Osaka University Hospital initiated Japan’s first clinical research for diagnosis of prostate cancer (PC) using PED (positron emission tomography) scan results in September 2019. In this study the 18F-labelled PSMA-1007 radiotracer (fluorine-18 [18F]-PSMA-1007) that targets Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA), was used as a PET agent.
F-18 labelled PSMA—1007 is produced at the hospital using a cyclotron and an automated synthesis module for PET, but the module was manufactured overseas. However, in joint studies with Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd., the hospital succeeded in the stable domestic production of automated synthesis modules. Clinical trials will be required for the module—and it will be used in a wide variety of clinical applications across Japan and Asia.
A promising molecular target in PC management, research evidence reveals that labeling with α- or β-emitting radionuclides will exert a great curative influence on progressive cancer. Clinical trials for PSMA labeled with the β-emitting radionuclide lutetium-177 (Lu-177) have begun mainly in Europe. However, Osaka University aims to spread nuclear medicine that uses drugs labeled with α-emitting radionuclides, which have higher therapeutic effects than β-emitting radionuclides, developing PSMA drugs using the α-emitting radionuclide, astatine (At-211).
Prostate Cancer (PC) in Japan
The second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Japan, its incidence is increasing. The sensitivity of CT and bone scintigraphy is not enough for the detection of recurrent and metastatic PC.
Dr. Tadashi Watabe, Principal Investigator