July 3, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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PSMA-therapy with Lutetium-177 in Germany

PSMA-therapy with Lutetium-177 is currently the most efficient option for metastatic prostate cancer treatment. This is the radionuclide therapy that precisely affects prostate cancer metastases regardless of their number and localization. Actually, after receiving the results of the large-scale clinical trial VISION in 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called treatment with Lutetium-177 the “breakthrough therapy”. Today every man can undergo well-tolerated Lutetium-177 PSMA-therapy in Germany, where the technique was originally developed.

When PSMA-therapy with Lutetium-177 is indicated

Oncologists administer Lutetium for prostate cancer that:

  1. Has metastasized to bones, lymph nodes, or lungs
  2. Does not respond to chemotherapy and hormone therapy

Thus, this is the suitable option for men with advanced cancer that cannot be controlled otherwise. Before implementation of Lutetium in medicine, such patients could only receive symptomatic and palliative care. Now reliable results of clinical trials demonstrate that with Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy the 5-year survival rate can be increased to 30%. And even more, in 30-40% of such patients remission persisted for 2 years.

Before therapy starts, physicians make sure that the prostate tumor and its metastases have a sufficient number of PSMA receptors on their surface. This is the obligatory condition, as Lutetium-177 needs these receptors for tumor recognition and destruction. PSMA-PET/CT with Gallium-68 gives all the necessary information.

How PSMA-therapy is carried out

After the initial examination (complete blood count, kidney and liver function), a physician calculates the therapeutic dose of Lutetium-177 that is required for one procedure. The intravenous infusion of the drug is carried out, it takes no more than few minutes. The therapy is well-tolerated; the most severe possible side effects are dry mouth and nausea.

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Although the treatment is completed, a patient needs to stay in a radiation-protected room for up to 48 hours. The radionuclide is rapidly excreted by kidneys during the first 2-4 hours, so it will soon be safe to contact with a patient. Personal items, like a mobile phone or laptop, can be used during these 48 hours; they will not become a source of radiation in the future.

After the follow-up examination in 48 hours a patient is discharged, and the next Lutetium-177 PSMA procedure is scheduled.

Hospitals and prices for PSMA-therapy

In Germany, Lutetium-177 PSMA-therapy is carried out in the Departments of Nuclear Medicine or specialized Nuclear Medicine Centers, so that nuclear safety protocols can be followed strictly. The best German clinics for undergoing the radionuclide therapy are:

  • Helios Hospital Berlin-Buch
  • University Hospital Frankfurt-am-Main
  • University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden
  • University Hospital Erlangen
  • University Hospital Bonn

Academic and municipal hospitals can also demonstrate high success rates, so choice of the healthcare facility is always individual and based on the clinical case and the patient’s preferences.

The cost of Lutetium treatment depends on the number of procedures, presence of concomitant pathologies and level of the Hospital. For instance, Bundeswehr Academic Hospital Berlin offers this therapy for 13,900 EUR, and University Hospital Frankfurt-am-Main – for 22,700 EUR.

Undergoing PSMA-therapy abroad with Booking Health

Those who want to undergo the Lutetium-177 PSMA-therapy in Germany need to select the healthcare facility, prepare all the necessary papers, make appointment and receive invitation for treatment, find an interpreter and manage other issues. For people without the relevant experience it will be safer and easier to contact Booking Health.

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Booking Health is the international provider of medical tourism that has been helping men with prostate cancer to undergo treatment abroad for over 12 years. Medical advisors of the company will:

  • Recommend you the best hospitals that specialize in Lutetium-177 PSMA-therapy
  • Elaborate the treatment program based on the available medical reports, so that you will not need to repeat examinations
  • Provide you with the unbiased external control of treatment

Booking Health travel managers will:

  • Make an appointment, so you will not need to be on the long waiting list
  • Take out medical insurance with coverage up to 200,000 EUR for you
  • Exclude extra fees for foreigners from a hospital’s price
  • Arrange additional medical services, if necessary
  • Take care about your flight, accommodation, transfer, interpreter, etc.

Leave the request at the Booking Health website to start your treatment right now.