A collaboration between the Calvary Mater Hospital in Newcastle and the Hunter New England Health District’s Department of Nuclear Medicine is enabling men to seek new and effective treatments for prostate cancer

The new injectable treatment allows local men to get access to this unique trial of treatment, which was previously only available in capital cities.

The results from the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group (ANZUP) “TheraP” trial released earlier this year confirmed the effectiveness of a new class of therapy for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Dr Craig Gedye, Senior Staff Specialist in the Medical Oncology unit at the Mater, explained prostate cancer that has spread may be treated with hormones or chemotherapy, but if these fail, something else is needed.

He said, “this clinical trial is important as it shows that lutetium-177 PSMA radionuclide therapy (Lu-PSMA) is at least as effective as chemotherapy, but has less side-effects.

The TheraP trial was the first “theranostics” trial to be offered at Calvary Mater Newcastle through this new collaboration, which has led to a new trial called ENZA-p which combines Lu-PSMA and hormone tablets in men with advanced prostate cancer.

Dr Gedye said, “We do clinical trials for cancer treatments a lot, but never one where we’ve used this new kind of intravenous radiation treatment,”

He said, “in some men whose cancers are vulnerable to the treatment, we can give an injection of a radioactive material, that targets and hones directly into the cancer cells,”

“We’re really lucky in Australia with a lot of treatments for prostate cancer, surgery, normal radiation, hormone treatments, and chemotherapy. This is a new treatment on top of that.”