Are the prices for Lutetium therapy comparable to its benefits?

Prostate cancer is the most widespread cancer type among men in the Western world. According to the data of World cancer research fund, over 1.3 million new patients were diagnosed during the 2018.

Prostate cancer is the most widespread cancer type among men in the Western world. According to the data of World cancer research fund, over 1.3 million new patients were diagnosed during the 2018.

High disease incidence rate is partly connected with availability of the screening tests (e.g. PSA blood test) and performing regular check-ups in men without any complaints. Nevertheless, a significant number of patients are still diagnosed at the advanced or metastatic disease stages.

Such patients require more expensive and high-tech treatment, along with thorough follow-up examinations. It has been proven that Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy is beneficial for men with metastatic cancer. It slows down or completely stops the disease progression. In addition, this technique reduces the financial burden, giving the desirable result already after a few procedures.

What are the prostate cancer treatment options?

Diagnosed early enough, prostate cancer is considered a curable condition. A wide range of treatment options can be applied for the complete tumor removal or slowing down its progression rate:

  1. Surgical treatment: conventional or minimally invasive prostatectomy, including robot-assisted interventions.
  2. Drug therapy: chemotherapy, androgen deprivation therapy, immunotherapy, biological therapy, and symptomatic treatment.
  3. Radiation therapy: external irradiation, gamma knife österreich, brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and PSMA therapy with Lutetium.

At the advanced cancer stages, number of efficient procedures is limited. For instance, surgical treatment is not indicated in case of numerous metastases. Chemotherapy demonstrates limited effect in the bone metastases presence.

Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy is a method of choice in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. It perfectly recognizes cells of the prostate neoplasm regardless of their localization. Postsurgical residues of the primary tumor, metastases in the abdomen and bones are equally targeted by the radiopharmaceutical with Lutetium-177.

Another advantage of this approach is avoiding damage to the healthy tissues, as Lutetium-177 particles connect only to the prostate cells. Due to the minimal side effects, the procedure is outpatient; a patient can leave a hospital few hours after the treatment completion. There is no need in rehabilitation after the procedure as well.

How does the Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy work?

PSMA is a transmembrane glycoprotein, which is specific for cells of the prostate. This means that other cells of the human body do not contain any PSMA on their surface. Thus, PSMA has become the unique distinctive feature of the prostate cancer loci.

Specialists from the German Cancer Research Center and University Hospital Heidelberg have created an organic molecule – PSMA-617. It binds specifically to the PSMA on the cellular membrane and, in addition, can serve as a carrier of other molecules. Combination of PSMA-617 and Lutetium-177 is the basis of Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy.

Being delivered to the primary tumor and its metastases, Lutetium-177 emits beta-particles and destroys the tumor DNA. Cells with the destroyed DNA cannot survive or multiply. Thus, the malignant cells die gradually. Healthy tissues stay safe, as the irradiation is limited to the cells with PSMA on their surface.

Despite the easy to explain mechanism of action, producing the radiopharmaceutical for the PSMA therapy with Lutetium is a complicated task. The drug is not manufactured in advance, as it loses the treating potential really fast. Typically, it is prepared for the patient individually.

What affects the Lutetium PSMA therapy prices?

Despite following the unified international treatment protocols, prices for the Lutetium PSMA therapy may differ significantly. The main factors influencing the therapy with Lutetium prices formation are listed below.

  1. Required preliminary diagnostic procedures. These include kidneys and liver functional tests, osteoscintigraphy, PSMA PET-CT imaging, tests for allergy.
  2. Quantity of the radiopharmaceutical (Lutetium-177). It depends of the age of the patient, his height and weight.
  3. Number of the procedures required. This is determined by number and localization of the metastases, treatment response rate.
  4. Level of the hospital. For example, course of treatment at the University Hospital Saarland Homburg, Homburg, Germany will cost 12,100 €. Price for the same therapy at the University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany will reach 17,300 €.
  5. Presence of the concomitant disorders. In certain clinical situations patient requires simultaneous therapy for cardiac disorders, diabetes mellitus, etc. More healthcare professionals are involved in the comprehensive treatment regimen in such case.

If you are planning to undergo the metastatic prostate cancer treatment beyond the native country, you should also remember about the travel expenditures and possible additional fees for the foreign patients.

Is it possible to undergo treatment with Lutetium-177 abroad?

PSMA therapy with Lutetium-177 is available in the limited number of world leading hospitals. This is connected with strict requirements of the radiological protection (the intervention is performed in the specially equipped departments of nuclear medicine) and specifics of the radiopharmaceutical production. List of the leading hospitals in this sphere includes University Hospital Heidelberg, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, and University Hospital Frankfurt am Main.

Understanding the demand in this novel technique, these hospitals provide medical services to patients from all countries. Men, who want to undergo treatment abroad, need to prepare necessary administrative and medical documents, and register in the waiting list for the foreigners.

If you want to undergo treatment as soon as possible or need help in communication with the hospital, it is better to contact Booking Health. Booking Health is the certified medical tourism operator that has been assisting patients from 75 countries in receiving medical care abroad for over 10 years.

Specialists of Booking Health will competently help you in:

  • Choosing the appropriate hospital and department of nuclear medicine.
  • Preparing the preliminary program in advance, without repeating previous examinations.
  • Providing favorable therapy costs, avoiding the additional fees for foreign patients (saving up to 50%).
  • Booking the appointment on the required date.
  • Additional independent monitoring of the all stages of medical program.
  • Communication with the clinic after the course completion, receiving and translating medical reports.
  • Control of invoices, return of unspent funds.
  • Organization of follow-up examinations (e.g. PSMA PET-CT).
  • Offering service of the highest level: booking accommodation and plane tickets, transfer organization.

To start preparation for the medical journey, leave a request with contact and basic medical data on the Booking Health website. The same day you will receive call from our medical advisor and will be carefully guided through all further steps to restoring your health.