputy Director at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Learn more here: https://www.ohsu.edu/people/tomasz-m-beer-md-facp.

See More From INSIST! Prostate Cancer

Related Resources

Why Should You Ask Your Doctor About Prostate Cancer Genetic Testing?

Why Should You Ask Your Doctor About Prostate Cancer Genetic Testing?

The Link Between Prostate Cancer and Genetic Mutations

The Link Between Prostate Cancer and Genetic Mutations

Prostate Cancer Treatment Decisions: How Do Genetic Test Results Impact Your Options?

Prostate Cancer Treatment Decisions: How Do Genetic Test Results Impact Your Options?



Are there genetic mutations that affect the choices for prostate cancer treatment?

Dr. Beer:                     

Increasingly so. So, this is an exciting era in terms of those kinds of approaches. You may have heard the term “precision oncology” or “personalized oncology.” The ideas behind precision oncology is that each individual patient’s tumor is analyzed in detail for their biologic differences, and for the most part, those are mutations; although, it can be other. And that treatments may be available that work particularly well for patients whose cancers have a particular mutation. And so, today, there are a couple of categories of treatments that are FDA-approved and that can be used in prostate cancer treatment if the right mutations are present.

And one of those is a class of drugs called PARP inhibitors and those are indicated in patients with advanced prostate cancer who received some of our most commonly used routine treatments and who harbor mutations in a series of genes that are responsible for DNA repair. BRCA-2 or BRCA-2 is the most common of those, and that may be a gene that is familiar to people because it’s also a significant gene in terms of conferring risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

So, that’s the same gene we’ve been thinking about for breast cancer is also important in prostate cancer. There are other DNA repair genes as well that may sensitize a cancer to PARP inhibitors. Another area is something called microsatellite instability, which is a measure of how mutation prone a cancer is.

And cancers that acquire a large number of mutations are more likely to respond to immune therapies. And one might ask why that is, and it’s an interesting question. We believe it’s because, as a large number of mutations accumulate, we see more and more abnormal proteins that are made from those mutated genes, and those abnormal proteins, some of them are different enough from our native proteins, to cause the immune system to recognize them. And when we have an immune system that actually recognizes our cancer as foreign, we’re often able to amplify that immune signal and turn it into a potent anticancer weapon.

So, those are the two categories of mutations that we use in the clinic today, DNA repair and this microsatellite instability, but others are coming as we develop more targeted, specific agents designed for people with specific cancers who have specific mutations.


Dr. Beer, why should prostate cancer patients ask their doctor about genetic testing?

Dr. Beer:                     

Well, there are a couple main reasons for that. One is, of course, to examine their cancer and determine if they’re eligible for one of these targeted therapies. If we find those mutations, those patients have an extra treatment available to them. They can still be treated with all the hormonal therapies, chemotherapy, radiation-based treatments, but in addition to those, they have an additional targeted option. And so, that’s a real advantage for those patients who harbor those mutations. So, that’s really reason number one reason, number two is to potentially protect their families.

So, if a germline mutation is identified, that mutation can be passed on to kids. It may also be in other family members, brothers and sisters, and potentially be passed onto their kids. Important to understand that these mutations, as I alluded to earlier, are not just prostate cancer mutations. They can be passed through the mother. They can predispose folks to bre  ast cancer. So, a germline mutation may be something the family would benefit from knowing about. It’s a complicated area, learning about inherited cancer mutation in the family, could be very stressful and frightening.

So, I wouldn’t say this lightly. I think it needs to be done within the context of genetic counseling and good advice about how to communicate things like that and what to do with them. We want to be able to help people reduce their risk of cancer without taking an emotional toll on multiple members of the family.

So, it’s important, and it’s also important to do it thoughtfully and carefully.