Purdue and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Pluvicto

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. We will share stories of Purdue University researchers and companies that have created diagnostics and therapies to help people with the disease.

Facts about prostate cancer

Before we share information about Pluvicto, a prostate cancer therapy that uses groundbreaking Purdue research, let’s look at prostate cancer and its impact.

  • In its Cancer Facts & Figures 2023 report, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 288,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2023.
    • It estimates more than 34,000 American men will die from prostate cancer in 2023.
    • Early-stage prostate cancer usually shows no symptoms. The 5-year survival rate of men with distant-stage disease is 32%.
  • The American College of Surgeons reports prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer among men.
    • One is 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
    • Prostate cancer is the number two cause of death among men.


Groundbreaking research from Philip Low, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the Purdue University College of Science’s Department of Chemistry, laid the foundation for the precision targeted therapy. Novartis licenses Low’s research through the Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization to market and sell the drug.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval for the treatment in March 2022. A Phase III study demonstrated that it plus the normal standard of care had a 38% reduction in the risk of death compared with the standard of care alone.

“I just feel blessed to have had an opportunity to work on meaningful projects throughout my career and even more blessed to have had an impact on one unnecessary source of pain and morbidity,” Low said in a previous news release. “I suspect that almost everyone knows someone who has suffered with prostate cancer, and it has been very rewarding to finally be able to impact this horrible disease.”

The Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery and Purdue Institute for Cancer Research

Philip Low is among the Purdue University faculty whose work is supported by the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery and the Purdue Institute for Cancer Research.

“The mission of Purdue’s Institute for Drug Discovery is to assist faculty in translating their discoveries into clinically meaningful drugs that can positively impact patients’ lives,” said Institute Director Zhong-Yin Zhang. “We are thrilled that Institute support to Professor Low and his lab has resulted in such great achievements like the discovery of Pluvicto. With many additional drugs moving through Purdue’s drug pipeline, our researchers are continuing to combat diseases with the greatest unmet need.”

“Professor Low has been an integral researcher of the Purdue Institute of Cancer Research since it was established as a National Cancer Institute-designated center in 1978,” said Institute Director Andrew Mesecar. “He has been pioneering the development of novel, targeted strategies over this time including the development of Locametz® and Pluvicto® for the imaging and treatment of prostate cancer. The Purdue Institute for Cancer Research provided early financial and investigational new drug (IND) support for a phase 0 clinical trial that provided crucial proof-of-concept data towards the development of these two life-extending agents. Professor Low’s research has directly impacted the research programs of other PU-ICR faculty and scientists worldwide who are now also working to develop new targeted imaging agents and therapies. His research is changing the world.”