Peter Mac's Dr Price Jackson and Dr Anna Trigos have both received prestigious Young Investigator Awards from the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) in the US.

According to the Foundation: "PCF Young Investigator Awards are intended to identify a cohort of future research leaders who will keep the field of prostate cancer research vibrant with new ideas, and offer career and project support for early career physicians and scientists who are committed to advancing the prostate cancer field."

Dr Jackson's award comes with funding of US$225,000 over three years and is being administered through the University of Melbourne. Dr Trigos's award is an honorific title, as she was previously awarded two NHMRC Ideas grants in 2020.

Below are summaries of their research projects:

  • Dr Price Jackson – Automated Interpretation of PSMA and FDG PET Images to Improve Prognosis and Management in Advanced Prostate Cancer

Modern artificial intelligence methods can help evaluate the stage prostate cancer is at and how it responds to targeted therapy, through their application in imaging. This project will create computational tools to help clinicians precisely characterise the extent of prostate cancer at staging and follow-up. These AI methods can be applied automatically and freely shared to offer a consistent level of expertise across centres, which will enable clinicians to identify, stage, and refer patients for the ideal cancer therapy based on their unique pattern of disease.

  • Dr Anna Trigos – Understanding PSMA expression through a deep dive into the genetic, gene expression and microenvironment profiles of mCRPC

LuPSMA (177Lutetium-PSMA-targeted radionuclide therapy) is a promising new treatment that will likely soon become approved for patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). However, PSMA – the target of the treatment – is not uniformly expressed on all prostate cancer cells, and it is unclear how this and other factors influence responses to LuPSMA.

Dr Trigos will create a profile of molecular features that are associated with PSMA expression patterns and response and resistance to LuPSMA. This will allow researchers to identify potential treatment approaches to improve the efficacy of LuPSMA.

More details about the Young Investigator Awards are available on the PCF website.