Vascular Targeted Photodynamic Therapy (VTP) with Tookad®
Novel Prostate Cancer Treatment in Israel
Vascular targeted photodynamic therapy (VTP) with Tookad® offers a new, minimally invasive treatment for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer, one of the most common cancers diagnosed in men worldwide, is typically treated with invasive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy, all of which typically damage the functionality of other healthy tissues. However, this breakthrough therapy destroys only the cancerous tissue, while preserving the integrity of the surrounding healthy tissues. It thereby reduces the progression of cancer and helps men avoid the severe side effects of conventional treatments.
Tookad®, an Israeli invention, recently received European approval in 31 countries for use as a prostate cancer treatment. At Sheba Medical Center, our expert physicians are passionate about advancing patient care with innovative healthcare solutions, and we are pleased to offer VTP with Tookad®.
In order to activate the drug, thin optic fibers are connected to a near-infrared laser and inserted into the cancerous region in the prostate. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and ultrasound are used to guide the fibers into the correct position. The laser (which shines along the optic fibers) is then turned on for 22 minutes.
Once the laser light activates Tookad®, the drug reacts with oxygen in the blood and converts it into radicals. These active molecules trigger a sequence of biological events that ends in a permanent obstruction of the tumor’s blood vessels. As a result of this blockage, the tumor cells are killed. Within only a few hours, the tumor undergoes non-thermal necrosis and eradication.
Tookad® VTP can be performed in an outpatient setting, taking approximately 90 minutes start-to-finish. Generally, patients are released after a few hours (up to a day) and return to normal activities within only a few days.
Who is a candidate for Tookad® VTP?
This cutting-edge, minimally invasive technique offers a unique alternative for treating patients with early-stage prostate cancer. It is indicated for patients with the following conditions:
- Low risk prostate cancer, up to Gleason 6 (a score on the grading system used to determine the aggressiveness of prostate cancer; the higher the Gleason Score, the more probability the cancer will spread quickly)
- PSA (prostate-specific antigen) less than 10; PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer
Prostate cancer that is less than three cylinders, up to 5mm
- Prostate measurement up to 70cc
- No other treatment options
What are the side effects?
Tookad® treatment has been shown to be highly effective with limited side effects. Hundreds of men who have received this therapy are now free of cancer or have control over the progression of their disease – having suffered minimal or no side effects from the treatment. A four-year study published in The Journal of Urology (October 2018) verified that the majority of patients experienced no long-term issues associated with the toxicity of the drug.
In a small number of clinical cases, the most commonly observed side effects were erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and urinary retention.
Why Choose Sheba for VTP with Tookad® in Israel?
The Cancer Center at Sheba is the leading facility for cancer treatment in Israel. Patients travel from across the country and the world to receive prostate cancer scans and treatments from our highly trained, experienced team of specialists. The members of our skilled team have trained at the world’s leading hospitals, and we remain committed to advancing our campus continuously with the latest medical technologies and techniques. When it comes to prostate cancer treatment, Sheba offers progressive diagnostic procedures and therapies, including vascular targeted photodynamic therapy (VTP) with Tookad®.
To make each patient’s treatment at Sheba as smooth and efficient as possible, a personal medical coordinator from our International Medical Tourism Division assists each patient – every step of the way, from travel arrangements to follow-up exams. Additionally, Sheba is certified by the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI), the gold standard for safety and quality in healthcare.