Oncology is a rapidly developing branch of medicine. Approaches to treating malignant neoplasms have undergone significant changes in the last ten years. Cancer treatment methods continue to improve, and physicians are striving to use sparing methods. Therapy based on radiopharmaceuticals shows impressive effectiveness along with good tolerability. With it, radiation therapy has become more targeted.
What can be treated with Lutetium-177?
For radionuclide therapy to work, there must be a molecular target – if there is none, the therapy will have no effect. A rapidly dividing cell must contain receptor proteins on its surface, for example, prostate-specific membrane antigen or somatostatin. Their presence can be evaluated with specific PET-CT.
The main indications for the administration of Lutetium in medicine are:
- Neglected cancer with metastases
- Lack of effect from other therapies
- Inoperable tumors or inability to perform surgery due to a patient’s condition
Radionuclide therapy with Lutetium is used for neuroendocrine tumors localized in different organs (rectum, stomach, thyroid, etc.). These tumors grow slowly and require treatment with medications that can be used for a long time with minimal adverse effects.
Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy is used in men with prostate cancer. It makes it possible to reduce the size of metastases, improve the patient’s condition, relieve pain, and achieve long-term remission. Even debilitated patients can tolerate the treatment better than conventional chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
How does therapy with Lutetium for prostate cancer work?
Prostate cells usually contain a unique membrane antigen (PSMA). In prostate cancer, its amount increases significantly.
PSMA therapy with Lutetium-177 involves intravenous introduction of the medicine that is capable of selectively attaching to PSMA receptors on cancer cells. As isotope approaches the affected areas and damages cancer cells with beta radiation. The PSMA molecule provides recognition of malignant cells, leaving the healthy ones unaffected.
Is Lutetium cancer treatment safe?
Lutetium treatment is not connected with severe complications. However, all cancer therapies have certain side effects, and radionuclide therapy is not an exception.
Insignificant amounts of PSMA is also found in the kidneys and salivary glands. Therefore, administration of Lutetium can cause dry mouth and kidney failure.
German specialists take measures to prevent these complications. The salivary glands are cooled in order to reduce blood flow and accumulation of the drug. Physicians constantly monitor renal function.
Lutetium-177 treatment in Germany
Therapy with Lutetium-177 is carried out only in countries with developed medicine, where the latest treatment methods are used, qualified specialists work, and the most complex medical manipulations are performed. Actually, this therapy has been elaborated by German physicians, so Germany has the most comprehensive experience of its application.
Radionuclide therapy drugs are solutions that are administered intravenously by drip for about 15 minutes. After administration, the patient stays at the hospital for two days. For a good effect, 3 to 5 procedures with an interval of 7-8 weeks are required. The effectiveness of the treatment is evaluated by scintigraphy or PET-CT. During the entire course of therapy, the patient’s condition and functions of vital organs are evaluated.
Even though Lutetium-177 therapy is safe, adverse reactions can occur. For example, the patient may complain of dry mouth, the production of blood cells may decrease for a short time, etc. German doctors monitor patients’ condition closely and prescribe regular tests and examinations. Changes are detected and corrected in time by prescribing medications and procedures.
You can find more information about Lutetium-177 treatment in Germany on the Booking Health website.
How to arrange a Lutetium-177 treatment in Germany?
The international medical tourism provider Booking Health is ready to help you arrange Lutetium treatment in German cancer clinics.
Booking Health offers comprehensive treatment programs in Germany and negotiates with the hospitals regarding the specifics of your treatment, including the length of stay, accommodation conditions, the price for medical services, etc. Travel managers of the company will take care of tickets, transfers and other organizational issues. Your personal medical coordinator will be in touch with you until you are at home.
Feel free to leave a request on Booking Health if you need any help with undergoing treatment abroad.