Theranostics is a new approach to cancer care that combines the words “diagnostics” and “therapeutics.” Theranostics uses molecular imaging tests, like positron emission tomography (PET), to identify cancer cells — even tiny deposits of cells. Then, radiopharmaceutical medications target the cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone.
This type of radiation therapy can offer you earlier diagnosis, more personalized treatments, and better outcomes.
Theranostics can be an effective radiation therapy for certain types of cancers, such as metastatic prostate cancer and thyroid cancer. It may offer you earlier diagnosis, an alternative to other treatments, more personalized treatment, and better outcomes.
Why Choose Us
- Increased quality of life: Using theranostics, our experts can treat your cancer effectively without disrupting your quality of life. Our diagnostic and therapeutic techniques are noninvasive, which often means fewer, less serious side effects.
- Patient-first approach: Our doctors collaborate to determine your best treatment options. We give you options, and then involve you in a treatment-planning process that focuses on your mind, body, and spiritual health.
- Latest clinical trials: Our experts are always working to translate research directly into better care for you. New clinical trials using theranostics offer you access to the latest treatments available.
- First proton therapy clinical program: As the first in the nation to offer proton therapy at a hospital-based treatment center, our cancer experts have a deep knowledge of the most advanced radiation therapy available.
Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a protein produced by metastatic prostate cancer cells. PSMA therapy is an injectable radiation treatment that targets and destroys those cells.
PSMA therapy benefits men with metastatic prostate cancer whose cancer progresses even after surgical or chemical castration and chemotherapy.
Advantages of PSMA Therapy
PSMA therapy is a nonsurgical, outpatient procedure. There is no incision or hospital stay. It uses positron emission tomography (PET) scans and a radioisotope (radioactive molecule) to find and target the PSMA protein, killing more cancer cells with less harm to healthy tissues.
PSMA for Diagnosis
Your urologist or oncologist may refer you for a diagnostic PSMA PET scan to determine if you have metastatic prostate cancer. You’ll have an intravenous (IV) injection of a radioactive imaging isotope, called a radiotracer. If prostate cancer cells are present, the radiotracer attaches to the PSMA protein on the cancer cells, making them visible on the PET scan.
PSMA for Treatment
If the PET scan and your staging status qualify you for therapy, on a later date you will have an IV injection of a therapeutic radioactive isotope, or radiopharmaceutical, to treat the cancer. Because the isotope has the same molecular makeup as the PSMA PET scan, it attaches to the cancerous cells and kills them with radiation.
PSMA therapy takes about an hour and you can go home immediately afterward. Because your body still has radioactive molecules in it, you should avoid close contact with people or sharing items that could be contaminated with radiation. Your system will eliminate the radioisotope in about a week. We’ll provide complete instructions for radiation precautions after your procedure.
Take the Next Step
When you are diagnosed with cancer, you want treatment from an expert team you can trust. You may be referred to the Loma Linda University Cancer Center by your primary care physician or an emergency department. For more information, please call 1-800-78-CANCER (800-782-2623).