‘Next big wave’: Radiation drugs track and kill cancer cells

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Some of my past research was done in this field. There is a lot of information missing from the article. The radiopharmaceuticals use ligands which target specific receptors on the membrane of the tumor cells. These ligands are coupled to radioactive sources (e.g. Lutetium 177) which allow the ligand to deliver the radioactivity to the cells expressing the receptors. In some (but not all) prostate cancers the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is upregulated, which by the way is not as prostate specific as the name suggests. This allows high build-up of the radiopharmaceutical in the tumor cells and therefore has a therapeutic effect. I was involved in early studies more than 10 years ago, and although research has moved along rapidly I would hardly call it the next big wave. It comes down to individualized treatment of patients and selecting the right ones who can benefit from this type of therapy. Its not a cure-for-all type of medicine for everyone with prostate cancer.