I am a Prostate Cancer patient from the USA (name withheld on request). I came to India, specifically to the Department of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging at Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) in Gurugram, India. I am writing this blog to share my experience of getting the Lu 177 PSMA (Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen) Therapy.
I arrived in India on a weekend as the treatment was to start early on Monday morning. I was advised to come around 9 AM so that I could avoid the regular rush of patients that generally show up after 10 AM. When I reached the hospital, I was made to go through the mandatory temperature check and I was given a hospital identification bracelet to wear. I followed the signs to the Nuclear Medicine Department and asked for Dr. Ishita B Sen at the help desk. I met Dr. Sen who has a very pleasant appearance and welcoming. She spent some time with me to explain the treatment plan and then she introduced me to her staff of doctors and nurses. Her staff then took me to another room, where I changed into scrubs. They inserted a cannula to prep me for an imaging injection of Gallium for a PET Scan. They asked me to empty my bladder as they would be giving me a lot of fluids so as to keep me hydrated.
After the PET Scan, the team took me to a private room to await the injection of Lu177. I was served a vegetarian lunch which was good enough for my liking.
The next step was the injection of Lu177. I felt a slight stinging sensation
when they injected it, but it wasn’t that uncomfortable and I had no adverse sensations. All the time, I was being given IV fluids to keep me hydrated.
After the Lu177 injection, I was asked to relax for a couple of hours. My wife had accompanied me and while I was relaxing, she was busy interacting with Dr. Sen and her staff and of course, signing many necessary papers. After resting for some time, I was wheelchaired back to the Nuclear Medicine Department for Dosimetry scans. Post the scan, I spent the night in the hospital and was discharged the next morning. This ended my first dose of Lu177 PSMA Therapy for my Prostate Cancer.
I spent about 5,500 USD for my first dose of the therapy and I am told that there would be at least three rounds of therapy. This cost includes the cost of airfare, hotel, and other miscellaneous expenses. I am assuming that the entire treatment, including three doses, would cost somewhere between 28,000-38,000 USD depending on whether I choose to travel business class versus economy and select a hotel suite instead of a normal room.
Overall, the experience was good and I do not have anything to complain about. If anyone needs any additional information or wants to ask anything specific, please reach out to Dr. Sen’s colleague Mr. Manav Sadhwani – firstname.lastname@example.org.