Vivantes Institute for Nuclear Medicine

Vivantes Institute for Nuclear Medicine

Radiation for safe diagnosis and treatment

At Vivantes Institute for Nuclear Medicine, we offer you safe diagnostics and modern treatment procedures using radioactive substances at four locations in Berlin. Nuclear medicine is used in a variety of treatments and specialities – including cardiology, gastroenterology or advanced cancer.

 

A wide range of examination options

At our institute, we combine state-of-the-art technology with the experience and expertise of our specialists to ensure a reliable diagnosis of your symptoms. In contrast to radiology, nuclear medicine makes metabolic processes in the body visible. In combination with imaging computed tomography, we thus ensure state-of-the-art and effective diagnostics.

PET/CT

Here, we combine positron emission tomography (PET) and computer tomography (CT). The PET shows us the metabolic changes, the computed tomography draws a precise 3D map of the body. We use PET/CT, for example, to detect cancer cells that are only a few millimetres in size and cannot be found with other examination methods. We can also use PET to depict the vitality of your heart muscle very precisely by making the supply of nutrients to the heart visible. 

For the specific diagnosis of cancer, we administer a weakly radioactively marked sugar solution. Because cancer cells, in contrast to healthy cells, absorb significantly more sugar, we are able to identify the areas with increased sugar intake very precisely in the image. This enables us to detect or rule out even small tumours and metastases in the body at an early stage.

SPECT/CT

Here, Single Photon Emmission Computed Tomography (SPECT) is combined with computed tomography. Here too, an important area of application is the diagnosis of tumours, such as those of the thyroid gland. We can also use it to assess the metabolic activity of the heart, brain or bones.

Treatment methods for targeted cancer treatment

Vivantes Institute for Nuclear Medicine

We can now use radioactive substances not only for diagnostics but also for the targeted treatment of tumours. We use our precise diagnostic procedures to target cancer cells and then 'dock' a radioactive particle onto the cancer cell, irradiating it from within, as it were. This combination of diagnostics and treatment is called "theranostics". At Vivantes, we produce the radioactive drugs for you in our own radiopharmaceutical laboratory.

Lu177-PSMA procedure: diagnosis and treatment of advanced prostate cancer

If you have advanced prostate cancer and hormone and chemotherapy no longer work for you, state-of-the-art Lu177 PSMA treatment may be an option for you. Conventional treatments usually only treat bone metastases. With Lu177-PSMA treatment, we can also treat you if you have lymph node metastases and metastases in various organs such as the lungs or liver.

PSMA (Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen) is a protein that is present in increased quantities on the cell surface of prostate cancer cells. Nuclear medicine has been able to develop two substances that dock precisely onto PSMA, but not onto healthy tissue: As a diagnostic marker in positron emission tomography (PET), gallium 68 provides us with a precise image of the tumour and its possible metastases.
As a therapeutic agent, Luthetium 177 adheres directly to the tumour, enriches it with radioactivity and irradiates it from within.

A prerequisite for treatment with Lu177-PSMA is that your tumour cells accumulate PSMA. We find this out in imaging with Gallium 68.
The treatment is well tolerated by most of our patients and has few side effects.

Lu177-DOTATATE (PRRT) treatment: Treatment of neuroendocrine tumours

If you suffer from a so-called neuroendocrine tumour (NET), we can offer you the modern Lu177-DOTATATE treatment. NETs usually grow slowly and are partly hormone-producing tumours. Most often these tumours occur in the stomach, intestine or pancreas. 

A characteristic of tumour cells is a strongly increased number of certain proteins on the surface, so-called somatostatin receptors. We make use of this property for the Lu177-DOTATATE method: in peptide radioreceptor treatment (PRRT), a somatostatin-like substance is coupled to a radioactive substance – the luthetium 177-DOTATATE. This substance penetrates directly into the tumour cells and thus enables radiotherapy within the cells. The surrounding tissue is spared.

Preparation for treatment

In addition to the usual laboratory tests, we can also perform a somatostatin receptor scintigraphy or a 68Gallium DOTATATE PET/CT. This helps us to assess whether treatment with Lu177-DOTATATE is promising in your individual case. Depending on the type of tumour and symptoms, further preliminary examinations may be necessary.

Treatment procedure

For the treatment, you must be admitted to our hospital for 48 hours. The radioactively marked substance is administered to you intravenously. With the help of a whole-body scintigraphy and a gamma camera, we repeatedly check its distribution in the body during your stay.

Radioiodine therapy – effective and gentle

With radioiodine therapy, we can treat your overactive parts of the thyroid gland in a targeted manner, while the normally functioning parts are spared. You take a tiny amount of radioactive iodine in tablet form. The iodine is only absorbed by the cells that produce thyroid hormones and emits its radiation there. The surrounding tissue is spared.

Radioiodine therapy can also be used to treat thyroid cancer.

Our prices for selected nuclear medicine therapies

PET/CTFrom €2,200.00
Radioiodine therapies with thyrogenFrom €7,000.00
Neuroendocrine tumours with LU-177-DOTATATEFrom €10,500.00
Radioligand therapy with lutetium-177-PSMA ligandsFrom €12,100.00

From the targeted treatment of cancer diseases, the gentle diagnostics of the heart and gastrointestinal tract, to the production of drugs in our own laboratory, we offer you the most modern nuclear medicine from a single source.

Director, Vivantes Institute for Nuclear MedicineProfessor Dr. med. Michail Plotkin

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