Treatment with Lu-177

Every day, experienced scientists develop new clinical methods for cancer treatment. Doctors aim at performing cancer treatment more effectively and safely for the patient. The development of medical tourism gives patients a chance to undergo treatment in any country.

Radionuclide therapy with Lutetium-177 is one of the latest innovations in the field of advanced oncology treatment. For several years, foreign clinics have been successfully using Lu-177 treatment in different types of oncology. The use of this method has increased the efficiency of treatment of early-stage prostate cancer by 30%.

What is the Lu-177 treatment?

Lutetium-177 is a type of radionuclide therapy with labeled antibodies. During the procedure, the drug acts directly on the affected tissue (both the primary tumor and metastases of all localizations). As a result of exposure to Lutetium-177, tumor cells die.

This method has selective action that affects only malignant tumors and their metastases. The main difference between Lutetium and other radiotherapeutic treatments is minimal radiation exposure to healthy tissues. The technique affects only malignant cells that have specific antigens.

Mechanism of action

Prostate-specific membrane antigen is a protein that is located on the surface of normal prostate cells. In cancer, its level increases significantly, indicating the presence of pathological cells. The more aggressive the tumor is, the higher is its blood level.

PSMA therapy combines elements of targeted and radiation therapy. The molecule of the drug consists of two parts:

  • Transport part that is used to recognize the receptor protein, which is located on the tumor surface.
  • Radioactive component. This substance is attached to the transport protein. As a result, it is delivered to tumor cells and binding reliably to their receptors. After that, the cytotoxic influence on tumor cells begins, causing their destruction.

For achieving better results, it may be necessary to conduct several courses of such procedures. Between procedures, a patient undergoes additional examination to assess the effectiveness of the previous course, as well as to monitor the health state.

In which cases treatment with Lutetium-1777 can be used?

As a rule, radionuclide therapy is effective only in the presence of a specific molecular target. The tumor cell should have on its surface prostate-specific membrane antigen or other targets.

The presence and quantity of the molecular targets are assessed using such diagnostic methods as PET-CT. Before PET-CT performing, the specialist injects a special substance that allows the detection of the target proteins. If they are found, the therapy will be effective.

The main indications for Lu-177 treatment:

  • Advanced prostate cancer with metastases.
  • The poor effect of other treatment methods. 
  • Inoperable tumors or inability to perform surgery due to the patient’s health state. 

Side effects

Unfortunately, there are no completely safe medicines. Any drug has its side effects. As a rule, patients tolerate treatment with Lutetium well. The risk of side effects development is less than 5%, which is quite a good indicator for cancer treatment.

The PSMA enzyme is also present on the surface of renal cells, for this reason, they may be exposed to radiation. That is why it is necessary to carefully monitor the kidneys condition during the treatment. In addition, salivary glands may be cooled during the treatment in order to prevent their dysfunction and dry mouth.

After treatment, a patient can suffer from nausea or vomiting. Rarely, there may be a slight decrease in the number of white blood cells and thrombocytes. Thus, due to the selective action of this method of treatment, the risks to the patient’s health are very low.

Effective treatment abroad

If patients with prostate cancer or other tumors want to undergo PSMA-therapy abroad, the best choice for them will be the medical tourism operator Booking Health.

Specialists of Booking Health will help in organizing treatment abroad. In addition, with help of the company, you will get a huge number of benefits during undergoing a medical program:

  • The best prices for treatment.
  • Individual choice of hospital.
  • Providing personal interpreter services.
  • Medical insurance.
  • Transfer from the airport.
  • Airline tickets booking.
  • Help in choosing the best doctor.