Salivary Toxicity from PSMA-Targeted Radiopharmaceuticals: What We Have Learned and Where We Are Going

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Clinical trials of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeted radiopharmaceuticals have shown encouraging results. Some agents, like lutetium-177 [177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 ([177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617), are already approved for late line treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Projections are for continued growth of this treatment modality; [177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 is being studied both in earlier stages of disease and in combination with other anti-cancer therapies. Further, the drug development pipeline is deep with variations of PSMA-targeting radionuclides, including higher energy alpha particles conjugated to PSMA-honing vectors. It is safe to assume that an increasing number of patients will be exposed to PSMA-targeted radiopharmaceuticals during the course of their cancer treatment. In this setting, it is important to better understand and mitigate the most commonly encountered toxicities. One particularly vexing side effect is xerostomia. In this review, we discuss the scope of the problem, inventories to better characterize and monitor this troublesome side effect, and approaches to preserve salivary function and effectively palliate symptoms. This article aims to serve as a useful reference for prescribers of PSMA-targeted radiopharmaceuticals, while also commenting on areas of missing data and opportunities for future research.

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