James McKinney has been battling prostate cancer for over eight years. After receiving chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and participating in clinical trials, he felt his options for treatment were becoming limited. But a new targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy has been a game changer.
“I just feel relieved,” said McKinney. “This is probably the best I’ve felt in years.”
Radiopharmaceuticals are drugs that contain a radioactive isotope and are used to treat cancer. Recent research in radiopharmaceuticals has led to significant developments for prostate cancer patients whose cancer has spread and become resistant to other forms of treatment. Virginia Cancer Specialists is proud to offer a leading-edge treatment combining the use of PET scans and a new therapy targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-positive cancer cells in men with advanced prostate cancer.
“You don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring, we just want to enjoy our lives. I don’t know how to thank Dr. Sibley and his staff for getting my life back.”—James McKinney
The new therapy, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in March 2022, uses a tracing agent (ligand) that attaches to PSMA, a protein on the surface of most prostate cancer cells. If this tracer binds to the cancer cells, they light up on a PET/CT Scan and patients are then eligible for a drug called Pluvicto™. Pluvicto is injected into the bloodstream to deliver targeted radiation to cancer cells throughout the body that express PSMA. The treatment targets bone, nodal and visceral metastases.
“With this new treatment, we’re seeing significant improvement in progression-free survival,” said Dr. Gregory Sibley, MD, a radiation oncologist at Virginia Cancer Specialists. “Patients are living longer and better, usually with no significant side effects. I’m thrilled that Virginia Cancer Specialists is able to provide this option for patients in our community.”
The treatment is currently approved for advanced-stage prostate cancers that have become resistant to other treatments. Dr. Sibley says there is ongoing research is to look at the effects of introducing this therapy at an earlier point in treatment.
McKinney is one of the first patients in the Northern Virginia area to complete all 6 cycles of the new treatment. Now, he says he and his wife plan to enjoy their retirement by traveling and spending time with their adult children.
“When you’re in treatment every six weeks, you have to be cautious. This has given us an opportunity to not be as worried as we used to be,” said McKinney. “You don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring, we just want to enjoy our lives. I don’t know how to thank Dr. Sibley and his staff for getting my life back.”
The prostate cancer specialists at Virginia Cancer Specialists work with you to create the optimal treatment plan for your prostate cancer. For more information on these new advancements in prostate cancer treatment, please contact us.