The prostate-specific membrane antigen: lessons and current clinical implications from 20 years of research.
ABSTRACT: Despite a multitude of detection and treatment advances in the past 2 decades, prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of deaths due to cancer among men in the United States. Technological evolution and expanding knowledge of tumor biomarkers have invigorated exploration in prostate cancer therapeutics. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) was one of the first prostate cancer biomarkers successfully cloned. Since then, it has been characterized as the prototypical cell-surface marker for prostate cancer and has been the subject of intense clinical inquiry. In this article, we review the relevant research in PSMA on the 20th anniversary of its cloning.A PubMed search using the keywords "prostate-specific membrane antigen" or "glutamate carboxypeptidase II" provided 1019 results. An additional 3 abstracts were included from scientific meetings. Articles were vetted by title and abstract with emphasis placed on those with clinically relevant findings.Sixty articles were selected for inclusion. PSMA was discovered and cloned in 1993. Its structure and function were further delineated in the ensuing decade. Consensus sites of expression in normal physiology are prostate, kidney, nervous system, and small intestine. PSMA has been implicated in the neovasculature of several tumors including urothelial and renal cell carcinomas. In prostate cancer, expression of PSMA is directly related to the Gleason grade. PSMA has been tested both in imaging and therapeutics in a number of prostate cancer clinical trials. Several recent approaches to target PSMA include the use of small molecule inhibitors, PSMA-based immunotherapy, RNA aptamer conjugates, and PSMA-targeted prodrug therapy. Future study of PSMA in prostate cancer might focus on its intracellular functions and possible role in tumor neurogenesis.Twenty years from its discovery, PSMA represents a viable biomarker and treatment target in prostate cancer. Research to delineate its precise role in prostate carcinogenesis and within the therapeutic armamentarium for patients with prostate cancer remains encouraging.
Project description:Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is highly expressed in prostate cancer and within the neovasculature of other solid tumors. The nonprostatic expression of PSMA has been reported exclusively within the neovasculature endothelial cells of nonprostatic cancers; however, there are few reports on PSMA expression in epithelial cells. Herein, we describe PSMA expression in nonprostatic epithelial cells and characterize the potential of PSMA-binding agents to noninvasively detect that expression. <b>Methods:</b> PSMA expression data were extracted from publicly available genomic databases. Genomic data were experimentally validated for PSMA expression-by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, flow cytometry, and Western blotting-in several nonprostatic cell lines and xenografts of melanoma and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) origin. The feasibility of PSMA detection in those tumor models was further established using PSMA-based nuclear and optical imaging agents and by biodistribution, blocking, and ex vivo molecular characterization studies. <b>Results:</b> We discovered that a small percentage of nonprostatic cancer cell lines and tumors express PSMA. Importantly, PSMA expression was sufficiently high to image established melanoma and SCLC xenografts using PSMA-based nuclear and optical imaging agents. <b>Conclusion:</b> These results indicate that PSMA expression in nonprostatic tumors may not be limited to the endothelium but may also include solid tumor tissue of nonprostatic cancers including melanoma and SCLC. Our observations indicate broader applicability of PSMA-targeted imaging and therapeutics.
Project description:<h4>Aim</h4>PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) is physiologically expressed in normal prostate tissue and over expressed in prostate cancer cells, therefore constituting a potential target for antibody-based radioligand therapy. Very recent imaging findings reported PSMA-PET/CT uptake in various thyroid lesions. We were therefore encouraged to systematically analyse PSMA expression in different benign and malignant thyroid lesions.<h4>Methods</h4>Immunohistochemistry was used to detect PSMA expression in 101 thyroid lesions, while neovasculature was identified by CD34 immunostaining.<h4>Results</h4>PSMA expression in the neovasculature was significantly more frequent in malignant tumors (36/63; 57.1%) compared to benign diseases (5/38; 13.2%; <i>p</i> = 0.0001). In addition, PSMA expression levels in the neovasculature of poorly and undifferentiated thyroid cancers were significantly higher compared to differentiated thyroid tumors (<i>p</i> = 0.021). However, one case with a strong expression in follicular adenoma was identified.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We conclude that neovascular PSMA expression is common in thyroid cancer but may also rarely be found in benign thyroid diseases, such as follicular adenoma. High expression in the tumor-associated neovasculature is predominantly found in poorly differentiated and undifferentiated (anaplastic) thyroid cancer. This knowledge is highly relevant when interpreting PSMA/PET-CT scans from patients with prostate cancer. In addition, our findings might provide a rationale for further evaluation of PSMA-targeted anti-neovascular or radioligand therapy in metastatic dedifferentiated thyroid cancer.
