Prostate cancer takes second place in the list of most common cancer types in men. According to global statistics, 1 of 9 men faces this disease during his life. Arising as a small localized neoplasm, prostate cancer advances and affects nearby organs in the absence of proper treatment. Being diagnosed at early stages, the disease can be cured or treated with numerous therapeutic options.
Arising as a small localized neoplasm, prostate cancer advances and affects nearby organs in the absence of proper treatment. Being diagnosed at early stages, the disease can be cured or treated with numerous therapeutic options. Treatment of advanced cancer stages and metastatic tumors is more complicated as the number of efficient therapeutic approaches is restricted. The innovative Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy is intended exactly for such cases.
Who is eligible for this treatment option?
Basically, 177 Lutetium-PSMA therapy is efficient in patients with distant metastases of prostate tumors. Special importance of the technique is connected with its ability to target atypical cells even at late stages of prostate cancer when the other treatment options are no longer effective. PSMA therapy with Lutetium-177 may be performed both in men with the preserved prostate and after the prostatectomy. It has also demonstrated beneficial results in patients with drug-resistant metastatic neoplasms.
Main indications of the radionuclide treatment with Lutetium-177 include:
- Metastatic prostate cancer with distant metastases, including the bone ones
- Castrate-resistant metastatic tumors
- Stable progression of the disease against the background of hormone therapy
- Stable progression of the disease against the background of chemotherapy
- Impossibility of performing chemotherapy
- Salvage therapy for the symptoms relieving
In addition, treatment with 177 Lutetium-PSMA is well tolerated and thus may be used in patients with severe concomitant conditions and debilitated patients.
How does the Lutetium-177 fight malignant cells?
Treatment with Lutetium-177 is a specific type of radiation therapy. The difference is that Lutetium-177 accumulates selectively in the primary tumor and its metastases, continuously irradiating and destroying them. This radiopharmaceutical emits beta particles with a range of about few millimetres in the tissues.
In order to target only atypical cells, Lutetium-177 is connected with PSMA-617. PSMA-617 is the unique protein discovered in the University Hospital Heidelberg. Fortunately, PSMA-617 reliably recognizes prostate cancer and binds selectively to such cells.
After fulfilling its mission and losing the radioactive potential, Lutetium-177 is excreted from the human body by kidneys and liver. If necessary, the repeated procedure is performed in order to enhance and prolong the irradiation.
What will happen during the procedure?
In order to provide the patient with maximal safety and efficiency, treatment with 177 Lutetium-PSMA in Germany starts from the comprehensive examination:
- Blood tests – initial PSA level, liver and kidneys function, blood sugar
- Visualizing studies – PSMA-PET CT, osteoscintigraphy
- Hypersensitivity tests in allergic patients
After estimating the initial health parameters and excluding contraindications, the treatment starts. As the first measure, a doctor lowers the temperature of the salivary glands in order to prevent their damage. Typically, this is done with the help of ice application. After that, the solution containing Lutetium-177 is injected intravenously, through the catheter. A man’s state is carefully monitored by the healthcare professional during the procedure and a few days after it.
In Germany, Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy is the inpatient procedure. Due to the good tolerability, a man spends in the hospital only 2-4 days. Control PSMA-PET CT scans and osteoscintigraphy reflect the early results of treatment already in a few days. Blood test for the prostate-specific antigen also demonstrates a decrease of the disease activity (it may be used as a more cost-effective control test).
What should I do to undergo treatment in Germany?
Therapy with Lutetium 177-PSMA in Germany is available in a limited number of healthcare institutions, as it is carried out according to the strict protocol of radiation protection. Moreover, the solution with radiopharmaceutical is manufactured for each patient individually. It is unstable and thus cannot be stored for a long time. International patients can apply for treatment in leading healthcare institutions as well. In such a case, it is more convenient and reliable to use the help of Booking Health.
Booking Health is the certified provider of medical tourism that helps patients from 75 countries to receive necessary treatment abroad by:
- Choosing the healthcare institution
- Preparing the preliminary medical program in advance
- Providing reasonable treatment cost without additional fees (saving up to 50%)
- Booking the appointment on a convenient date
- Additional monitoring of the medical program by experts of the company
- Additional control of the final calculation and return of the unspent funds
- Communication with the healthcare institution after the treatment completion
- Translation of the medical reports
- Organization of the control and subsequent examinations
- Taking care of accommodation and transfer
- Providing patient with individual medical coordinator and services of an interpreter