Friday, June 21, 2024

Queensland trials world-first cancer treatment

A new world-first treatment for hard to treat cancers is being trialled at Queensland’ Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The treatment, called Targeted Alpha Therapy, is for difficult to treat cancers that have spread in the body.

Through the hospital’s Integrated Theranostic Centre, patients with advanced prostate cancer can receive targeted alpha therapy which specifically targets and kills prostate cancer cells, minimising damage to healthy tissue and organs.

“This ground-breaking trial will hopefully benefit cancer sufferers here in Queensland, but also those living across Australia and around the world,” said Queensland Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services, Shannon Fentiman.

“We know there’s always more work to do in improving cancer care for Queenslanders, so please have your say in our consultation survey if you haven’t already.”

The Hospital is partnering with AdvanCell, an Australian radiopharmaceutical company leading the way in developing innovative cancer treatments. The company specialises in alpha isotopes based on Lead (212Pb) which are attached to small molecules that bind and deliver the radiation directly to cancer cells via infusion.

Theranostics involves an injection of a radioactive material that targets a specific cancer type. These agents have been shown to be highly effective, have fewer side effects and minimise damage to surrounding healthy tissues compared to conventional oncology treatments.

The Integrated Theranostic Centre was formed in 2023 as a partnership between Radiology/Nuclear Medicine and Medical Oncology, making PA Hospital one of the few centres in Australia offering this service. 

“We’re extremely excited about what the future holds as our service grows and new cancer treatments become available,” said the Hospital’s Medical Oncologist, Dr Aaron Hansen.

“PA Hospital is also involved in a trial using a combination of theranostics and immunotherapy for the treatment of patients with Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer (ES-SCLC).

“Beside prostate cancer and ES-SCLC, we’re also involved in using theranostics for other clinical trials involving non-small cell lung cancers, merkel cell and renal cell carcinomas.

“At the end of the day, all of these studies and trials are about providing the best possible care to our patients.”

The targeted alpha therapy for prostate cancer study is one of just a number of ground-breaking theranostics trials underway.

The TheraPb clinical trial of targeted alpha therapy for prostate cancer is running for three years with plans for up to 100 patients to participate.

This world-first trial comes after the Government announced the development of a 10-year Queensland Cancer Plan to revolutionise cancer care across the state.

The Miles Government is asking Queenslanders to have their say via the Queensland Cancer Plan consultation survey here. The survey is closing Wednesday 17 April.

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