29 May 2020

Thousands of men set to benefit from new prostate cancer treatment

New targeted radionuclide therapy deemed more effective than chemo for men with advanced prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer | Where The Money Goes

Thousands of men with advanced prostate cancer are set to benefit from a new type of radionuclide therapy, Lu-PSMA, according to the results of a trial co-funded by Movember.
Interim results of the TheraP trial presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) virtual meeting have shown that Lu-PSMA is more effective than standard chemotherapy for men with advanced prostate cancer.
This unique treatment, which involves a two-step process, utilises a protein that is only found on the surface of prostate cancer cells, called PSMA, or ‘prostate-specific membrane antigen’.
Firstly, a PET scan is used to ‘map’ the distribution of cancer in a man’s body. This is done by injecting a radioactive molecule (Gallium-68) attached to a small molecule that seeks out and binds to PSMA.
A second type of radioactive molecule, a nuclear isotope called Lutetium-177, which attaches to the PSMA-seeking small molecule, is then injected into the body to deliver a powerful payload that destroys the targeted prostate cancer cells while minimising damage to healthy surrounding tissue.
Lead Investigator Professor Michael Hofman of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, who has been testing the new treatment in a trial of 200 men, says: “This provides compelling evidence that Lu-PSMA represents a new class of effective therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer.”
Dr Mark Buzza, Global Director, Prostate Cancer Biomedical Research at Movember, says: “These results are extremely exciting as they have demonstrated for the first time that radionuclide therapy with lutetium PSMA can be more effective than cabazitaxel chemotherapy for men whose disease has progressed after receiving standard chemotherapy. Further studies are now being designed around the world which will aim to validate these results in larger cohorts of men.
“This is a fantastic example of theranostics, where PET imaging is used to guide a therapeutic payload. Movember is proud to have contributed funding towards and been involved with this exciting initiative.”

TheraP is a partnership between ANZUP Cancer Trials Group and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) with support from Movember, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Endocyte, It’s a Bloke Thing and CAN4CANCER.