World class care closer to home


In an Australian first, cancer patients 1,000kms from a capital city now have access to a new nuclear medicine imaging agent that could help to save lives.

Patients being treated for prostate cancer in Mackay are the first in Queensland and one of the most remote communities worldwide to be offered diagnostic imaging with Illuccix, the first and only PSMA-PET/CT agent to be registered by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration for the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

CEO of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Anne Savage, hailed the development a game-changer for regional cancer care in Queensland, and Australia more broadly.

“Access to Illuccix PSMA PET/CT imaging in regional Queensland could help to save many thousands of lives.

“Around 50,000 Queensland men are alive today after a diagnosis of prostate cancer and about 5,000 more men will be newly diagnosed every year.

“Providing men with access to Illuccix PSMA PET/CT scanning through Qscan Radiology will empower doctors to accurately diagnose prostate cancer, and provide greater confidence in their treatment decisions, giving regional men access to world-class care, closer to home.”

Qscan in Mackay is currently the only imaging centre in Queensland to offer advanced prostate scanning with Illuccix, which is manufactured to GMP standards* by Telix Pharmaceuticals, a global leader in a class of products known as ‘radiopharmaceuticals’, headquartered in Melbourne.

“Illuccix helps cancer specialists find the smallest trace of prostate cancer so they can treat it, providing a reliability and level of detection that has never been available to us before,” Ms Savage said.

“Illuccix is helping us to find potentially lethal prostate cancer cells wherever they are in the body, including where it has spread, allowing doctors to treat it before it can grow any further.”

Clinic Manager & Nuclear Medicine Technologist at Qscan Radiology ClinicsMackay, Kelly Foster, said the launch of the new service would benefit hundreds of men in the local area over the next 12 months.

“It’s very exciting to launch this new service in Mackay, which is setting the global standard in care by using a radiopharmaceutical imaging agent that is fully registered for use by Australia’s TGA, and listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

“The service we provide is the only PET scanner between Bundaberg and Townsville, which means there are many hundreds of men who need scanning every month, with our team working late most Tuesdays and Thursdays to provide PSMA scans.

“The advantage of Illuccix is that it can be prepared locally, which means we don’t need to transport radiopharmaceuticals up from Brisbane by plane.

“Under our collaboration with Telix we have installed a radiopharmaceutical generator calibrated to the highest standards, allowing us to prepare and administer Illuccix when patients need it, eliminating uncertainty and waiting times.”

Dr Dalveer Singh, Radiologist, Molecular Imaging & Theranostics Specialist, said the approach was strongly backed by evidence.

“Research has found that one in six Australian men lack access to PSMA PET/CT scanning simply because they live in a rural area – Qscan is very proud to be breaking down this barrier here in Queensland.

“We believe that every Australian deserves world class healthcare and appreciate the intricate challenges to make this a reality. Our partnership brings new opportunities to the region and provides better health services for men with prostate cancer.”

PCFA Chief of Mission and Head of Research, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, said around 40 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Queensland live in regional areas.

“Prostate cancer remains the leading cause of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in regional areas.

“Of concern, only around one in five Queensland men detect prostate cancer at Stage 1, when the disease is easier to treat, which means we have our work cut out for us in chasing it down once it has spread.

“PSMA PET/CT imaging is vitally important in helping to detect prostate cancer cells that have spread beyond the prostate, allowing doctors to see and treat small tumour cells in other areas of the body.

“There can be no doubt that access to Illuccix for PSMA PET/CT imaging will provide life-saving care for many hundreds of men in the Mackay region with prostate cancer, addressing significant unmet medical need and providing hope for regional men and their families impacted by the disease.”

Phone PCFA on 1800 22 00 99 or go to

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