Innovative prostate and breast cancer treatment featured at CIIE

Cai Wenjun
The CIIE is featuring innovative medical treatments for women's breast cancer and men's prostate cancer, showing higher survival rates along with an increase in quality of life.
Cai Wenjun
Innovative prostate and breast cancer treatment featured at CIIE

The nuclear medicine technology alliance from the Yangtze River Delta region is established at the 6th China International Import Expo.

Innovative medication and treatment methods are being showcased and discussed at the ongoing 6th China International Import Expo.

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis joined leading experts in urological surgery, nuclear medicine and health management industries in the Yangtze River Delta region. They've launched a forum to discuss the latest radioligand therapy for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer, and will set up a nuclear medicine technology alliance of the delta region at the expo.

Prostate cancer is the most common male urological cancer. Its incidence and mortality rank No. 6 and No. 7 among all male cancers respectively in China. With the improvement of medical capabilities in China, patients with early stage detection can enjoy a higher survival rate.

But for patients in terminal stages, the survival drops significantly. The five-year survival rate for patients with cancer metastasis is only 32.3 percent.

Dr Xue Wei, director of the Shanghai Medical Association's urological surgery branch, said the incidence of prostate cancer in China continues to rise due to lifestyle changes, the rising number of the elderly, and promotion of screening. "New and precise treatment for patients in terminal stages is deeply demanded," he said.

Innovative prostate and breast cancer treatment featured at CIIE
Ti Gong

Two patients (fourth and fifth from the right) give a thumbs up, along with medical experts and pharmaceutical company officials to celebrate the new dosage form of breast cancer, from intravenous injection to subcutaneous injection, providing a more convenient form of treatment.

Radioligand therapy combines a targeting compound that binds to markers expressed by tumors and a radioactive isotope, causing DNA damage to inhibit tumor growth and replication. This therapeutic approach enables targeted delivery of radiation to the tumor, while limiting damage to the surrounding normal tissue.

"Since prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a target, which can be found in over 80 percent of prostate cancer cells, the PSMA-targeted radioligand therapy introduces radioactive Lu-177-PSMA-617 into the cancer for precise attack. The nuclides can enter the inside of the cancer to apply biological treatment and radiation to kill cancerous cells," Xue said.

"Nuclear medicine is undergoing a quick development in China through revolutionary treatment plans and innovative medicine. But more works like professional cultivation, medical staff training, public education, establishment of clinical guidance, also must be done to support and regulate its practice and development," said Dr Shi Hongcheng, director of the Shanghai Medical Association's nuclear medicine branch.

In addition to improving treatment outcomes, innovative dosage forms are also developing to meet cancer patient demand for higher life quality.

At the CIIE, Roche Pharmaceuticals introduced a new dosage form of its anti-HER2 medicines for breast cancer, from intravenous injection to subcutaneous injection. The treatment time is shortened from several hours to just five minutes, making treatment more convenient for patients as well as saving medical resources.

Breast cancer has become the top cancer in the world, taking the place of lung cancer. It is also the most prevalent female cancer in China, with over 416,000 cases and 117,000 deaths each year. HER2-positive cases account for 20 to 30 percent of total patients.

The 2030 China Health Plan will realize a whole-population and whole-process management for chronic diseases, and improve the overall survival of cancer patients by 15 percent by 2030.

Along with the technical development, targeted medicines such as anti-HER2 medicines have seen a rising treatment effect, and a wider coverage of whole-disease management.

The survival rate of HER2-positive breast cancer patients in early stages is over 90 percent. In addition to enjoying a longer life, patients have demand for higher quality of life and comfort in the treatment process.

Dr Wang Hongxia from the Shanghai Cancer Center said the new dosage form of subcutaneous injection is a great improvement. It reduces patient and family time in hospitals. Such injections create less trauma, giving patients more comfort, while reducing the risk of venous embolism.

"The treatment can be launched by communities and families in the future, helping patients enjoy a better quality of life," she said.

Special Reports