Lutetium-177 PSMA Therapy
Treatment with the radioactive isotope Lu-177 has shown promising outcomes. Especially in patients with advanced prostate cancer, neuroendocrine tumors, and carcinoma of the kidneys at varying phases, which include metastatic and recurrent forms. Medical trials have found that this new therapy works, is safe, and is well tolerated.
Oncologists try to get rid of cancer without hurting healthy tissues. So, traditional ways of doing things become less effective. Research focuses on specific target methods, and scientists look into more molecular radiotherapy options in nuclear medicine.
Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy is a treatment of radionuclide that the FDA has approved. It gathers in tumors and metastases, releasing beta particles that kill the cancer cells.
Radioactive particles, called radionuclides, are sent straight to the cancer cell. Radiation destroys the DNA in the tumor, which causes the cells to stop growing and die.
Radioligand therapy is the best way to treat advanced prostate cancer that has spread to other body parts, including neuroendocrine tumors and some kidney tumors. Radiopharmaceuticals find and kill all cancer cells in the body without harming healthy cells. That’s the way how is lutetium used in cancer therapy.
Details of how Lutetium is used to achieve the target
The treatment helps down to the level of a microscope. Lutetium-177 binds to a carrier, which is the specific protein PSMA-617. It helps it find cancer cells. PSMA-617 builds up only tumor cells and doesn't hurt healthy tissues. It makes it possible to target cancerous tissue and avoid other cells.
Doctors found PSMA on cells that have prostate cancer. So, the tumor can spread to other parts of the body. With molecular radiotherapy, radiation directly affects cancer cells.
The professional gives PSMA Lutetium treatment at the hospital, and the patient stays there for three to five days. Under the supervision of a doctor, the drug is passed through an IV. After the course, oncologists perform control scintigraphy and PET-CT scans to determine how much the tumor and metastases have shrunk.
Also, many drug companies started making radioligands. In developed countries, Lutathera and Pluvicto are common brand names.
Who could need the procedure?
Each new method has a small range of uses. Even nuclear medicine doesn't stand out. So, it is evident that before searching a hospital or clinic, patients want to know what lutetium therapy is and in what cases it works.
Oncologists give Lu-177 PSMA treatment to people with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) for the following:
- When other possible ways to treat the problem don't work.
- If standard alternatives to treatment aren't good enough for the patient.
- Cases that are far along and moving quickly.
- Surgery or regular radiation is out of the question.
Also, patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NET) and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) can try molecular radiotherapy. The range of treatments is still being looked into, and we can expect to be able to cure more diseases.
Most of the time, professionals do not use Lutetium as the "first line" of treatment. Instead, it's used after standard therapies have failed. But latest clinical studies have shown that advanced prostate cancer is getting better in a big way. So, the procedure can be used in the early stages of treatment, especially when there are metastases in distant places. Also, clinical trials look at breast cancer to see if it could be used in a targeted way.
There are different protocols for the world’s leading countries and hospitals. So, it makes sense to look abroad to see if you might be a candidate. There have been times when patients were told they needed radioligand treatment but could only get it abroad because of red tape.
What is the Success Rate for Lutetium-177?
Most published trials are based on treatment with Lu-177 Dotatate and Pluvicto. Clinical studies have shown good response and success in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. After therapy, the risk of death in patients decreased by 38%, and the risk of further progression decreased by 60%. In addition, the life expectancy of patients after Lu-177 PSMA therapy increased by 50%. On average, 79% of prostate cancer cases had a positive reaction to radionuclide therapy. However, some patients may require additional courses.
The study demonstrated a clinically and statistically significant 79% improvement in disease progression-free survival in treating neuroendocrine tumors. After 20 months, this indicator was 65.2%.
Today, research continues, and targeted treatment methods are being improved. In the future, scientists plan to determine how effective lutetium-177 is in treating cancer in the early stages.
How much does Lutetium-177 treatment cost?
The cost of the drug itself is one of the most significant parts of the total bill. But there are a lot of different components to the treatment. Typically, hospitals have to make the following:
- Tests (PSMA PET CT scan, whole body or renal scintigraphy, urological and oncological examinations, blood tests, PSA and UA examination).
- PSMA therapy with Lu-177.
- Checkups after the fact.
- Needed supplies and medicines.
- A stay in the hospital and suggestions for more treatment.
So, the prices can range from $9,500 to $25,000 at various clinics. For example, Lutetium-PSMA therapy cost in Germany has one of the better price-quality ratios.
The cost can vary based on how many sessions are needed and whether or not the patient has had a recent PET-CT scan. Some cases may require more tests before and after treatment and possible medications to help with symptoms.
Information that you need to know before Lutetium PSMA treatment
In oncology, people are searching for any help they can get. New treatments have many advantages over the old ones. Most of the time, regular procedures cause much harm to the body and are not targeted. One of the primary reasons for making molecular treatments is to kill cancer on a micro level. Doctors can get great results with minimum difficulties.
There seem to be benefits to treatment with Lutetium-177-PSMA:
- Efficiency. The drug "finds" all cancerous cells, gathers them together, and kills them.
