Lutetium-177 PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) therapy is a form of targeted radiation therapy for prostate cancer. It involves the use of a radioactive molecule, Lutetium-177, which is connected to a molecule that targets PSMA, a protein that is overexpressed on the surface of prostate cancer cells. The therapy provides a survival benefit in patients with advanced prostate cancer, as well as improved quality of life. In addition, PSMA therapy has fewer side effects than traditional systemic treatments.
Indications for PSMA therapy with Lutetium-177 in prostate cancer
The therapy is typically used in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) that have progressed on standard therapies such as chemotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy.
Indications for Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy in Germany include:
- Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC): PSMA therapy can be used to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is no longer responding to hormone therapy.
- High-risk localized prostate cancer: in some cases, PSMA therapy may be used to treat high-risk localized prostate cancer that has a high risk of recurrence.
- Oligometastatic prostate cancer: PSMA therapy may be used to treat prostate cancer that has spread to a limited number of sites in the body (oligometastatic disease).
- Recurrent prostate cancer: PSMA therapy may be used to treat prostate cancer that has come back after previous treatment (recurrent disease).
PSMA therapy is particularly effective in patients with high levels of PSMA expression in their tumors.
How the procedure is carried out
Prostate cancer treatment in Germany is typically managed by a multidisciplinary team, which may include urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, and other specialists. This team collaborates on a tumor board, which is a forum where medical professionals can discuss individual patient cases and make treatment recommendations based on the latest evidence and guidelines.
If a tumor board decides that PSMA therapy is the best option for a patient, treatment is scheduled. The therapy is typically carried out in several steps:
- PSMA imaging diagnostics: before the therapy, a patient typically undergoes a PSMA PET/CT scan to determine the location and spreading of the cancer.
- Preparation: the patient receives amino acid solutions to help protect the kidneys from radiation damage.
- Injection: the patient receives an injection of Lutetium-177 PSMA. This injection will travel through the bloodstream to the cancer cells, where the radiation will be released.
- Monitoring: the patient is monitored closely for a few hours after the injection to ensure there are no immediate side effects or allergic reactions.
- Follow-up: the patient typically undergoes follow-up imaging and blood tests to assess the effectiveness of the treatment.
Long-term follow-up after Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy
A patient typically stays in the hospital for 2-5 days. After Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy, it is important for patients to have regular follow-up appointments to monitor their progress and detect any potential side effects or recurrence of cancer. The specific frequency and type of follow-up appointments may vary based on the individual patient’s situation and medical history and should be discussed with their healthcare provider. However, in the first year after the therapy:
- Patients should continue to attend regular follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider to monitor their progress.
- Depending on their specific situation, patients may need to undergo periodic imaging tests such as PET/CT scans or MRI scans to check for any recurrence of cancer.
- Blood tests may be performed to monitor the patient’s PSA levels, which can indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
- Patients may need to consult with a radiation oncologist or other specialists as needed.
Undergoing Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy in Germany
It’s important to note that PSMA therapy is not appropriate for all patients with prostate cancer, and a thorough evaluation by a qualified physician is necessary to determine if a patient is a good candidate for this treatment. Additionally, PSMA therapy is not yet widely available, and access may be limited. Thus, a tumor board will make a decision about performing PSMA therapy and the German healthcare system will offer a number of clinics to carry it out.
If you are not a German citizen, then Booking Health will arrange everything. For over 15 years, this international medical tourism provider specializes in helping cancer patients from around the world access high-quality Lutetium treatment in Germany.
Booking Health medical specialists assess a patient’s case and provide recommendations on the best treatment clinics, a cost estimate (fees for foreigners are excluded from prices, which is an additional benefit), and information on the duration of the stay in Germany. Once a patient has decided to move forward with prostate cancer treatment, Booking Health assists with travel arrangements, including booking flights and transfers. Leave your request on the Booking Health website to receive comprehensive assistance.