prostate cancer discovery

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the patrick c. walsh prostate cancer research fund

Ultra-Precise Targeting and Killing of Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Radiopharmaceutical therapy is an ultra- precise way of targeting and treating cancer cells. Scientist Sangeeta Ray, Ph.D., is integrating molecular PET and CT imaging, "with the ultimate goal of tumor-specific treatment of castrate- resistant prostate cancer."

What will happen next in cancer cells is akin to lighting up a gun's target with a laser sight — making them much easier to see and kill.

With support from the Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund, Ray and co-investigator Martin Pomper are developing a very specific, low-molecular- weight "theranostic" agent. Theranostic is another new word you may be seeing more of; it's a combination of therapeutics and diagnostics, and it's a key term in the growing field of personalized medicine. Ray's goal is "to treat multiple sites of disease simultaneously, minimizing damage to adjacent normal tissue, and to treat metastases at an earlier point, when the volume of disease is lower," she says. "Currently, this is challenging to achieve with standard external-beam therapy." Ray is aiming to develop an imaging agent that targets a molecule on the surface of prostate cancer cells, PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen). What will happen next in cancer cells is akin to lighting up a gun's target with a laser sight – making them much easier to see and kill. "Based on our preliminary studies, the underlying hypothesis is that the low- molecular-weight agents can be optimized to demonstrate superior tumor penetration and lower toxicity to normal tissues, particularly the kidneys, and to provide greater therapeutic efficacy than currently available treatments."

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