By Thys Khiba
Bloemfontein – The University of the Free State (UFS) Department of Nuclear Medicine makes history by using Lutetium 177 PSMA (Lu-177 PSMA) therapy for the treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (MCRPC) – an advanced stage of prostate cancer.
The move by the university and Free State province makes them to be part of other South African universities such as the University of Pretoria, the University of the Witwatersrand, and other provinces in using this method to treat MCRPC patients.
According to a Senior Lecturer and medical specialist in the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr Osayande Evbuomwan, they have started treating their first MCRP patient (first cycle) with peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) on 15 July.
It is the first time that Lutetium 177 PSMA – a type of PRRT used for treating patients with MCRPC – has been used in the Free State. This method is used on MCRPC patients who are not eligible for chemotherapy or have failed first- or second-line chemotherapy.
The university has also indicated Dr Evbuomwan was trained and exposed to this therapy at the University of the Witwatersrand during his registrar training in nuclear medicine.
“We in the Department of Nuclear Medicine are happy that expertise is now available and that some funds have been released for this treatment to commence. The index patient is very sick with MCRPC and was too sick to qualify for first-line chemotherapy. Each patient will need about four-six cycles for complete treatment. The patient is being treated in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Universitas Academic Hospital and Annex,” said Dr. Evbuomwan.
Dr. Evbuomwan says that they are hoping that their patient will be able to complete at least four cycles and respond well to the treatment.
“We believe that the ability to administer this treatment now is good news for the Free State, as the people of the Free State also deserve to be exposed to this level of treatment,” said Dr. Evbuomwan.
The university is hoping that the government will continue to provide more funds for more of these patients to be treated in their facility.
It was budgeted to treat five patients (20 cycles), with each cycle (just the Lu-177 PSMA) costing more than R50 000. @ fscentralnews
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