What’s UniSA’s game changing tech to treat prostate cancer?

3D Histech Pannoramic confocal scanner HEALTH
3D Histech Pannoramic confocal scanner

UniSA is purchasing an advanced imaging machine that will help researchers accurately detect prostate cancer to reduce unnecessary surgery and improve treatment for patients.

With a significant contribution of $250,000 from The Hospital Research Foundation, UniSA has secured a 3D Histech Pannoramic confocal scanner to assist its groundbreaking work in prostate cancer imaging. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide, leading to more than 300,000 deaths per year.

Professor Doug Brooks from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences says the new piece of equipment is a game changer for their research program visualising prostate cancer.

“We are developing several technologies to accurately visualise the disease process in prostate cancer patient samples to confirm diagnosis, help determine the size of the cancer, define tumour architecture and determine if the cancer is aggressive,” Prof Brooks says.

“We are also developing new imaging agents that ultimately will mean we can visualise cancer in a live biopsy from a patient.”

“Although these new imaging technologies have specific applications for prostate cancer, the technology will apply to other cancers, giving this project wider potential in cancer imaging.”

More than 1.1 million people around the world are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

UniSA has a specific translational research program aiming at developing new detection and visualisation technologies to predict which patients need immediate radical intervention.

With proof of principle already established, state of the art imaging equipment is needed to translate the new technologies ready for clinical practice.

“A specific infrastructure requirement was identified that would boost our imaging capacity, so thanks to the generosity of The Hospital Research Foundation, the equipment can now be used to facilitate the technology development in a pre-clinical study, ready for use in clinical setting,” Prof Brooks says.

UniSA’s Pro Vice Chancellor Health Sciences, Prof Robert Vink, praised the support of those enabling the research to move forward.

“We offer great thanks to The Hospital Research Foundation who have partnered with us to fund this machine,” Prof Vink says.

“With their generous support, we are able to take research and technology developed here in South Australia and apply that to make a real difference to patients.”

THRF chief executive officer Paul Flynn says his organisation is proud to enable the purchase of the confocal scanner.

“This piece of equipment is essential in changing the way clinicians diagnose and predict the aggressiveness of prostate cancer. It will help to save lives.”