The first prostate cancer patient was treated in the Nuclear Medicine department of the Reinier de Graaf hospital. For the time being, the new innovative radiation therapy will be offered to ten patients of the Reinier Haga Prostate Cancer Center (PKC). Whether patients are eligible for the new therapy depends on a number of criteria, such as blood values, condition and self-reliance.
“It is a scientifically proven therapy for certain patients with metastatic prostate cancer, with the aim of prolonging life and improving quality of life. The treatment is intended for patients whose tumor has spread to other parts of the body and for whom chemotherapy and hormone therapies are no longer sufficient,” explains Addy van de Luijtgaarden, internist-oncologist at the PKC.
Radiation metastatic prostate cancer
In the new therapy, the metastatic prostate cancer tumors are treated with Lutetium-PSMA. This treatment is usually given two to four times at six-week intervals. This is done in the Nuclear Medicine department.
In therapy, the drug is absorbed into the metastases. The radiation is then delivered locally to ensure that the growth of these tumors is slowed down. This targeted treatment method also ensures that surrounding healthy tissue is virtually undamaged. Also, the patient usually experiences only mild side effects.
“This therapy means a lot to me, because the other treatment methods no longer provide me with anything. I had to wait a long time for it to become available in the Netherlands. Now it is hoped that the treatment will work,” says 67-year-old Koos, who is the first patient of the PKC to be treated with Lutetium-PSMA.
Not yet on European list
For the time being, the Lutetium-PSMA therapy is very limited. This has to do with the fact that the brand-name drug is not yet registered in Europe. The Nuclear Medicine department of the Reinier de Graaf hospital therefore prepares the therapy itself. For this they work together with a number of other hospitals and receive financial support from, among others, the Team Westland foundation.
“Intensive collaboration between multiple disciplines has made the availability of this new treatment possible and we are very proud of that. We are pleased that we can now offer the therapy to patients who really need it,” says Jan-Willem Postema, nuclear medicine doctor at the Reinier de Graaf hospital.
The treatment of prostate cancer has seen several new innovations in recent years. An example of this is the arrival of an innovative radiation device that can automatically adapt radiation plans to the patient’s real-time anatomy on the day of radiation. In addition, much progress is being made in developing erection-saving radiation methods and therapies.
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