Astellas European Foundation Grant Awarded to Look at Novel Molecular Imaging Techniques to Support Patients with Prostate Cancer

$150,000 Grant goes to team led by Professor J. Alfred Witjes from Radboud University, Nijmegen Medical Center, The Netherlands

Chertsey, England [28th September, 2015] The 2015 Astellas European Foundation Uro‐Oncology Grant was awarded last night to a team led by Professor J. Alfred Witjes to investigate the value of novel molecular imaging techniques. This research will predict local tumour grade and map lymph node metastasis in patients with prostate cancer scheduled for prostatectomy and lymph node dissection. The collaborative research team representing the urology, radiology and nuclear medicine departments of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center will test the value of new imaging tools. The team is looking to overcome the limitations of current imaging techniques, such as CT and conventional MRI, which are not sensitive enough to detect prostate cancer metastasis due to the small size of the lymph nodes.

Professors Witjes and Barentsz said “Prostate cancer patients with limited nodal and bone metastasis might benefit from a curative approach, for which we need optimal nodal imaging such as nano‐MRI or 68 Ga PSMA PET‐CT. Grading of prostate cancer is currently still one of the most important preoperative prognostic factors. Better prediction of grade may be obtained with imaging, for example with multiparametric MRI and PSMA.”

The investigators continued, “This research grants allows us to prospectively investigate the combined value of multi-parametric MRI, nano‐MRI, and 68 Ga PSMA PET‐CT using prostatectomy and extended lymph node dissection a the gold standard. We hope to compare and show the value of these individual techniques for local grading and staging, detection of small nodal metastasis and distant metastasis.”

The winning project team from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center

  • Professor J. Alfred Witjes, Department of Urology
  • Professor Jelle Barentsz, Department of Radiology
  • Professor Martin Gotthardt, Department of Nuclear Medicine

The Astellas European Foundation is a registered charity with the long‐term goal of providing support for programmes and activities that advance our understanding of medicine and health. The winner of the Grant is selected by a Judging Faculty that includes independent European thought leaders.

The Foundation offers annual Grants of $150,000 for Uro‐Oncology, Functional Urology/UroGynaecology, and Transplantation. For information regarding the Grant process please contact the Astellas European Foundation by email at [email protected] or call +44‐203 379 8039.

– Ends ‐

For further information, please contact: 
Joe Barker, Astellas European Foundation Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 203‐379 8039 Email: [email protected]

Notes to Editors

About The Astellas European Foundation

The Astellas European Foundation is a registered charity, formed in 2005, with the long‐term goal of providing support for programmes and activities that contribute to the advancement of an increasingly healthy society. In line with this aim, the Foundation has made substantial donations to global charities. The Astellas European Foundation also supports Astellas employees in their private fundraising efforts for charitable causes. The Astellas European Foundation is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, number 1036344.

The Astellas European Foundation was established by funding from Astellas Pharma Inc, but operates independently of it.