GEPNETs UPDATE: Radionuclide therapy in neuroendocrine tumors.


Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is a promising new treatment modality for inoperable or metastasized gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEPNETs) patients. Most studies report objective response rates in 15-35% of patients. Also, outcome in terms of progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival compares very favorably with that for somatostatin analogs, chemotherapy, or new, ‘targeted’ therapies. They also compare favorably to PFS data for liver-directed therapies. Two decades after the introduction of PRRT, there is a growing need for randomized controlled trials comparing PRRT to ‘standard’ treatment, that is treatment with agents that have proven benefit when tested in randomized trials. Combining PRRT with liver-directed therapies or with targeted therapies could improve treatment results. The question to be answered, however, is whether a combination of therapies performed within a limited time-span from one another results in a better PFS than a strategy in which other therapies are reserved until after (renewed) tumor progression. Randomized clinical trials comparing PRRT with other treatment modalities should be undertaken to determine the best treatment options and treatment sequelae for patients with GEPNETs.




The joint IAEA, EANM, and SNMMI practical guidance on peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRNT) in neuroendocrine tumours.


Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRNT) is a molecularly targeted radiation therapy involving the systemic administration of a radiolabelled peptide designed to target with high affinity and specificity receptors overexpressed on tumours. PRRNT employing the radiotagged somatostatin receptor agonists (90)Y-DOTATOC ([(90)Y-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]-octreotide) or (177)Lu-DOTATATE ([(177)Lu-DOTA(0),Tyr(3),Thr(8)]-octreotide or [(177)Lu-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]-octreotate) have been successfully used for the past 15 years to target metastatic or inoperable neuroendocrine tumours expressing the somatostatin receptor subtype 2. Accumulated evidence from clinical experience indicates that these tumours can be subjected to a high absorbed dose which leads to partial or complete objective responses in up to 30 % of treated patients. Survival analyses indicate that patients presenting with high tumour receptor expression at study entry and receiving (177)Lu-DOTATATE or (90)Y-DOTATOC treatment show significantly higher objective responses, leading to longer survival and improved quality of life. Side effects of PRRNT are typically seen in the kidneys and bone marrow. These, however, are usually mild provided adequate protective measures are undertaken. Despite the large body of evidence regarding efficacy and clinical safety, PRRNT is still considered an investigational treatment and its implementation must comply with national legislation, and ethical guidelines concerning human therapeutic investigations. This guidance was formulated based on recent literature and leading experts’ opinions. It covers the rationale, indications and contraindications for PRRNT, assessment of treatment response and patient follow-up. This document is aimed at guiding nuclear medicine specialists in selecting likely candidates to receive PRRNT and to deliver the treatment in a safe and effective manner. This document is largely based on the book published through a joint international effort under the auspices of the Nuclear Medicine Section of the International Atomic Energy Agency.




Lutetium-labelled peptides for therapy of neuroendocrine tumours.


Krenning EP

Treatment with radiolabelled somatostatin analogues is a promising new tool in the management of patients with inoperable or metastasized neuroendocrine tumours. Symptomatic improvement may occur with (177)Lu-labelled somatostatin analogues that have been used for peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT). The results obtained with (177)Lu-[DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]octreotate (DOTATATE) are very encouraging in terms of tumour regression. Dosimetry studies with (177)Lu-DOTATATE as well as the limited side effects with additional cycles of (177)Lu-DOTATATE suggest that more cycles of (177)Lu-DOTATATE can be safely given. Also, if kidney-protective agents are used, the side effects of this therapy are few and mild and less than those from the use of (90)Y-[DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]octreotide (DOTATOC). Besides objective tumour responses, the median progression-free survival is more than 40 months. The patients’ self-assessed quality of life increases significantly after treatment with (177)Lu-DOTATATE. Lastly, compared to historical controls, there is a benefit in overall survival of several years from the time of diagnosis in patients treated with (177)Lu-DOTATATE. These findings compare favourably with the limited number of alternative therapeutic approaches. If more widespread use of PRRT can be guaranteed, such therapy may well become the therapy of first choice in patients with metastasized or inoperable neuroendocrine tumours.




Treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors with peptide receptor radionuclide therapy.


