State-of-The-Art Cancer Care in Community Setting: Immunotherapies, Gene Therapies, Theranostics

Staying educated in the formal and informal health care settings surrounding state-of-the-art cancer care in the community practice is essential for success.

Staying educated in the formal and informal health care settings surrounding state-of-the-art cancer care in the community practice is essential for success, according to a session at the virtual 2021 Community Oncology Alliance Conference hosted by the Community Oncology Alliance (COA).

Tony Abraham, DO, MPA, director of PET/CT & Theranostics at NY Imaging Specialists, discussed theranostics in a clinical sense and how they are set up in a more private practice in his community. Theranostics is defined as a radioactive agent for diagnosis or a radioactive agent that delivers a therapy and is mainly used in imaging of various cancers, such as MRIs or bone scans, according to Abraham.

Abraham noted the role of molecular phenotypes is valuable for conditions such as prostate cancer.

“PSMA receptors on cancer cells can be used to target them for therapy,” he said. “For therapy, the reporting unit tagged to the PSMA ligand for the PET imaging is replaced by a therapeutic unit.”

For the future of theranostics, Abraham predicts that we are in an era of precision, which will show personalized medicine with more specific imaging and therapeutic agents being increasingly available in the near future.

“These will guide current therapeutic options and see an expansion of the role of theranostics, whereby additional tools for assessing and treating disease will be available to improve life and prolong survival,” Abraham said.

As for immunotherapy and gene therapy in the community setting, there has been a spike in the number of drugs and medicines developed for cancer as oncology drug approvals are moving ahead exponentially, according to David Spigel, MD, chief scientific officer at Sarah Cannon Research Institute Partner, Tennessee Oncology.

A goal that Spigel said he hopes to see in the community practice, specifically for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, is for trials to be done and for those therapies to move into the community for less time at the hospital.

This can be done by using the PRiMER program, which uses different types of phase 1 and 2 trials and the new drugs seen here get registered and ready for phase 3 before moving into the community.

“This way, more community settings will see patients getting access to newer therapies sooner,” Spigel said.

Spigel said that clinical research in the community continues to be imperative to advance care, even with the barriers of enrollment, such as trial complexity, SOC therapies, and infrastructure.

“Sponsors, regularly authorities, and investigators are poised to evolve and adapt to advance clinical research,” Spigel said.

REFERENCE

Abraham T, Spigel D. State-of-The-Art Cancer Care in Community Setting: Immunotherapies, Gene Therapies, Theranostics. Presented at: COA Community Oncology Conference 2021. Presented April 8, 2021. Accessed April 8, 2021.