Transforming Prostate Cancer Care Through Personalized Medicine

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Podcast

Adam Weiner, MD, discusses his journey toward becoming an oncologist with a focus in urology in this episode of Emerging Experts.

Adam Weiner, MD, a urologic oncology fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses his journey toward becoming an oncologist, highlighting his passion for personalized medicine in prostate cancer. He starts by discussing what drew him to the field and explains some of the key experiences he has gained thus far.

Weiner emphasizes the importance of understanding one's passions and motivations. For himself, the latest developments in personalized medicine for prostate cancer, including the use of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET imaging, targeted therapies, and biomarkers like prostate-specific antigen (PSA), are of particular interest.

“My research and clinical focus is on prostate cancer. It is a complex cancer…so you have to help navigate patients and their family members through that initial diagnosis and what can be a very complex evaluation period. Then, you have to help patients figure out what treatment makes the most sense for them by balancing their health priorities and the potential [adverse] effects of treatment,” explains Weiner. “It is a complex process that I find incredibly rewarding.”

Weiner delves deeper into the ongoing research surrounding PSMA positivity and its influence on treatment decisions for patients with prostate cancer. He emphasizes the need for further investigation, particularly in newly diagnosed patients, to fully understand how PSMA expression helps experts decide on what treatments are best.

He also highlights the promise of emerging methods for assessing PSA expression, including correlating PET scan results with RNA and protein levels in tumor tissue. This ongoing research holds the potential to further refine the use of PSMA in personalized medicine.

While there are a number of exciting advancements in prostate cancer treatment, including ongoing clinical trials that combine PSMA with other treatment modalities and the potential of PSMA radioligand therapy as a neoadjuvant treatment prior to surgery, Weiner also underscores the significant unmet needs in precision oncology. Specifically, he shares that there is a need to address the overtreatment and undertreatment of patients, where he highlights the role ongoing research plays in creating individualized care.

This conversation provides valuable insights into the complexities of prostate cancer and the potential of PSMA to revolutionize personalized medicine in this field. Weiner’s passion for research and his commitment to patient care offer a promising outlook for the future of prostate cancer treatment.

Weiner concludes by emphasizing the importance of collaboration within the prostate cancer research community and encourages others to actively engage with the community, share ideas, and contribute to the development of innovative treatment approaches.

“Regardless of any fellows, clinical, or research interests, find that community and become a part of it. Give back to it, and learn what interesting trials or research studies are going on. Expose your research ideas to that community, so that it can be evaluated, criticized, developed, and turned into something that is going to be the most likely to be helpful to your patients.”

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