Radiotherapy and radionuclide therapy

Radiotherapy is a highly effective method of alleviating many of the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. It can be used to relieve bone pain (”radiotherapy for pain”) or symptoms such as blockage of the urinary flow and hematuria (blood in the urine). The most common indication for radiotherapy in advanced prostate cancer is the treatment of painful metastases or metastases that compress the nerves of the spinal cord. In contrast to radical radiotherapy, palliative radiotherapy to alleviate symptoms is usually administered in a series of 1 to 10 treatments, or fractions, so that the treatment is provided within 1 to 10 days. Radiotherapy is provided as outpatient care at the radiotherapy ward of the HUCH Cancer Center (0 floor).

In radionuclide therapy, the patient is given a radioisotope compound (radionuclide). The therapy is provided at the Cancer Center radioisotope unit (3rd floor) as intravenous injections, either as a single treatment or as a series of injections. Therapies using samarium-153 (Sm-153) or radium-223 (Ra-223) are used for the treatment of prostate cancer. Sm-153 therapy is usually completed as a one-time treatment and is effective for treating widespread pain.

A possible side effect is bone marrow suppression, a slowly reversible condition in which the patient’s red blood cell and/or white blood cell and platelet counts decrease. Ra-223 therapy is a new form of therapy in which the patient receives 6 treatments at 4-week intervals. One treatment session only takes a few minutes. Ra-223 is a short-range alpha emitter, which does not cause exposure to radiation in the environment and has only a minor effect on the bone marrow. Like Sm-153 therapy, Ra-223 therapy provides long-term relief from pain. It has also been shown to prolong average survival.

 Counseling by phone


Radiotherapy Ward, Office
tel. (09) 471 73245, Mon–Fri 8 am to 4 pm

Radiotherapy Ward, nurse in charge of referrals
tel. (09) 471 76180, Mon–Fri 9 am to 11 am