Prostate cancer imaging – Monash BDI scientists collaborate on preclinical project

Pictured (L-R) Professor Lisa Horvath and Professor Roger Daly
  • Monash BDI researchers are collaborating with Imagion on a preclinical research project that will jump start Imagion’s prostate cancer project and advance their MagSense™ technology for a new cancer indication, supported by CSIRO funding.

Hi Lisa, what is the current standard of care for prostate cancer imaging?

Lisa: Prostate cancer imaging is an evolving field. Localised prostate cancer is staged using multiparametric MRI for detailed anatomical detail and radiological assessment of cancer grade. PSMA-PET scan is being increasingly used to assess the involvement of pelvic lymph nodes, and the presence or absence of metastases. This imaging is essential for guiding clinical management.

How would a new imaging technique improve outcomes for patients potentially?

Lisa: Both these modalities (MRI and PSMA-PET) have limits of detection, so small cancer foci in lymph nodes may not be detected. Imagion’s new imaging technology would allow precision mapping of the lymph nodes, identifying smaller foci of cancer that current imaging modalities are unable to identify. This would guide the treatment of the lymph nodes either by surgery or radiotherapy.

Roger, why is the team at Monash excited to collaborate with Imagion?

Roger: We are very excited by the new imaging technologies being developed by Imagion that could allow early detection of cancer development and its spread, and the role we can play in assisting Imagion in the rapid translation of these strategies into the clinic. Improvements in detection are urgently needed for effective management of specific cancers, such as prostate cancer and specific breast cancer subtypes. In the longer term, we also believe that there is great potential for linking Imagion's technologies to our development pipeline for novel cancer diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.

What expertise or insight will Monash bring to the partnership?

Roger: Monash BDI will provide expertise in preclinical xenograft models of particular cancers and their expression profile of specific molecular targets, so that these models can be used for testing of Imagion's imaging approaches.

About the Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University
Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Spanning six discovery programs across Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Development and Stem Cells, Infection and Immunity, Metabolism, Diabetes and Obesity, and Neuroscience, Monash BDI is one of the largest biomedical research institutes in Australia.  Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.

About the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is an independent, comprehensive cancer centre that provides multidisciplinary and holistic cancer care for both public and private patients. We treat all cancers and specialise in those that are rare and complex.

About Imagion Biosystems
Imagion Biosystems is developing a new non-radioactive and safe diagnostic imaging technology. Combining biotechnology and nanotechnology, the Company aims to detect cancer and other diseases earlier and with higher specificity than is currently possible. Imagion Biosystems listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in June 2017.