As soon as tumour cells grow invasively and form metastases, a tumour is regarded as non-curable. At this stage, therapies should help to prolong life and ensure the best possible quality of life.
There are new hopes for metastatic prostate patients: first publications (see info box on the right) show some excellent results with a therapy using a PSMA ligand that has previously been radioactively labelled. The ligand binds specifically to prostate tumour cells and brings its radioactive radiation directly to the tumour cell. This dies off as a result of the irradiation. Patients could be successfully treated with only a few treatment cycles, which are usually not very stressful for the patients and where there are hardly any side effects. The new test is designed to identify patients who are suitable for this therapy.
After a successful tumour therapy, prostate patients are closely examined with a PSA test. In this way, recurrences should be recognised at an early stage in order to be able to initiate therapies in good time in the event of a re-emergence of the tumour.
Unfortunately, recurrence or metastasis does not lead to increasing PSA values in all patients. Thus, the disease can progress further and the ideal time for the start of a successful therapy elapses.