16 July 2020

Prostate cancer trial reaches exciting milestone

First patient recruited for new PSMA radionuclide therapy trial
Prostate Cancer | Where The Money Goes

A new type of radionuclide therapy which has shown positive results in men with advanced prostate cancer is being tested on newly-diagnosed patients in a Movember-funded trial.

As part of a collaboration between Movember and the Australian Government, a team of scientists from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne recently recruited the first man to take part in the UpFrontPSMA trial.

LuPSMA (Lutetium177 PSMA-617), uses a radioactive molecule that binds only to prostate cancer cells, minimising the damage to healthy surrounding tissue.

The results of a previous, Movember-funded study comparing chemotherapy with LuPSMA treatment in 200 men with advanced disease found the new treatment was more effective than chemotherapy and carried fewer side effects.

However, the UpFrontPSMA trial, led by Professor Arun Azad and Professor Michael Hofman, will determine if this treatment can improve outcomes for men who have yet to develop resistance to hormone therapy.

Movember’s Senior Manager Biomedical Research Dr Nadine Brew, said: "The first patient in any new clinical trial represents a huge milestone, but the first patient receiving active treatment on a trial is even more impressive given the current challenges surrounding COVID-19. 

"This trial looks to explore a new type of therapy in an earlier disease setting and if successful, could provide a more optimal treatment plan for men with prostate cancer.

“It's fantastic to see this important initiative exploring Lutetium177-PSMA officially underway after many months of preparation."

To date, this treatment has only been studied as a “last line” of therapy after standard options have been exhausted but it is hoped that in the near future it could be used as a first-line therapy to extend the lives of men with prostate cancer.