Prostate Cancer Canada launches first national program in radioligand therapy

Targeted treatments for men with advanced prostate cancer will change future of cancer care



Toronto, June 27, 2018 – Canadian researchers are leading the future of treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer in this country, with a new Prostate Cancer Canada grant funded by the Movember Foundation. The National Program on Targeted Radionuclide Therapy for Prostate Cancer focuses on radioligand therapy (RLT): a new form of treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer which cannot be cured by current methods. This coordinated, national initiative aims to accelerate access to this promising and innovative treatment for Canadian men.

The program will launch a phase II clinical trial to examine if RLT improves survival and quality of life for men with metastatic prostate cancer, as compared to standard chemotherapy. RLT is currently being used and tested in other countries, but this is the first time it is being offered to men in Canada.
 

Dr. François Bénard (BC Cancer)

“RLT uses radiation to kill prostate cancer cells. What makes RLT so exciting is that the radiation is delivered directly and specifically to tumour cells wherever they are in the body,” says Dr. François Bénard from BC Cancer. “This is a promising new treatment for men whose prostate cancer has become unresponsive to treatments such as hormone therapy. We hope that this targeted approach will be safer and more effective than current treatments.”

The Program brings together national expertise in the complementary fields of nuclear medicine, urologic oncology, clinical trials, radiopharmaceutical manufacturing, translational research and health economics to implement RLT in Canada and impact many Canadian men and their families.

“As a global leader in prostate cancer research, our priority is to ensure men who urgently need new treatment options like RLT are given access as soon as possible,” says Dr. Stuart Edmonds, Vice President of Research, Health Promotion and Survivorship, Prostate Cancer Canada. “We’re honoured to be partnering with Movember, BC Cancer and BC Cancer Foundation to introduce and test an innovative form of treatment that has the potential to significantly improve quality of life, and survival, for thousands of Canadians.”

In addition to conducting the phase II clinical trial, the program addresses the practical barriers of RLT access including infrastructure, and capacity to manufacture and distribute the radioactive drugs right here in Canada. The program also examines the health care costs associated with this new mode of treatment.

“Movember is proud to collaborate with Prostate Cancer Canada to fund such an important research initiative in this country,” says Paul Villanti, Executive Director of Programs, The Movember Foundation.  "Our Mo Community across the country are powering vital research through fundraising efforts to change the face of men's health. This is an important step to ensuring additional treatment options are available for men living with advanced prostate cancer.”
                                                                                                                                                  
About Prostate Cancer Canada

Prostate Cancer Canada is the leading national foundation dedicated to the elimination of the most common cancer in men through research, advocacy, education, support and awareness. As the largest charitable investor in prostate cancer research in Canada, Prostate Cancer Canada is committed to continuous discovery in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support.
 
Prostate Cancer Canada is proud to have been named one of Canada’s top 3 health charities for efficiency and financial transparency in the Financial Post’s 2017 Charities of the Year list. 
 
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For more information, please contact:
 
Arden Bagni
Manager, Communications
Prostate Cancer Canada
416-441-2131 ext 264
arden.bagni@prostatecancer.ca
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