Project description:The prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a molecular target whose use has resulted in some of the most productive work toward imaging and treating prostate cancer over the past two decades. A wide variety of imaging agents extending from intact antibodies to low-molecular-weight compounds permeate the literature. In parallel there is a rapidly expanding pool of antibody-drug conjugates, radiopharmaceutical therapeutics, small-molecule drug conjugates, theranostics and nanomedicines targeting PSMA. Such productivity is motivated by the abundant expression of PSMA on the surface of prostate cancer cells and within the neovasculature of other solid tumors, with limited expression in most normal tissues. Animating the field is a variety of small-molecule scaffolds upon which the radionuclides, drugs, MR-detectable species and nanoparticles can be placed with relative ease. Among those, the urea-based agents have been most extensively leveraged, with expanding clinical use for detection and more recently for radiopharmaceutical therapy of prostate cancer, with surprisingly little toxicity. PSMA imaging of other cancers is also appearing in the clinical literature, and may overtake FDG for certain indications. Targeting PSMA may provide a viable alternative or first-line approach to managing prostate and other cancers.
Project description:PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen) is physiologically expressed in normal prostate tissue. It is overexpressed in prostate cancer cells and has been suggested as a target for antibody-based radioligand therapy. As PSMA expression so far has not been systematically analyzed in soft tissue tumors, the current study aims at investigating a large cohort of different subtypes.Immunohistochemistry was used to detect PSMA expression in 779 samples of soft tissue tumors and Ewing sarcoma as a primary bone malignancy. CD34 coexpression was employed to study PSMA expression in the neovasculature. PSMA expression was found in the tumor-associated neovasculature of 151/779 soft tissue/bone tumors (19.38%) and was more frequent in malignant tumors compared to tumors with intermediate or benign biological potential (p=0.078). Strong neovascular PSMA expression was predominantly observed in subsets of different sarcomas including 3/20 rhabdomyosarcomas (15%), 4/21 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (19.05%), 6/16 synovial sarcomas (35.29%) and 6/33 undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas (18.18%).We conclude that PSMA is expressed in the neovasculature of a subset of soft tissue tumors to a variable extent. Our observation of strong PSMA expression predominantly occurring in sarcomas might provide a rationale to evaluate PSMA-targeted radioligand therapy in these entities.
Project description:Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) otherwise known as glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) is a membrane bound protein that is highly expressed in prostate cancer and in the neovasculature of a wide variety of tumours including glioblastomas, breast and bladder cancers. This protein is also involved in a variety of neurological diseases including schizophrenia and ALS. In recent years, there has been a surge in the development of both diagnostics and therapeutics that take advantage of the expression and activity of PSMA/GCPII. These include gene therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In this review, we discuss the biological roles that PSMA/GCPII plays, both in normal and diseased tissues, and the current therapies exploiting its activity that are at the preclinical stage. We conclude by giving an expert opinion on the future direction of PSMA/GCPII based therapies and diagnostics and hurdles that need to be overcome to make them effective and viable.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Radiolabeled prostate-specific membrane antigen PSMA-based PET/CT or PET/MRI is a whole-body imaging technique currently performed for the detection of prostate cancer lesions. PSMA has been also demonstrated to be expressed by the neovasculature of many other solid tumors. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this review is to evaluate the possible diagnostic role of radiolabeled PSMA PET/CT or PET/MRI in patients with gliomas and glioblastomas, by summarizing the available literature data. METHODS:A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Embase and Cochrane library databases was conducted to find relevant published articles about the diagnostic performance of radiolabeled PSMA binding agents in PET/CT or PET/MRI imaging of patients with suspected gliomas or glioblastomas. RESULTS:Seven case reports or case series and 3 studies enrolling more than 10 patients showed that gliomas and glioblastoma are PSMA-avid tumors. CONCLUSION:Radiolabeled PSMA imaging seems to be useful in analyzing glioma/glioblastoma. Further studies enrolling a wider population are needed to clarify the real clinical and diagnostic role of radiolabeled PSMA in this setting and its possible position in the diagnostic flow-chart.
