New hope for Queenslanders with late stage prostate cancer with the launch of innovative theranostic treatment

Thursday November 21st

GenesisCare announced today that patients with advanced stage prostate cancer in Queensland will now have access to a cutting-edge treatment, at its Chermside centre in Brisbane.

Theranostics is a highly personalised cancer treatment that combines diagnostics and therapy to detect and target late stage prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumours.

The diagnostic approach utilises PET scan imaging (a special type of scan) to see if specific targets, known as tumour receptors, are present on tumour cells. If these targets are present and visible on the scan, a radioactive drug (177 Lutetium PSMA in prostate cancer) is injected into the body, selectively targeting the tumour cells, while avoiding surrounding healthy tissue.

The PET scan imaging will be conducted at Queensland Diagnostic Imaging, St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside, with the radioactive drug then being administered at GenesisCare, Chermside.

Associate Professor David Macfarlane, Nuclear Medicine Physician at GenesisCare, Chermside, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men, and we are constantly investigating new treatment options for patients with late stage disease.”

“As a doctor the greatest gift I can give to my patients with late stage prostate cancer is quality time with their family and friends. I am very proud that GenesisCare is launching this treatment in Queensland.”

According to Cancer Council Queensland, approximately 3900 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year in the state, with one in six men at risk of developing prostate cancer by the age of 85. 1

In Australia, access to emerging theranostics treatments are via active clinical trials or with authorisation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Special Access Scheme (SAS), a scheme for compassionate access to medicines prior to their registration.

GenesisCare will review each patient’s suitability for participation in an active clinical trial. If a suitable clinical trial isn’t available, patients can access treatment via the SAS scheme.

Leading global expert in theranostics and nuclear medicine, Dr Aviral Singh, welcomed the introduction of theranostics at GenesisCare in Brisbane and reiterated the importance of clinical research in the evolving field of nuclear medicine.

“It is promising to see new treatment facilities like this opening in Australia where patients can access these important treatments,” said Dr Aviral Singh.

“In Germany thousands of patients have been treated and our experience and understanding of these therapies is developing rapidly. Clinical studies of efficacy and safety as well as clinical registries at our Theranostics Center at Bad Berka and at other centres in Germany and internationally are developing our understanding of these new therapies.

“The early, very encouraging results seen in advanced prostate cancer, which is progressive despite the currently approved treatments, has resulted in further clinical trials in advanced and early stages of prostate cancer as well as investigation of other novel theranostics treatments in different cancers.”

General Manager for GenesisCare Oncology in Queensland, Andrew Saunders, said: “At GenesisCare, we are committed to designing and delivering better care so we can offer the best possible life outcomes for people living with cancer.

“While today is welcome news for Queenslanders with late stage prostate cancer, we are already looking ahead to investigate the potential of theranostics to treat other cancers in the future.”

In May this year, GenesisCare announced a $5 million research partnership with national science agency CSIRO to investigate the use of theranostics in the management of some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers affecting Australians. 2

GenesisCare has also partnered with Telix Pharmaceuticals to conduct the ENHANCING Prostate Cancer Clinical Study which investigates the use of molecular imaging to evaluate the potential combination of a type of hormone therapy called enzalutamide and theranostics treatments that target prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA).

References

  1. Prostate Cancer in men, Cancer Council Queensland 2019, accessed November 2019
  2. “New $5m research project to treat ‘untreatable’ cancers”, CSIRO, accessed November 2019

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