A mature-aged Black man smiling while looking past the camera.
Movember funding in action.Image by: Movember
A mature-aged Black man smiling while looking past the camera.
1 November 2023

Movember-funded treatment delays progression of advanced prostate cancer

3 minutes read time

A ground-breaking trial supported by Movember has shown that combining two different drugs could delay the progression of advanced prostate cancer by an average of five months.

The ENZA-p trial (ANZUP 1901), which was presented at the ESMO Congress in Madrid in October 2023, compared the effectiveness of hormone therapy drug enzalutamide combined with a new type of treatment called Lu-PSMA therapy.

Led by Professor Louise Emmett at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, the ENZA-P trial recruited 162 participants from hospitals across Australia including Austin Hospital in Melbourne and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth.

Half the men on the trial were randomly allocated to receive Lu-PSMA therapy and enzalutamide, while the other half received enzalutamide alone.

The data showed that the group who received LuPSMA therapy plus enzalutamide had, on average, 13 months progression free survival (the length of time that someone lives with a disease without it getting worse) compared with 7.8 months for those who received enzalutamide.

" Our mission at Movember is to give men with advanced prostate cancer more quality time with their loved ones. "

Enzalutamide is a potent medicine that prevents testosterone from reaching prostate cancer cells, stopping cancer growth. It is already widely used for treating prostate cancer that has stopped responding to standard hormone treatments. However, most cancers become resistant to enzalutamide over time.

Many prostate cancers, in particular those that have spread or become resistant to hormonal therapies, have a protein on their cell surface called prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA).

Over the last decade, thanks to the efforts of our fundraising community, Movember has spearheaded research in the development of a new treatment that targets PSMA.

Lu-PSMA therapy involves ‘mapping’ the prostate cancer cells with a PET scan and then treating them with the Lutetium-177, a radioactive payload that destroys prostate cancer cells, while minimising damage to healthy surrounding tissue.

Dr Sarah Hsiao, Director of Biomedical Research and Impact at Movember said: “Our mission at Movember is to give men with advanced prostate cancer more quality time with their loved ones. We’re pleased to have supported research that’s delving into innovative ways to enhance prostate cancer outcomes through this new treatment.”

Professor Louise Emmett, Study Chair added: “The ENZA-p trial results are an exciting leap forward, building on other work by ANZUP in Lu-PSMA therapy by evaluating the use of complimentary combination therapies. We are pleased to see the results are strongly positive and demonstrate that adding 177Lu-PSMA-617 to enzalutamide prolongs both depth and duration of treatment response in these people with high-risk metastatic prostate cancer.

An enormous thanks to the patients, families and trial teams across Australia. With your dedication and ongoing support will help change and improve treatments for patients with prostate cancer in the future.”

ENZA-p is an investigator-initiated, cooperative-group trial led by ANZUP Cancer Trials Group in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Research Alliance (PCRA): an Australian Government and Movember joint initiative. ENZA-p trial is a collaboration between ANZUP, the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney, and the Australasian Radiopharmaceutical Trials Network (ARTnet) with support from AAA – a Novartis Company, St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation, Genesis Care, Roy Morgan Research, MIM Software Inc. and ANSTO. Astellas provided enzalutamide for the trial.