Conference Convenes Experts in the Field of Nuclear Medicine to Advance Prostate Cancer Care

Press Release

“Great science, great technology, great thinking, and great connectivity can change the world,” said Charles J. Ryan, MD, CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, as he welcomed the world’s leading experts in prostate cancer care to the inaugural PSMA Conference, held at University of California, San Francisco, January 18-19, 2024.

More than 500 attendees in-person and online explored the current and future use of PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) PET imaging and PSMA radioligand therapy to improve the clinical care of patients with prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men in the United States. Attendees included leading cancer physicians, nuclear medicine imaging specialists and technologists, and researchers from world-renown cancer centers. The conference was co-sponsored by UCSF and the University of California, Los Angeles, with support from the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and included speaker presentations, panel discussions, and exhibits.

"This conference is the first of its kind – we brought together the best oncologists, the best imaging specialists, and the best researchers in the field,” said Thomas A. Hope, MD, Professor of Radiology at UCSF. “Three years after receiving US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the technique, we continue to work to advance our collective education in PSMA, so that we’re better equipped to accelerate the development of these new therapies and make significant strides toward improving the lives of prostate cancer patients.”

The conference focused on how to interpret PSMA PET scans, how to select patients for PSMA radioligand therapy to improve patient outcomes, and patient management and potential toxicities of radiopharmaceutical therapies (RPTs).

Highlights of the two-day conference included:

  • Robert Flavell, MD, PhD, from UCSF Radiology & Biomedical Imaging’s Molecular Imaging & Therapeutics team, kicked off the educational sessions with “PSMA Primer: The Background,” which provided an overview of where PSMA PET and radiopharmaceutical therapy fits in the standard of care, basic principles of PSMA PET, and typical patterns of metastatic disease on PSMA PET.
  • Louise Emmett, MD, St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, presented the results of a key clinical trial in her talk titled, “Evaluation of the Primary Tumor with PSMA PET: time impact of the PRIMARY Trial.
  • Robert Reiter, MD, Chief, Division of Urologic Oncology, and Assistant Dean, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA presented “Clinical Impact of PSMA PET Prior to Prostatectomy,” which highlighted PSMA versus MRI for detection of prostate cancer, PSMA PET/CT as a predictor of outcome, PSMA as a biomarker for tumor biology, treatment response, and radioligand surgery for N1 disease by PSMA PET/CT.
  • Michael Morris, MD, Prostate Cancer Section Head at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center presented, “PSMA Radioligand Therapy: the VISION and TheraP trials.”
  • Oliver Sartor, MD, Director of Radiopharmaceutical Clinical Trials, and Professor, Mayo Clinic discussed, “What is the optimal time for PSMA RLT therapy?
  • Thomas Hope, MD, UCSF and Jeremie Calais, MD, MSc, UCLA, provided a complete overview of “How to build a Theranostic Program.
  • Johannes Czernin, MD, Professor of Nuclear Medicine, UCLA, presented “Therapy Resistance and Combination Treatment.

Conference organizers include UCSF’s Dr. Hope, and from UCLA, Jeremie Calais, MD, MSc and Johannes Czernin, MD. Bella Whalen is the conference project manager. The stage is already set for next year. Save the date for the 2025 PSMA Conference, March 28-29, 2025, at UCLA’s Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center in Los Angeles.

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