The Power of Sharing to Encourage Others
- Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, 62, is praising King Charles III for his bravery in sharing his prostate enlargement and cancer diagnosis. He says from personal experience the amount of anxiety imposed on cancer patients and their families can be insurmountable. By sharing, the King emphasizes a powerful message to patients they don’t have to be alone.
- Taylor was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in 2018. He’s found added hope with Pluvicto (lutetium Lu 177 vipivotide tetraxetan), a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cancer treatment that specifically treats patients with a type of disease called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). He says his treatment has taught him to “live again.”
- PSMA is a protein expressed in some prostate cancers that can be targeted with medication. Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer means the cancer has spread beyond the prostate and does not respond to hormone therapy.
- Plutvicto is an intravenous radioligand therapy that targets cancer cells precisely in the body. The medication combines diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, identifying a target or PSMA protein on a patient’s cancer cells and killing them with minimal impact on normal tissues.
Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, 62, who’s battled stage 4 prostate cancer since 2018, pens a letter to King Charles III praising him for his bravely sharing his cancer journey with the public. Taylor says he was “blown away” when the King shared he underwent a prostate enlargement procedure.
“From my own experiences, the impact of raising cancer awareness could not be more tangible. By raising awareness, he will give hope to so many who will be living with so much of their own anxiety,” Taylor said, according to The Independent.Read More
Taylor was touched by cancer before his diagnosis, as his father was diagnosed with the disease.
The amount of worry, anxiety, fear, and impact on loved ones are all part of a slew of emotions cancer patients must contend with as they cope with a diagnosis. Taylor adds he hopes King Charles can encourage more people to be more aware of their health and take preventative care when possible.
“I cannot overstate the significance of awareness and preventative care….So, if you have any worry or suspicion that you may have a problem, talk to someone. It may be nothing, but when it becomes something, you really don’t want to find yourself saying, ‘If only I had spoken up sooner’”.
Helping You Find Resources on Prostate Cancer
Learning to Live Again
Taylor’s cancer journey turned around thanks to an FDA-approved radiopharmaceutical drug called Pluvicto (lutetium Lu 177 vipivotide tetraxetan). Pluvicto may be helpful for anyone with prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate and has not responded to hormone therapy.
Before beginning Pluvicto, Taylor’s earlier chemotherapy treatments made him feel dizzy.
“I’d get this dizziness and have to stop and hold onto something. I’m the kind of person who won’t quit until I’m absolutely on my knees, but I realized, ‘I’m going to f—k this up for everybody else.’ So, I thought it was best to leave them to do it because they were on the road and were in good shape,” Taylor explained to Yahoo Entertainment.
Some of Taylor’s side effects stemmed from the chemo he was undertaking. At one point, when he learned his cancer had metastasized to stage 4, he was facing “palliative, end-of-life care.”
WATCH: After a prostate cancer diagnosis, how to talk to your urologist?
When Taylor started Plutvicto, his prognosis improved. It treats patients with prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) – positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) explicitly.
“I’m now two-thirds through my treatment called Lutetium-177, and I am learning to live again. I’m sure many of you know that treatment is no “cakewalk”; however, several years ago, there was no means to win the battle, yet now I’m still in the fight, bruised but not battered,” Taylor explained.
PSMA is a protein that is expressed in some prostate cancers and can be specifically targeted with medication. Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, more specifically, means the cancer has spread beyond the prostate and does not respond to hormone therapy, which is aimed at impeding cancer growth that relies on hormones to flourish.
Plutvicto is an intravenous radioligand therapy that targets cancer cells precisely in the body. The medication combines diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, which can identify the presence of a target (PSMA) on a patient’s cancer cells and then treat it directly with minimal impact on normal tissues.
WATCH: Prostate cancer screening tests.
“This agent specifically targets PSMA-positive metastasis and represents the first theranostic agent for use in castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer,” Dr. Penson continued.
In order to use Plutvicto, patients must first be given a PET scan using a special imaging agent that helps better identify cancer cells within the body that are PSMA-positive.
“If the patients have PSMA-positive metastatic lesions on PET, then they would be eligible for the therapy. This combination of a (therapy that can deliver radiation to target cells) with an imaging biomarker positivity is a great example of precision medicine or what we call in nuclear medicine, theranostics (therapeutics + diagnostics),” Dr. Ghassan El-Haddad, associate member of the Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology Department of Moffitt Cancer Center explains.
Like most treatments, Plutvicto has side effects. The most common adverse reactions may include:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Screening for Prostate Cancer
Questions for Your Doctor
If you have experienced symptoms associated with prostate cancer or have a screening coming up, here are some questions you may ask your doctor:
- If I have elevated PSA levels, what could be causing that besides cancer?
- How long will it take to learn if my PSA levels warrant further testing?
- What are the treatment options that are best suited for me based on my risk level?
- What financial resources exist to help me with the costs associated with treatment?
- How long will my potential treatment prevent me from working or continuing normal activities?