When you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, you’re usually offered three options: monitor the cancer to see if it progresses, elect to have your prostate surgically removed, or elect to have the cancer treated with radiation therapy. Radiation is also used after surgery or in the event that the cancer comes back after that initial treatment.
Most of you are familiar with radiation therapy for prostate cancer—how it works, potential side effects, and special considerations. Even if you have not had radiation, chances are you’ve got a friend of relative who has.
This month, however, we’re delving into less often discussed aspects of radiation therapy: the role genomics will play in radiation therapy, why we might consider combining radiation with immunotherapy, the impact imaging has on radiation therapy, and the role radiopharmaceuticals play.
Dr. Robert Bristow of the University of Manchester gives us a sweeping overview of precision radiation therapy—from functional imaging to genomics—as well as a run-down of molecularly-targeted agents.
Dr. Charles Drake of the New York- Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center discusses radiation therapy and the elusive but intriguing abscopal effect.
Dr. William Hall of the Medical College of Wisconsin talks to us about the precision radiotherapy movement and how it will revolutionize patient care.
Dr. Daniel Spratt of the University of Michigan Health System talks about a clinical trial he’s working on with
Dr. Felix Feng from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) that uses genomics to determine which patients will receive a combination of radiation therapy and Erleada (apalutamide) and which will get a placebo.
From Dr. Ralph Weischelbaum of the University of Chicago we hear about the thinking behind combining radiation therapy with immunotherapeutic agents—with a cautionary note.
Dr. Johannes Czernin from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) talks about a clinical trial he’s running on a radiopharmaceutical agent—a PSMA targeted lutetium-177. He is looking for patients to join, so if you think you might be a fit, please reach out to him at the email address included at the end of his conversation.
Ms. Merel Nissenberg offers the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalition’s stance on hypofractionated radiation therapy.
Finally, Ron B. tells us about his experiences with stereotactic body radiation therapy. He has some advice for those of you in a similar situation to the one in which he found himself.
We suggest you read through this month’s conversations and then send the issue to your health care team so that you can discuss the contents with them.