MMI is the first Australian institution to participate in an international ZIRCON trial.

MMI is the first Australian institution to participate in an international study of a promising new radiotracer for imaging renal cancer with Positron Emission Tomography (“PET”). MMI was chosen due to its research grade medical imaging equipment and experienced research staff. The trial is sponsored by Melbourne-based Telix Pharmaceuticals, a leading developer of diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals. The development of this product is important because, at this point in time, a suspicious kidney mass can only be evaluated by taking a needle biopsy of the tissue. This procedure is unpleasant for patients, has associated risks, and does not always provide a complete picture of the disease. There is currently no non-invasive test to evaluate the full extent of kidney cancer.

This trial will allow your doctor to determine the extent of your kidney cancer through imaging, without the need for a biopsy to be taken. Should the trial be successful, it will correctly stage patients and give surgeons a more comprehensive set of options for managing kidney resection, including nephron-sparing surgery.  For those that do have cancer, it will enable the doctor to determine the best course of treatment right from the beginning. The images below illustrate how the product highly localises kidney cancer through imaging.

Negative PET Scan for renal cancer: the kidney mass identified on the CT does not contain any uptake of the radio-pharmaceutical in the PET scan.
Positive PET Scan for renal cancer: the mass identified on the CT scan has intense radio-pharmaceutical uptake in the PET scan

If you would like to know more about participating in this trial, then please contact the Macquarie University Clinical Trials office on (02)98122956 or via and ask about the ZIRCON trial.

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