News

Better treatment for prostate cancer

Published: 12 Jun 2019 14:01

More accurate scans for advanced patients.

A new service will be introduced to improve the detection of advanced prostate cancer in Scotland.

Gallium scanning technology will be funded by NHS Scotland, and provided at four centres across the country. The technique allows for more accurate diagnosis of possible prostate cancer relapse, where cancers spread after initial treatment. It allows clinicians to identify exactly where any follow-up tumours are located, allowing for appropriate treatment.

The scanning will be located in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Tayside, NHS Lothian and NHS Grampian. Initial investment of £2 million will be made and contracts have been awarded to allow the procurement of the equipment required.

The service is expected to be operational around spring 2020.

Making the announcement during men’s health week, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in Scotland, so it’s vital that we ensure that the best treatment is available.

“This equipment will allow clinicians to get quick and accurate information about whether advanced prostate cancer has spread to another part of the body. If there is no spread, the patient can be reassured, and if there are additional tumours, the medical team can put the right treatment in place.”

Karen Stalbow, Head of Policy, Knowledge and Impact at Prostate Cancer UK, said:

"It's great news that men will be able to get PSMA-PET scans on the NHS in Scotland. Evidence shows that they are much better than current scans at showing whether a man’s prostate cancer has returned, allowing them to access the right treatments more quickly, saving more men’s lives."

Dr Roger Staff, PET/CT lead for the Scottish Clinical Imaging Network, said:

“The introduction of this service represents a marked service development that will significantly improve the management of prostate and neuroendocrine cancer in Scotland. This is not only a ‘game changer’ for patients with prostate cancer, but the installation of the infrastructure required will future-proof centres and allow new techniques to be introduced faster.”

Background

The new service will involve gallium generators, which provide Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) scanning.