Project description:In the past decade, a growing body of literature has reported promising results for prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted radionuclide imaging and therapy in prostate cancer. First clinical studies evaluating the efficacy of [<sup>177</sup>Lu]Lu-PSMA radioligand therapy (PSMA-RLT) demonstrated favorable results in prostate cancer patients. [<sup>177</sup>Lu]Lu-PSMA is generally well tolerated due to its limited side effects. While PSMA is highly overexpressed in prostate cancer cells, varying degrees of PSMA expression have been reported in other malignancies as well, particularly in the tumor-associated neovasculature. Hence, it is anticipated that PSMA-RLT could be explored for other solid cancers. Here, we describe the current knowledge of PSMA expression in other solid cancers and define a perspective towards broader clinical implementation of PSMA-RLT. This review focuses specifically on salivary gland cancer, glioblastoma, thyroid cancer, renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, lung cancer, and breast cancer. An overview of the (pre)clinical data on PSMA immunohistochemistry and PSMA PET/CT imaging is provided and summarized. Furthermore, the first clinical reports of non-prostate cancer patients treated with PSMA-RLT are described.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) is overexpressed in prostate cancer cells and is reported to be a promising target for antibody-based radioligand therapy in patients with metastasized prostate cancer. Since PSMA expression is not restricted to prostate cancer, the underlying study investigates PSMA expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).<h4>Material and methods</h4>Immunohistochemistry was used to identify PSMA expression in n = 275 samples of NSCLC tissue specimens. By means of CD34 co-expression, the level of PSMA expression in tumor associated neovasculature was investigated. The impact of PSMA expression on clinicopathologic parameters and prognosis was evaluated.<h4>Results</h4>PSMA tumor cell expression in NSCLC is as low as 6% and was predominantly found in squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.002). Neovascular PSMA expression was found in 49% of NSCLC. High neovascular PSMA expression was associated with higher tumor grading (G3/G4) (p < 0.001). Neither for PSMA tumor cell expression, nor for PSMA neovascular cell expression prognostic effects were found for the investigated NSCLC cases.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Here, we report on the expression of PSMA in NSCLC tissue samples. Against the background of a potential treatment with radiolabeled PSMA ligands, our data might serve for the future identification of patients who could benefit from this therapeutic option.
Project description:The prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is an established target for the delivery of cancer therapeutic and imaging agents due to its high expression on the surface of prostate cancer cells and within the neovasculature of other solid tumors. Here, we describe the synthesis and screening of antibody-conjugated silica-coated iron oxide nanoparticles for PSMA-specific cell targeting. The humanized anti-PSMA antibody, HuJ591, was conjugated to a series of nanoparticles with varying densities of polyethylene glycol and primary amine groups. Customized assays utilizing iron spectral absorbance and enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) were developed to screen microgram quantities of nanoparticle formulations for immunoreactivity and cell targeting ability. Antibody and PSMA-specific targeting of the optimized nanoparticle was evaluated using an isogenic PSMA-positive and PSMA-negative cell line pair. Specific nanoparticle targeting was confirmed by iron quantification with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). These methods and nanoparticles support the promise of targeted theranostic agents for future treatment of prostate and other cancers.
Project description:The biological role of PSMA, a biomarker expressed in prostate cancer and by the neovasculature of solid tumors, remains unknown. Although PSMA processes folates in our duodenum, and in the brain cleaves NAAG to control neuronal signaling, little is known about its role in cancer. We used microarrays to detail the glonal perturbations in gene expression in the absence of PSMA, in order to identify disease-specific driving pathways that may lead to new therapies for cancer.