PSMA, or prostate-specific membrane antigen, is a protein found on the surface of normal prostate cells, but it is found in higher amounts on prostate cancer cells. It is present in more than 80% of prostate cancer cells in men with prostate cancer. PSMA has been the subject of extensive research in prostate cancer treatment development. PSMA is currently used as a target for imaging to diagnose metastatic or recurrent prostate cancer. However, it is also being utilized in clinical trials as a target for medications that can treat prostate cancer. 

How is PSMA targeted for treating prostate cancer?

Targeting PSMA proteins on a prostate cancer cell enables active treatments against prostate cancer to be focused on the cancer cell itself, instead of on normal healthy cells in the body.  This provides a precision medicine approach to treatment for patients. PSMA treatments will be made available to patients who have PSMA protein detected on their cancer cells using a PSMA PET scan.

Prostate cancer is a disease that is most successfully treated when it is detected early on.  As the research community explores various methods to detecting the disease, PCEC continues to encourage men to play an active role in their health by looking to those trusted sources of prostate cancer testing – the PSA and DRE.

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