Modern drug therapy
PremiQaMed Cancer Center Vienna has very good access to the latest medications. It has been a main development during the past years that many new specific drugs for cancer treatment have been made available that considerably improve treatment results.
Chemotherapies will continue to be a crucial pillar in cancer treatment for some time to come. Chemotherapy can often be combined with targeted substances. Non-targeted chemotherapies alone are being used less and less.
No fear of chemotherapy:
Many patients are very afraid of chemotherapy as it is often associated with bad side effects. It should be noted that concomitant treatments are available nowadays, which are administered in parallel with chemotherapy in order to prevent or reduce the side effects as far as possible. Cancer treatment is generally far more humane, far more personalized, and far more tolerable than it was even a few years ago.
The focus in modern cancer research is on targeted therapies.
Depending on the presence of certain characteristics in the cancer cells, a drug is sought that is directed specifically at these targets in order to stop the tumor from growing. The advantage of this is that the treatment specifically targets the cancer cells and not the healthy tissue. These types of treatments are therefore usually associated with minor side effects.
Antibodies are being used in cancer therapy with increasing success. Known as monoclonal antibodies, they are produced in the laboratory and are able to recognize certain structures on the surface of cancer cells, bind themselves to these, and prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.
The concept of molecular tumor therapy builds on individual treatment of the tumor depending on its genetic composition. Extensive molecular examinations of the tumor tissue are performed during diagnosis aimed at detecting specific gene mutations. These represent the target for specific treatment approaches. Processes in the cell can be directly influenced by a variety of substances.
This allows more and more patients to benefit from personalized tumor therapy (“personalized medicine”).
PSMA therapy is currently used at advanced stages of prostate cancer where chemotherapy or hormone therapy has failed to stop the disease from progressing. Metastatic prostate carcinomas can be treated in a highly targeted manner using a radiopharmaceutical (= radioactive drug) that binds to the PSMA antigen on the cancer cell. This enables the growth of the tumor to be slowed down or significantly reduced. The therapy can result in pain reduction and a remarkable improvement in quality of life and also prolong the patient’s life.
Prof. Marcus Hacker, MD and Prof. Werner Langsteger, MD are renowned specialists and have been applying this procedure for nine years at the University Hospital Vienna (AKH). They are now able to provide the treatment in an outpatient setting with no long waiting times at Döbling Private Hospital.