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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Research supports neoadjuvant use of Novartis LuPSMA in prostate cancer

Health Industry Hub | November 27, 2023 |

Pharma News: Australian researchers have unveiled promising findings demonstrating the viability of LuPSMA therapy as a first-line treatment for men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. This pioneering research, heralded as a world-first, presents a potential to improve the management of high-risk prostate cancers.

The study, published in the European Urology journal, scrutinised the clinical efficacy and safety of administering LuPSMA, a highly-targeted radioactive treatment infused with Lutetium-177, before surgically removing the cancerous prostate. This therapeutic approach capitalises on LuPSMA’s attraction to the Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) on cancer cells, effectively targeting and eradicating these malignant cells wherever they reside within the body.

Professor Michael Hofman, Head of the Prostate Cancer Theranostics and Imaging Centre of Excellence (ProsTIC) at Peter Mac, emphasised the significance of this breakthrough in expanding the scope of LuPSMA utilisation.

“Traditionally, LuPSMA has been utilised as a last-line treatment for cases where cancer has metastasised beyond the prostate. Our study challenges this norm by exploring its potential as an upfront therapy,” Professor Hofman stated.

The landmark research, termed the LuTectomy study, involved administering upfront radiation treatment with LuPSMA to men with newly diagnosed, localised prostate cancer before the surgical removal of their prostates. This innovative approach aims to tackle the disease at its core, potentially altering the trajectory of prostate cancer treatment.

“Previous concerns regarding the impact of certain radiotherapies on surrounding tissues, making subsequent surgeries more intricate, have limited treatments like LuPSMA to post-operative scenarios. However, our study demonstrates that administering LuPSMA before surgery did not heighten technical complexities or escalate post-operative risks,” Professor Hofman affirmed.

Professor Declan Murphy, Surgeon and Director of Genitourinary Oncology at Peter Mac, shed light on the targeted precision of LuPSMA therapy, noting its minimal impact on healthy tissue surrounding a tumour.

“The therapeutic radiation emitted from LuPSMA travels a mere 1mm, ensuring highly focused tumour destruction while preserving normal tissue,” Professor Murphy explained.

The collaboration with industry partners, including the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), played a pivotal role in the study’s success. Professor Hofman expressed gratitude for ANSTO’s support, underscoring their commitment to advancing healthcare through nuclear science and technology.

Dr Renu Eapen, a Urologist at Peter Mac, highlighted the study’s unique opportunity to examine prostate cancer tissue samples pre and post LuPSMA therapy.

“This investigation enables us to delve into the tumour microenvironment, facilitating enhanced patient selection for tailored treatments,” Dr Eapen elaborated.

The LuTectomy clinical trial received funding from Movember and the Australian Government, supplemented by contributions from Novartis and the EJ Whitten Foundation at Epworth Healthcare.

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