Men who have successfully battled prostate cancer may soon find a new test available to help them safeguard against possible recurrences. Although not especially common, recurrences can occur after prostate cancer treatment. When they do, it can mean that cancer has spread to other areas that may prove more difficult to treat. That means early, effective detection is crucial for increasing the potential success of subsequent treatment.
Enter Axumin. This is a relatively new tracer drug that is used in conjunction with a routine PET scan. At present, MRIs and bone scans are used to detect recurrences when prostate-specific antigen tests raise red flags. The problem with these tests lies in the fact they often are unable to detect new tumors in their earliest stages. That means recurrences often aren’t fully confirmed until they’ve advanced somewhat. Axumin is hoped to change this.
The tracer recently underwent phase three of its clinical trials with very positive results. The drug was found to have an overall 68 percent detection rate while providing the ability to find local as well as distant prostate cancer recurrence. What’s more, its use was well tolerated by patients.
While not yet available for widespread use, the new procedure is offering hope that recurrent prostate cancer may soon be much easier to detect in its earlier, more treatable phases. Other similar advances are also being developed that could also lead to better patient outcomes.
Men who have been treated for prostate cancer are urged to talk to their doctors about necessary follow-ups. Routine screening can be critical for opening the door on potentially life-saving treatments. Since all men are technically at risk for prostate cancer as they age, it is also important that men talk to their doctors about personal risks and the need for routine screening.
Dr. Echt and his team at the Prostate Seed Institute offer the most highly sophisticated methods of radiation therapy available in the United States, equal to that found in major medical center and academic settings. These include prostate seed implantation, high dose radiation implants, and external beam radiation with image-guided and intensity-modulated (IGRT and IMRT) capabilities.