Approval of new imaging agent set to help illuminate prostate cancer detection
Prostate cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Canada, with 1 in 9 men being diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Although most cases of prostate cancer are identified as localized disease with high survival rates, some patients remain with recurrent or metastatic disease that require further intervention. Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography (PET) is a diagnostic tool which uses special imaging agents for the sensitive detection of advanced prostate cancer which has spread throughout the body. Approved by Health Canada on October 13th, Illuccix is now the first PSMA PET imaging agent available in Canada. Illuccix, or Gallium (68Ga) gozetotide, radioactively labels prostate cancer cells expressing PSMA throughout the body which can then be visualized by PET scan. Approval of Illuccix will help promote greater access to PSMA PET, which can aid in earlier detection of recurrence based on rising biomarker levels as well as sensitive detection of prostate cancer metastases. Illuccix also has potential to help identify patients eligible for targeted treatment of PSMA-positive cancer and is thus a welcome addition to the Canadian prostate cancer therapeutic landscape.