Nowadays, scientists worldwide work on detecting diseases earlier, making diagnostics more precise, and treating advanced, neglected oncology. Administration of Lutetium in cancer therapy in Germany is a type of nuclear medicine technique. The therapeutic radionuclide, i.e. Lutetium-177 or Lutetium-DOTATATE, recognizes cancer cells, binds to them, and destroys them with radiation.
Who is eligible for Lutetium therapy?
Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignancies in men. If the neoplasm has not spread beyond the prostate capsule, doctors remove it surgically. However, prostate tumors can be aggressive. This means that malignant cells spread to the surrounding tissues, lymphatic nodes, and distant organs. In this case, hormone therapy is used, but it can be ineffective in many cases. In patients with hormonal resistance and distant metastasis, Lutetium PSMA therapy comes to the forefront.
The general indications for radionuclide therapy with Lutetium-177 include:
- Advanced stage of prostate cancer, metastatic affection of bones
- Inoperable tumors or inability to perform surgery due to a patient’s condition
- Poor efficacy of other therapies
This isotope is also indicated for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors localized in various organs (rectum, stomach, thyroid gland, etc.) and prostate cancer. These tumors grow slowly, and conservative treatment may be sufficient for years. With Lutetium-DOTATATE therapy, it is possible to reduce the size of the neuroendocrine tumor, make the course of the disease milder, prevent metastasizing, and achieve long-term remission. Even patients with complex conditions tolerate the treatment easier compared to conventional chemotherapy or irradiation.
Proven efficacy of Lutetium treatment
German scientists were the first in modern medicine to suggest irradiation with Lutetium-177 for bone metastases of prostate cancer. The radioactive Lutetium-177 in this drug is combined with specific molecules – ligands. They move through the blood system, reach the PSMA on malignant cells’ surface and bind to it. Thus, Lutetium-177 radiation affects only malignant cells, regardless of their localization.
In clinical trials conducted by German specialists from the university hospitals in 2014-2015, patients underwent several courses of Lutetium-based radiotherapy. The results showed that in 40% of the patients treated with PSMA therapy, tumor marker levels decreased by at least 50% after the first treatment course and 45% after the second and subsequent courses.
Is treatment with Lutetium safe?
The treatment with Lutetium is highly personalized so that malignant cells are effectively targeted, but the whole body is not exposed to radiation. Due to the selectiveness of the medication, only the cancer cells are irradiated and destroyed.
Patients tolerate radionuclide therapy well. There may be mild side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, a slight decrease in white blood cells and platelets. Even the minimal abnormalities in the patient’s condition are noticed by the doctor and corrected. In most cases, short-term symptomatic therapy is enough.
How to travel for Lutetium treatment to Germany during a lockdown?
The tricky thing that occurred during a lockdown is that many new cancer cases arose, but they weren’t diagnosed. With cancer treatment, you should not make the same mistake: the lockdown should not prevent you from undergoing therapy in Germany. The fact is that there are options that can make your journey to Germany easy and productive.
One of the options for you is to use the services of Booking Health. Booking Health is an international medical tourism provider that has already helped many patients to undergo treatment in Germany. The company specialists will help you find a hospital, translate your medical reports, get a visa and medical insurance, and provide you with guidance throughout your treatment.
You can find more information about Lutetium in cancer therapy in Germany on the Booking Health website. And if you want to start the treatment, make sure to leave a request on the website for Booking Health specialists to contact you.