A new type of therapy - supported by Movember - has been hailed as being more effective than chemotherapy for treating men with aggressive prostate cancer.
Updated results of the TheraP trial have shown that men who had Lu-PSMA radionuclide therapy had better response rates, better quality of life and were less likely to see their cancer progress after a year, than men who received standard chemotherapy.
This unique therapy involves ‘mapping’ the prostate cancer cells with a PET scan and then treating them with a radioactive substance called Lutetium-177.
Unlike conventional chemotherapy, Lu-PSMA therapy – also known as ‘theranostics’ – destroys cancer cells, while minimising damage to healthy surrounding tissue.
The latest findings, summarised in this infographic, were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium 2021 virtual meeting.
Study chair Professor Michael Hofman of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, who has been testing the treatment in the trial of 200 men, said: “This new class of targeted treatment offers men quality of life and better response rates than chemotherapy. It is likely to be available globally in the next two years.”
Dr Sarah Hsiao, Director of Biomedical Research at Movember, said: “PSMA radionuclide therapy is a very exciting technology with lots of potential and represents one of the most promising treatments for aggressive prostate cancer in recent years.
“The findings from the TheraP study are very encouraging. Compared with cabazitaxel chemotherapy, a man’s cancer is less likely to progress in a year’s time if he is treated with LuPSMA radionuclide therapy. It is still too early to say what the overall benefit in survival is, but all the results so far suggest promising outcomes for this new therapy.
“Movember is proud to have contributed funding towards this important trial and we hope to see the results being validated in larger cohorts of men.”
The results, which also published in the Lancet, are the culmination of years of work by a large team of clinicians, researchers and fundraisers, including Movember’s global community.
“TheraP is the first trial in the world comparing Lu-PSMA to an active and effective treatment and has provided evidence that Lu-PSMA might be a good alternative option to chemotherapy for men with advanced and pre-treated prostate cancer,” said ANZUP Chair Professor Ian Davis.
TheraP (ANZUP 1603) is a partnership between ANZUP Cancer Trials Group and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) with support from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Australasian Radiopharmaceutical Trials Network (ARTnet), Endocyte Inc, a Novartis company, It’s a Bloke Thing, Movember and CAN4CANCER and The University of Sydney NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre providing central study coordination.