Pluvicto (Lutetium-177 Vipivotide Tetraxetan): A Focused Assault on Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Oncology research has seen substantial advancements with the introduction of targeted therapies like lutetium-177 vipivotide tetraxetan, marketed under the brand name Pluvicto, specifically engineered for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). This radioconjugate demonstrates a targeted approach by homing in on prostate cancer cells that overexpress the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) protein, a prevalent characteristic in prostate cancer cells. This specificity is crucial in reducing the detrimental impacts on healthy cells, a common issue in conventional cancer treatments.

Diving into its mechanism of action, lutetium-177 vipivotide tetraxetan is a compound of PSMA-617, a ligand with a high affinity for the PSMA protein, and the beta-emitting radioisotope lutetium-177. This conjugation ensures that the ionizing radiation delivered by lutetium-177 is precisely directed towards the cancer cells, disrupting their DNA and inhibiting their growth. This delivery mechanism potentially contributes to reducing the tumour size, although the extent of this effect can vary among individuals.

Pluvicto’s FDA Approval: A Milestone in Personalized mCRPC Treatment Amidst a Spectrum of Risks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pluvicto on March 23, 2022, paving the way for a new treatment option for adult patients with PSMA-positive mCRPC, particularly those who have undergone previous treatments with androgen receptor pathway inhibitors and taxane-based chemotherapy. This approval comes as a beacon of hope for those with advanced prostate cancer who have metastasized and remained unresponsive to testosterone-lowering treatments, often the first line of defence against prostate cancer.

The application of Pluvicto reflects the broader trend in personalized medicine, where treatments are tailored based on the genetic and molecular profiles of the patient and the tumour. This personalized approach aims to improve treatment outcomes while minimizing adverse effects, a crucial consideration in cancer therapy where the therapeutic window is often narrow.

However, treatment with lutetium-177 vipivotide tetraxetan is not devoid of risks. One of the significant concerns is the additional ionizing radiation exposure, which contributes to a patient’s long-term cumulative radiation exposure and potentially increases the risk of secondary cancers. Moreover, severe myelosuppression, renal toxicity, and temporary or permanent infertility are among the other serious risks associated with this treatment. These factors necessitate a thorough evaluation and monitoring of patients undergoing treatment with Pluvicto.

Furthermore, common adverse reactions have been noted in clinical settings, including fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, anaemia, decreased appetite, and constipation. Although these adverse reactions might seem less severe compared to the risks, they can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life and adherence to treatment.

Theranostic Triumph: Pluvicto’s Fusion of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Frontiers in Advanced Prostate Cancer Management

The theranostic approach embodied by lutetium-177 vipivotide tetraxetan, which harnesses therapeutic and diagnostic potentials, holds promise in managing advanced metastatic prostate cancer. By enabling targeted radiation therapy, this treatment offers a novel pathway for managing severe forms of prostate cancer, thereby filling a critical gap in the treatment landscape.

Moreover, the introduction of Pluvicto underscores the potential of nuclear medicine in oncology, expanding the horizon of targeted radiation therapy. The conjugation of radioisotopes with molecules capable of selectively targeting cancer cells is an exciting domain that could reshape the future of cancer therapy.


Lutetium-177 vipivotide tetraxetan (Pluvicto) marks a significant step forward in the fight against mCRPC, offering a targeted therapeutic approach that could potentially improve outcomes for patients with advanced prostate cancer. The precision in targeting PSMA-overexpressing cancer cells minimizes collateral damage to healthy tissues, embodying the essence of personalized medicine in oncology. Nonetheless, the associated risks and adverse reactions necessitate a well-considered approach to patient selection, monitoring, and management during treatment. The full potential and limitations of Pluvicto and similar radioconjugates will be further elucidated through continued research and clinical evaluation, enriching the oncological toolbox for managing complex and advanced cancer cases.

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