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All About the Pluvicto® Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Aug 11, 2023

All About the Pluvicto® Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Pluvicto® is pioneering the field of genitourinary cancer treatment. Read our brief guide to find out how it shrinks prostate cancer cells while leaving other tissues unscathed. 

As the second-leading cancer among men after skin cancer, prostate cancer typically grows slowly and, in most cases, stays in the prostate. But just like any type of cancer, it has the potential to spread if you don’t monitor it and treat it as it worsens. 

Your prostate is a tiny gland below your bladder and in front of your rectum that produces seminal fluid, which mixes with sperm when you ejaculate. It’s one of several genitourinary cancers, which all affect various organs in the male reproductive system and coinciding urinary system. There are several different types of prostate cancer but the most common is called adenocarcinoma, which originates in the fluid-producing cells of the prostate gland. 

In many prostate cancer cases, the oncology team at Arizona Center for Cancer Care takes a watch-and-wait approach as they monitor the cancer for growth and metastasis. In fact, it’s possible you won’t need any treatment for a mild case. 

Until recently, the standard treatments for prostate cancer that required action have included radiation therapy, chemotherapy, prostatectomy surgery, and hormone therapy. However, in March 2022, the FDA approved a new treatment called Pluvicto®

The team at Arizona Center for Cancer Care offers active surveillance and other strategies for prostate cancer management at offices in Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, Anthem, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Wickenburg, Apache Junction, Sun City, Sun City West, Goodyear, and Tempe, Arizona. When standard prostate cancer treatments don’t make the cut, Pluvicto can step in to slow tumor growth and stop the spread. It’s now available at two convenient locations— Gilbert and Deer Valley in Phoenix. 

How Pluvicto works

Pluvicto is a one-of-a-kind treatment for metastatic prostate cancer or prostate cancer that is prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positive. It’s a nuclear infusion, which is a form of radiation therapy that targets, damages, and kills cancerous cells using a radioactive medication. 

The medication binds with prostate cancer cells that express PSMA to damage those cells, thus reducing the growth or spread of the cancer and dramatically increasing your prostate cancer survival likelihood. 

According to ACCC’s own Gregory Maggass, MD, who conducted the first treatment, Pluvicto is a breakthrough therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy and has thwarted chemotherapy.

What to anticipate using Pluvicto

The standard course of treatment with Pluvicto lasts for roughly eight months, with treatments occurring once every six weeks for a total of six infusions. Each of these sessions takes about one hour and requires little preparation on your part. However, since it involves radiation, you’ll need to take precautions both during and after your treatments with Pluvicto. 

For around 15 minutes following an infusion, the ACCC team monitors you and reiterates the post-treatment safety instructions. They also advise you to be aware of possible side effects, which might include nausea, appetite changes, and fatigue. 

Want to hear about the Pluvicto experience firsthand? Check out this testimonial from the first patient treated with Pluvicto after its clinical trials. 

Precautions for your safety

For your own safety and for those closest to you, you’ll need to take some necessary precautions during and after Pluvicto treatments. Keep in mind that, despite the risks, the treatment is closely supervised and is beneficial enough for qualified prostate cancer patients that the benefits outweigh the hazards.

Up to a week after each Pluvicto infusion, you should:

  • Stay at least three feet away from others, especially kids and pregnant women
  • Keep close interactions to a maximum of five minutes
  • Sleep in a room by yourself
  • Avoid sexual activity
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Urinate as often as possible

Following these instructions reduces the risk of radiation damage to your urinary system and to other people closest to you. Our team can tell you more about how radioactive medicine can effectively target and shrink cancer cells following an in-depth consultation to determine your candidacy for Pluvicto. 

Pluvicto may not be a cure, but it’s a promising new treatment to minimize the impact of prostate cancer on your health. Call Arizona Center for Cancer Care or request an appointment online to find out if you’re a candidate today.