NOV 18, 2017 2:29 PM PST

Targeting Prostate Specific Membrane Antigens in Renal Cell Carcinoma

WRITTEN BY: Courtney Schaal

Prostate Specific Membrane antigens (PSMA) encoded by the gene FOLH1, and also known as glutamate carboxypeptidase 2, are transmembrane proteins that have had great utility in the molecular imaging of prostate cancer using positron emission tomography (PET) and detecting its presence, as well as being targeted by small molecules with radionuclides, and exploited therapeutically.  PSMA is expressed normally in non-malignant prostate epithelial cells, but is well known to be upregulated in prostate tumors.  Aside from being expressed in cells of the prostate, PSMA is expressed by endothelial cells including those of the vasculature networks of other solid tumors such as renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer occurring in adults, accounting for nearly 95% of all cases.  Patients presenting with localized RCC typically undergo partial or in some cases complete removal of the effected kidney, and have a survival rate of 65-90%.  This number decreases dramatically if the disease has advanced and metastasized to other organs.  As with many cancers, typically by the time a RCC patient presents in the clinic they have advanced disease.  This is largely because RCC tends to be asymptomatic until later stages of progression, so determining markers for early detection would be valuable and potentially life-saving.  Two scientists at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute and Department of Urology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland have utilized the fact that PSMA is expressed in the neovasculature of RCC, and used PSMA-targeted PET radio labels to successfully image RCC in their patients, and with greater sensitivity than traditional imaging modalities allowing them to detect metastatic disease in clear cell RCC (ccRCC).  Further, Sophia Spatz, a researcher at the Clinic of Urology, University Hospital Bonn in Bonn, Germany, and her colleagues published findings that PSMA was not only expressed in a cohort of 257 RCC patient tumors by histological staining, but the levels of expression correlated with disease stage and grade, as well as overall survival.  These findings were further confirmed by RNA expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas.

These reports lend evidence that PSMA may also have utility in diagnostic imaging and therapeutic targeting in RCC in addition to its more traditional use in prostate cancer.  If it could be effectively targeted in RCC, this holds potential to offer a therapeutic intervention even for advanced disease for which there are currently no good treatment options, and to date remains incurable.    

Sources: Nature Reviews Urology, Wikipedia, Journal of Urology, Pixabay, Youtube/Health Tips

 

 

 

 

About the Author
You May Also Like
APR 14, 2021
Cancer
Cell Viability- Where to Begin?
APR 14, 2021
Cell Viability- Where to Begin?
Written By: Author As I pondered the title of this article, my thoughts immediately went back to a request by my Ph.D. a ...
MAY 15, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
New Drug Blocks Critical Step in Malaria Life Cycle
MAY 15, 2021
New Drug Blocks Critical Step in Malaria Life Cycle
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, there were approximately 229 million cases of malaria around ...
JUN 18, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
FDA Approves First New Drug Since 2014 for Weight-loss
JUN 18, 2021
FDA Approves First New Drug Since 2014 for Weight-loss
A new medication called ‘Wegovy’ produced by Novo Nordisk has been approved by the Food and Drug Administrat ...
JUN 28, 2021
Microbiology
Small Clinical Trial Suggests New Edible Cholera Vaccine Is Safe
JUN 28, 2021
Small Clinical Trial Suggests New Edible Cholera Vaccine Is Safe
According to WHO there have been six cholera pandemics since the pathogen emerged from the Ganges river delta sometime i ...
JUL 05, 2021
Neuroscience
People with Autism More Likely to Self-Medicate with Recreational Drugs
JUL 05, 2021
People with Autism More Likely to Self-Medicate with Recreational Drugs
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have found that people with autism are more likely than people without the ...
JUL 15, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
The genomics of high blood pressure - a road to the future of treatment
JUL 15, 2021
The genomics of high blood pressure - a road to the future of treatment
The human heart begins to beat in utero in the early weeks of development and continues throughout life. In an average l ...
Loading Comments...