The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has welcomed the news that 177Lu-PSMA-617, a potent radioactive medicine has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating some advanced prostate cancers. 

Lu-PSMA works as a ‘guided missile’ seeking out cancer by detecting the presence of a target molecule called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which is present on the surface of cancer cells, but not healthy ones. Once in contact, it delivers a radioactive payload to destroy them. 

The approval means those with advanced prostate cancer previously treated with at least one targeted hormone treatment – such as enzalutamide or abiraterone – alongside taxane chemotherapy will be able to access the treatment in the US. It raises hopes that the medicine, could next be approved in Europe. 

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