The Slovenia Times

New treatment available for incurable prostate cancer

Health & Medicine
UKC Ljubljana performs the targeted radionuclide therapy of prostate cancer. Photo: UKC Ljubljana

The UKC Ljubljana medical centre has recently performed a new treatment for an incurable type of prostate cancer in what was the first time the therapy was rolled out in Slovenia. A major milestone in the fight against the most common cancer in men, the treatment extends life and stops cancer from spreading.

UKC Ljubljana performed the first targeted radionuclide therapy in the country on two patients with an incurable type of advanced prostate cancer.

In patients who have localised prostate cancer, the likelihood of beating it is very high, but advanced or metastatic cancer is much harder to treat. When advanced prostate cancer becomes immune to standard treatment, it turns into castration-resistant prostate cancer, which is incurable, the hospital's Department of Nuclear Medicine told the Slovenian Press Agency.

The new therapy, which was developed by Slovenian and foreign experts, targets such incurable cancers. A similar treatment is already preformed elsewhere.

"The therapy does not help cure patients, but it prolongs life and at the same time significantly improves survival chances," stopping the disease from spreading, the department's head Katja Zaletel says.

Unlike chemotherapy, the new radioactive substance, which is injected into the bloodstream, does not affect healthy tissues and organs, so there are few side effects and the drug is more effective, she adds.

The hospital strives to make the therapy available to as many patients as possible, but due to the complexity of the treatment and limited capacities, there will only be a small number of recipients of the drug compound this year.

The targeted radionuclide method shows promising signs in the treatment of other types of cancer too, Zaletel says. She believes a particle accelerator PET centre should be established in Slovenia to further promote such therapy.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in 112 countries, including in Slovenia. It accounts for 15% of all cancers in men. Most vulnerable are men aged above 50. In Slovenia, some 1,600 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, and around 400 die of this disease.


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