Patient organisation comments
A patient expert from Tackle Prostate Cancer commented that positron emission tomography (PET) scans are becoming more commonly used for detecting small, early, secondary tumours where prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels are rising and no specific secondary tumours can be located with conventional imaging techniques (MRI/CT). As early detection is crucial to earlier treatment, they believe the technology could substantially change the treatment options for some patients by enabling the use of more targeted therapies, such as highly localised radiotherapy rather than systemic hormone therapy or radiotherapy with larger treatment fields. They thought that these changes could lead to improvements in physical, psychological and social wellbeing for patients. Tackle Prostate Cancer also commented that PET is not widely available throughout the UK, and this can lead to anxiety or distress for those patients who are unable to access the technology. They believed that if Axumin was proven to be as effective as other PET scan tracers with no additional adverse events, then it should be made available for use. They understood that it would only be available at specialist centres similar to other PET scan tracers for prostate cancer. If used as a primary investigation, Tackle Prostate Cancer believed that Axumin had the potential to reduce the time to diagnosis and remove the need for other scanning techniques that are currently used as first-line investigations after biochemical relapse. The cost of the tracer was listed by Tackle Prostate Cancer as a potential barrier to adoption in the UK. However, their patients would like all available and relevant techniques to be made available throughout the UK to appropriate people with prostate cancer. Tackle Prostate Cancer would be interested in seeing data evaluating the cost effectiveness of using Axumin as a first-line investigation instead of after a negative MRI or CT scan.