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BC Cancer team brings transformative prostate cancer treatment to Canadian patients

June 27, 2018

Found in News

VANCOUVER, B.C.  – BC Cancer researchers are implementing a targeted prostate cancer treatment for men with advanced disease. The radionuclide therapy (RNT) will be available through a coordinated initiative across multiple centres in Canada.

The RNT trial will bring this emerging form of treatment to prostate cancer patients in Canada. RNT is a highly targeted compound that delivers high-absorbed doses of radioactive particles to the site of metastatic cancers, killing the cancer cells and saving the healthy tissue surrounding them.

BC Cancer’s vice president of research, Dr. François Bénard, is leading the national initiative. “Our work is driven by the urgent need to bring new treatment solutions to men facing advanced prostate cancer. This trial is an important milestone in our work to change the outcome for those men,” says Dr. Bénard.

Thousands of British Columbians through the BC Cancer Foundation have supported the research and development of RNT for prostate cancer. The phase II clinical trial is launching under the National Program on Targeted Radionuclide Therapy for Prostate Cancer with funding from Prostate Cancer Canada and Movember.

The clinical trial will examine if RNT improves survival and quality of life for eligible patients as compared to standard chemotherapy. The trial will focus on men whose prostate cancer has become unresponsive to treatments such as hormone therapy.

Sarah Roth, president & CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation, says “The development of more effective, less toxic, new treatment options for cancer patients is a motivating force for thousands of our donors across the province. We are incredibly proud to support the work of Dr. Bénard and his team in bringing new hope to people facing a life-threatening cancer.”

Dr. Bénard’s team is a national leader in developing radiopharmaceuticals to advance functional imaging and treatment. Their goal is to integrate a clinical research program that delivers radionuclide therapy for cancer patients in Canada, in addition to the development and introduction of potent novel radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis and therapy of prostate and other select cancers.



Radionuclide therapy uses radioactive isotopes injected intravenously to target cancers that have spread in multiple locations in the body. Currently, many patients with metastatic prostate cancer are treated with 223Ra, one of the isotopes of radium, commercialized under the name Xofigo. This radioactive drug selectively targets disease involving the bones. The new investigational treatment, which targets lesions in all organs, is based on a different drug which targets a protein selectively expressed in prostate cancers, the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA).

The BC Cancer Foundation is the fundraising partner of BC Cancer. Together with our donors we are changing the outcome for people affected by cancer in B.C. and beyond by connecting personalized care, innovative research and opportunities to contribute. We are the largest funder of cancer in B.C. and every dollar raised stays right here at BC Cancer to advance research, enhance care and break down cancer to benefit the people of B.C.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Hayley Judge

BC Cancer Foundation, Communications Specialist


D: 604.707.5907

C: 604.764.0666