A new targeted treatment for aggressive prostate cancer, pioneered at Peter Mac, has been shown to produce more potent and durable responses in men and with fewer side-effects.

Treatment with Lutetium PSMA (Lu-PSMA) involves a whole-body CT scan to reveal where prostate cancers have spread, and then a radioactive infusion that binds to these tumours.

The TheraP trial, led by Professor Michael Hofman, was the first to test this approach head-to-head with the standard-of-care - cabazitazel chemotherapy.

All men in the trial had prostate cancer that had progressed after initial treatment, and they were randomised to receive either Lu-PSMA or cabazitaxel.

Men who received LuPSMA were more likely to show tumour shrinkage as measured on a follow-up CT scan – 49% versus 24% for cabazitaxel.

They were also more likely to show a 50% (or more) reduction in PSA levels - a blood marker for prostate cancer – at 66% compared to 37% from cabazitaxel.

A year after treatment, 19% of men who received Lu-PSMA treatment had cancers that had not progressed compared to just 3% for cabazitaxel.

A third (33%) of men who received Lu-PSMA reported serious side-effects – like hair loss, gut problems, fatigue or dizziness, and rashes – compared to 54% from cabazitaxel.

“The theranostics imaging test enables selection of men likely to benefit, whilst the treatment kills tumours and spares normal tissues,” Prof Hofman says of the novel Lu-PSMA approach.

“This new class of targeted treatment offers men quality of life and better response rates than chemotherapy.”

Peter Mac has led clinical trials of Lu-PSMA over recent years, and Prof Hofman said the treatment was likely to be available globally in the next two years.

Prof Hofman, who is Director of the Prostate Cancer Theranostics and Imaging Centre of Excellence (ProsTIC) at Peter Mac, presented the results at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Genitourinary Virtual Symposium on Friday 12 February 2021.

A corresponding paper is also published in The Lancet where you can read this paper in full.

The TheraP trial is sponsored by ANZUP Cancer Trials Group and more information is available on ANZUP website.

Want to understand more about this treatment? Watch the animation “What is PSMA Theranostics?” on the Peter Mac website.


For more information contact the Peter Mac Communications team on 0417 123 048.

About Peter Mac

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is a world-leading cancer research, education and treatment centre and Australia’s only public health service solely dedicated to caring for people affected by cancer.