Harnessing Lutetium-177 for Effective Cancer Treatment

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Lutetium-177 helps to successfully treat prostate cancer, even in its advanced stages. In most patients administration of this drug leads to PSA levels decreasing, the size of tumors decrease; in some patients, tumors disappear completely. Read on to find out what PSMA therapy is all about. And if you want to take advantage of this innovative technique, Booking Health has a list of Lutetium therapy clinics on its website.

What is Lutetium-177 therapy?

PSMA therapy is a radioligand-based cancer treatment. The essence of the treatment is that a drug targeting PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen) is injected into the human body. The ligands in the radiopharmaceutical can selectively bind to this protein. As PSMA is present only in cancer cells, the drug does not accumulate in normal tissues. It is only taken up by the primary prostate tumor and its metastases.

The radiopharmaceutical contains a radioactive substance, the source of beta radiation – Lutetium-177. The radionuclide is accumulated in the cancer cells and destroys them. At the same time, the radiation is very short, it does not damage nearby tissues and organs. After a few days, Lutetium-177 is eliminated from the body through the excretory system, during which period the person stays in the hospital.

Who is a candidate for Lutetium-177 therapy?

Lutetium-177 radiotargeted therapy is indicated in the following cases:

  • Advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer with metastases

  • When chemotherapy is ineffective, contraindicated, or poorly tolerated

  • When there is sufficient PSMA expression to allow the malignant cells to take up the radionuclide

Therefore, Lutetium-177 cancer treatment is reserved for the most advanced cases when other treatment options, including hormone therapy and chemotherapy, no longer work.

How the treatment is carried out

The patient is admitted to the hospital. He is examined to identify possible contraindications, assess renal function, determine PSA levels and the size of all tumors. As part of the diagnostics, PSMA/PET is performed to understand where the tumor foci are located and whether they can accumulate radiopharmaceuticals.

The treatment itself involves a single procedure to administer the drug intravenously. The person then spends 3-4 days in the hospital while the radioactive substance is eliminated from the body.

The treatment may be repeated every 4-8 weeks. Treatment is continued as long as it works and does not cause severe toxic reactions.

How safe is the prostate cancer treatment with Lutetium-177?

Treatment with Lutetium is relatively safe. It is less likely to cause severe toxic reactions than chemotherapy and is better tolerated by patients. The most common side effect of radiotargeted therapy is dry mouth. This is associated with damage to the salivary glands.

The kidneys are another organ that is much less frequently damaged. Some patients experience a temporary decline in kidney function after treatment. During treatment, your doctor will use tests to monitor your kidney function.

Bone marrow function is much less likely to deteriorate during treatment. As a result, the number of cells in the blood may decrease.

During treatment, doctors take measures to reduce the risk of side effects. Infusion therapy is used to protect the kidneys; to protect the salivary glands, they may be cooled during drug administration. This slows the blood flow to the salivary glands and reduces the amount of radiopharmaceutical that accumulates in these organs.

Where to receive treatment

Advanced oncology centers have been using Lutetium-177 to treat cancer for many years. The technique is widely used in developed countries. If you live in a country with a low level of medical care, you can undergo treatment abroad.

Visit the Booking Health website to check prices and select a clinic. The company's consultants will be happy to answer any questions you may have and organize your trip. The therapy with Lutetium-177 PSMA cost when scheduled through Booking Health will be lower than if you apply directly to a medical center, as there will be no additional fees for foreign patients.

JL Staff

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