Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will today officially open a world-leading Centre of Excellence to accelerate research and development of next-generation targeted treatments for prostate cancer.

The Prostate Theranostics & Imaging Centre of Excellence (ProsTIC) was made possible via a $US5 million ($AU7.4 million) grant from the US-based Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) driven by the generous philanthropy of PCF Board member Mr Stein Erik Hagen.

ProsTIC will lead state-of-the-art research to deliver new prostate cancer treatments – integrating clinical trials with pre-clinical and discovery research.

It will be led by nuclear medicine specialist Professor Michael Hofman bringing together nuclear medicine, medical oncology, radiation oncology, urology and laboratory-based doctors and researchers with a strong patient-centered philosophy.

“Theranostics uses radioactive molecules to detect and treat prostate cancer, and Peter Mac is at the global forefront of the development of this completely new and targeted approach for the treatment of prostate cancer,” Professor Hofman said.

“We thank the Prostate Cancer Foundation for recognising the incredible potential of theranostics to improve outcomes for prostate cancer patients world-wide.

Theranostic treatment for prostate cancer involves targeting prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) on prostate cancer cells – first with a tracer to reveal the cancer’s spread with a PET scan and then with a radioactive molecule that kills cancer cells.

Professor Hofman said clinical trials of this approach, over the past four years, had seen “stunning, life-extending results in patients with advanced disease and who had exhausted all other treatment options”.

The new Centre of Excellence demonstrates the power of collaborative ventures between philanthropic groups and Peter Mac to tackle difficult clinical problems through research.

Dr Howard Soule, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer of PCF, said: “On behalf of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and our generous donor, Mr Stein Eric Hagen, we are delighted to have this opportunity to support advanced studies of targeted radionuclide therapies for prostate cancer patients at the Peter Mac”.

“This world-leading group has pioneered this very encouraging therapy under leadership of Professor Hofman. We are confident that the Peter Mac team will develop life-extending and improving therapies for patients, globally, in the very near future.”

PCF’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jonathan Simons said: “The generous charitable investment by Stein Erik Hagen is profound. He has become a global transformational philanthropist in the development of entirely new avenues of prostate cancer treatment.

“His philanthropy in targeted radiopharmaceuticals for not just chemotherapy resistance but treatment science at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will ultimately impact over 40 childhood and adult cancers.”

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