Prostate Cancer Foundation awards Dr Renu Eapen The Young Investigator Award for 2022

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) in the United States has awarded Dr Renu Eapen (Departments of Surgery Peter MacCallum Hospital and Austin Health) with its prestigious Michael & Lori Milken-PCF Young Investigator Award.

Renu Eapen PCF

“My research explores how a new treatment that brings radiation directly to tumours can improve survival in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer,” said Dr Eapen.

“This new treatment, called LuPSMA, uses lutetium as the radioactive substance to bind to the PSMA cell receptor found on surface of prostate cancer cells.

”Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. Approximately 24,000 people will be diagnosed in Australia in 2022 and Dr Eapen’s research could lead to a new and better treatment for localised prostate cancer, potentially helping thousands of men receive a more effective and personalised treatment.

“LuPSMA is currently used to treat men with certain types of advanced metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). It is believed that LuPSMA activates anti-cancer immune responses by killing tumour cells in a way that alerts the immune system.

“My study called LuTectomy will explore the efficacy and toxicity of using LuPSMA as the first form of treatment in patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer before they undergo radical prostatectomy.

“The research will examine changes in the tumour-immune biology in response to LuPSMA. It will also examine if and how LuPSMA treatment changes immune cell types in the tumour and whether immune system responses to LuPSMA are associated with clinical outcomes,” she said.

The PCF created the Young Investigator Awards program with one goal: to identify a cohort of future research leaders who will keep the field of prostate cancer research vibrant with new ideas.

We believe they have chosen an excellent recipient for the award – congratulations Dr Eapen!