- Minimal hurt. Radiation is not given to the whole body, so healthy cells are not hurt.
- Safety. PSMA therapy is safe and well-liked by most people. It doesn't have any side effects that can't be fixed.
- Alternative. It works well when other treatments don't work for spreading prostate cancer.
- Choice. People who aren't good candidates for standard treatment can get this method.
Researchers claim that the Lutetium-177 life expectancy is increasing overall and progressive-free survival compared to standard therapy. Some people can also use the treatment more than once. The sessions are done more than once, and even advanced cancer might be able to be treated.
Internment treatment has become very popular, especially for new methods. Patients in critical situations compare countries and hospitals to find the best solution. They are looking for Pluvicto, and Luthatera can benefit from medical tourism.
After Lu 177, recovery
Some things can go wrong with the treatment. So, it's crucial to choose a skilled doctor and follow their instructions for cure and recovery. Before the patient leaves, they and the doctor talk in detail about whether or not the laboratory and instrumental diagnostic methods need to be done again. For example, renal scintigraphy could be used to check how well the kidneys work.
The analysis shows that a few days after the Lutetium-177 is put into the patient's body, the radiation from the tissues becomes very low and is no longer dangerous. Advisors say that the first few days of recovery should happen in the hospital after the treatment.
Patients usually go home after 24 to 48 hours. As suggested by the nuclear medicine doctor, patients should not do physical activity for the first few days after the treatment. A doctor will likely ask you to repeat scans and PSA tests to check how active your prostate cancer is.
What about the side effects?
Radiotherapy is still what PSMA therapy is, despite its safety. So, there is a chance of damage from radiation. But it's been shown that it doesn't hurt healthy tissues. Most at risk are the cells in the renal tubules, small intestine, lacrimal glands, and salivary glands. So, the doctor will tell you about changing your lifestyle during the treatment. What to eat, how much to drink, and what to do to avoid or lessen the harmful impact.
Some people can use Lutetium as the last step after other treatments. So, the therapy might not work as planned on the body. That’s why before the procedure, experts check your main organs to prevent issues that could be life-threatening.
In addition to Lutetium treatment side effects, the procedure can make you tired, sick, throw up, and have headaches. Most of the time, general problems are uncommon and easy for doctors to handle.
Can Lutetium-177 cure cancer?
Lutetium 177 therapy slows down or stops cancer progression and reduces the size and number of metastases. The drug detects cancer cells and kills them without affecting healthy ones. As a result, it relieves pain symptoms, prolongs life in patients with terminal cancer, and improves its quality.
Is Lu-177 OK with the FDA?
The drug Lutetium-177 PSMA-617 can be used to treat prostate cancer that has spread and has the PSMA molecule on its surface (prostate-specific membrane antigen). It was approved on March 23, 2022, when Pluvicto was made.
Is there treatment for Lutetium in the US?
This year, 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration declared officially that Lutetium 177 could be used to treat prostate cancer. So, there are clinics that offer this method to their patients. But the process is easier to use and more affordable in Germany and other European countries.
How do you get Pluvicto?
The drug comes in a liquid form. It is given through an IV while being watched by a doctor. The infusion takes about 30 minutes. After that, the person is put in a special camera and left alone for a while.
What is the Lutetium-177 success rate for cancer?
The positive effect of Lutetium-177 treatment is observed in 40-60% of patients. At the same time, it can prolong life by an average of 13.3 months and, in 20% of patients - by 33 months or more. Clinical studies are continuing, and scientists are working on improving therapy.
Where can I get Lutetium-177 therapy?
What are the best clinics for Lutetium-177 therapy?
Who are the best doctors for Lutetium-177 therapy?
Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Weber from University Hospital Rechts der Isar Munich
Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Dresel from Helios Hospital Berlin-Buch
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kezban Berberoglu from Anadolu Medical Centre
Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Jurgen Biersack from Beta Clinic Bonn
Prof. Dr. med. Frank Grunwald from University Hospital Frankfurt am Main of Goethe-University
Medical Tourism for Lu 177 PSMA Therapy with AiroMedical
Lu177-PSMA therapy is a new word for treating metastatic prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumors. However, the technique is complex, so such treatment is carried out in only a few medical centers worldwide. Today, Lutetium-177 cancer treatment is available in a few hospitals in Germany, Turkey, Austria, and Israel.
AiroMedical offers access to the latest innovative developments. The company's mission is to provide patients with the most modern and qualified medical care, even in complex cases.
Our doctors are constantly studying discoveries in cancer treatment that appear every year. We give the patient all the information about his disease and the treatment methods available worldwide – including innovative ones. We pay attention not only to cure the patient of cancer but also to maintaining a high quality of life during and after treatment.
Lu177 PSMA therapy is a beacon of hope for patients with advanced metastatic cancer due to its impressive efficacy and low toxicity.
The AiroMedical team organizes therapy in the best medical centers in the world. We involve the best specialists, considering the effectiveness of the treatment, the risk of complications, the cost, and other factors. Please get in touch with us for more information.