Theranostics has shown the most promise in diagnosing and treating advanced prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumours.
Professor Hogg heads the new theranostics project at Sydney’s Centenary Institute and the new funding will be used to apply this technique to all solid tumours that have spread.
Theranostics uses PET scan imaging to see if specific markers on the surface of the tumour are present.
A radioactive drug is then injected to seek and destroy the tumours identified on the scan.
Professor Hogg said they’ve invented a molecule that latches onto dead and dying tumour cells which the radioactive agent can target.
“The theranostic we’ve developed should target all types of tumours, not just specific ones, and it’s also designed so it becomes substantially more effective with each administration rather than less effective,” Professor Hogg said.
Sydney patients have taken part in diagnostic trials which have been promising.
“That data looks terrific,” Professor Hogg said.
There are plans to test the treatment on patients within two years.
Hard-to-treat tumours of the pancreas, liver and bowel are likely to be targeted first.
The funding announcement is part of the state government’s $21 million boost for cancer research through the Cancer Institute NSW.
“One person continues to die of cancer in our state every 30 minutes,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
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“This funding promises new clinical trials for emerging cancer treatment within five years.”