Docrates Cancer Center studied the effectiveness of 177Lu-PSMA treatment with a 4-week treatment interval for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer under the leadership of nuclear medicine physician Jukka Kemppainen. The study involved 62 patients who had been treated with 177Lu-PSMA-617 radiopharmaceuticals at Docrates between 2017 and 2019. The study showed that a 4-week treatment interval is safe for patients and leads to good outcomes. Nearly 60% of the patients in the study had a significant decrease in PSA of more than 50 percentage points. This was also associated with longer overall survival (OS) and longer progression-free survival (PFS) without compromising the safety of treatment.
Radiopharmaceuticals such as 177Lu-PSMA target prostate cancer cells that express PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen), wherever they are, and make cancer treatment possible even if the cancer has spread widely. The 177Lu-PSMA radiopharmaceutical is a type of targeted radiotherapy in which the radiation source is injected directly into or in the immediate vicinity of the cancer cell. It causes DNA damage to cancer cells, preventing the cancer from dividing and growing, and causing cancer cells to die. The treatment affects both bone and soft tissue metastases without serious adverse effects.
“The safety and efficacy of internal 177Lu-PSMA therapy has already been demonstrated in numerous studies. This mode of therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer. The optimal cycle and dose of 177Lu-PSMA is not yet known. Likewise, it is not yet known how best to identify the patients for whom such treatment would be most effective,” says Jukka Kemppainen, Chief Physician in Nuclear Medicine at Docrates.
Promising results with a shorter, four-week treatment interval
In 2017–2019, Docrates carried out a registry study of patients treated with 177Lu-PSMA under the leadership of Jukka Kemppainen, Chief Physician in Nuclear Medicine, with the aim of investigating the efficacy and impact of a four-week treatment interval on patients and evaluating the potential adverse effects of the treatment. The efficacy of 177Lu-PSMA treatment was assessed in terms of PSA response, overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). The study also looked at whether 18F-PSMA-PET/CT imaging prior to treatment provided additional information on which patients would benefit the most from 177Lu-PSMA treatments.
The study involved 62 patients of Docrates Cancer Center diagnosed with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Patients received 177Lu-PSMA treatment between January 2017 and February 2019. The median follow-up time was 1.4 years. Patients received an average of three treatment cycles over a four-week treatment interval.
“The study showed that a 4-week treatment interval is safe for patients and leads to good outcomes. Shortening the treatment cycle from 6–8 weeks to 4 weeks can be important, especially if the cancer is in an aggressive stage. Shorter treatment intervals may increase the efficacy of treatment, especially in patients with an aggressive form of the disease. Treatment should be initiated as early as possible in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer in order to better control the disease and its progression. However, PSMA-PET imaging prior to treatment could not predict which patients would or would not respond well to the treatment. In the future, we will need more accurate indicators or other biomarkers to help us determine the patients who will benefit the most from this treatment,” says Jukka Kemppainen, Chief Physician in Nuclear Medicine at Docrates.
Nearly 60% of the patients in the study had a significant decrease in PSA of more than 50%, which was also associated with longer overall survival (OS) and longer progression-free survival (PFS) without compromising the safety of treatment. Some patients benefit from the treatment immediately and some even in the long term.
No serious adverse reactions were observed in the patients, only milder effects, including dry mouth and abdominal symptoms. In general, patients tolerated the four-week interval of treatment at a fixed dose well.
Learn more about Jukka Kemppainen's study here >
“With the advent of new promising cancer markers, Lutetium treatment for other types of cancer will also be introduced in the near future. For example, the impact of the treatment on metastatic pancreatic cancer, for which more effective treatments are needed, is currently being studied around the world,” Kemppainen says.
Docrates has already administered more than 1,000 lutetium treatments patients
177-lutetium-PSMA drug treatment as a mode of treating metastatic prostate cancer was introduced by Docrates Cancer Center in January 2017 as the first in Finland, and more that 1,000 lutetium treatments have now been administered to patients. Especially Swedish and Norwegian patients from the Nordic countries seek Lutetium treatment here. In addition to Docrates, Lutetium treatment is also offered in the public healthcare sector by the university hospitals of Helsinki and Kuopio.
Read more about advanced prostate cancer treatment in Docrates >
For more information, please contact:
Jukka Kemppainen, Nuclear Medicine Physician, Docrates Cancer Center
Anna-Sofia Malmi, Marketing and Communications Director, Docrates Cancer Center
Tel. +358 (0)50 4690 114, [email protected]
Docrates Cancer Center is a Finnish-owned, international hospital in Helsinki specialising in cancer treatment. We provide individual services for cancer patients throughout the treatment chain, from diagnostics to post-treatment follow-up. After diagnosis and imaging, treatment can be planned and initiated without delay. Our unique concept attracts patients from all over the world. We have treated patients from more than 60 different countries. Together with our network of leading clinical experts, we provide genuinely individual state-of-the-art cancer treatment services.
One step ahead - www.docrates.com.
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