The primary treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEPNETs) is surgery with curative intent or debulking of the tumor mass. In case of metastatic disease, cytoreductive options are limited. A relatively new therapeutic modality, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with radiolabeled somatostatin analogs, is currently available in a number of mostly European centers. Complete and partial responses obtained after treatment with [90Y-DOTA0,Tyr3]octreotide are in the same range as after treatment with [177Lu-DOTA0,Tyr3]octreotate (i.e. 10-30%). However, significant nephrotoxicity has been observed after treatment with [90Y-DOTA0,Tyr3]octreotide. Options to improve PRRT may include combinations of radioactive labeled somatostatin analogs, intra-arterial administration, and the use of radiosensitizing drugs combined with PRRT. Other therapeutic applications of PRRT may include additional therapy cycles in patients with progressive disease after benefit from initial therapy, PRRT in adjuvant or neoadjuvant setting, or PRRT combined with new targeted therapies, such as sunitinib or everolimus. Randomized clinical trials comparing PRRT with other treatment modalities, or comparing various radioactive labeled somatostatin analogs should be undertaken to determine the best treatment options and treatment sequelae for patients with GEPNETs.




Quality of life in 265 patients with gastroenteropancreatic or bronchial neuroendocrine tumors treated with [177Lu-DOTA0,Tyr3]octreotate.


Quality of life (QOL) is an important outcome in cancer therapy. In this study, we investigated the QOL and symptoms after [(177)Lu-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]octreotate ((177)Lu-octreotate) therapy in patients with inoperable or metastasized gastroenteropancreatic or bronchial neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).




Somatostatin receptor-targeted radionuclide therapy in patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.


Treatment with radiolabeled somatostatin analogs is a promising tool in the management of patients with inoperable or metastasized neuroendocrine tumors. Symptomatic improvement may occur with all (111)Indium-, (90)Yttrium-, or (177)Lutetium-labeled somatostatin analogs used for peptide receptor radionuclide therapy. If kidney protective agents are used, the side-effects are few and mild, and the median duration of the therapy response is 30 and 40 months, respectively. Overall survival is several years from diagnosis. These data compare favorably with the limited number of alternative treatments. If more widespread use of PRRT can be guaranteed, such therapy may become the therapy of first choice.




Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy in patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.


Somatostatin receptor imaging with [(111)In-DTPA(0))octreotide has proven its role in the diagnosis and staging of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Treatment with radiolabeled somatostatin analogues is a promising new tool in the management of patients with inoperable or metastasized, well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors. Symptomatic improvement may occur with all (111)In, (90)Y, or (177)Lu-labeled somatostatin analogues that have been used for peptide receptor radionuclide therapy. The results that were obtained with [(90)Y-DOTA(0), Tyr(3)]octreotide and [(177)Lu-DOTA(0), Tyr(3)]octreotate are very encouraging in terms of tumor regression. Also, if kidney protective agents are used, the side effects of this therapy are few and mild, and the median duration of the therapy response for these radiopharmaceuticals is 30 and 40 months, respectively. The patients’ self-assessed quality of life increases significantly after treatment with [(177)Lu-DOTA(0), Tyr(3)]octreotate. Finally, compared with historical controls, there is a benefit in overall survival of several years from time of diagnosis in patients treated with [(177)Lu-DOTA(0), Tyr(3)]octreotate. These data compare favorably with the limited number of alternative treatment approaches. If more widespread use of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy can be guaranteed, such therapy may well become the therapy of first choice in patients with metastasized or inoperable gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.




Radiolabeled somatostatin analog [177Lu-DOTA0,Tyr3]octreotate in patients with endocrine gastroenteropancreatic tumors


PURPOSE:
There are few treatment options for patients with metastasized or inoperable endocrine gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) tumors. Chemotherapy can be effective, but the response is usually less than 1 year. Here, we present the results of treatment with a radiolabeled somatostatin analog, [177Lu-DOTA0,Tyr3]octreotate (177Lu-octreotate).
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
One hundred thirty-one patients with somatostatin receptor-positive tumors were treated with up to a cumulative dose of 600 to 800 mCi (22.2 to 29.6 GBq) of 177Lu-octreotate.
RESULTS:
One patient developed renal insufficiency, and another patient developed hepatorenal syndrome. Creatinine clearance did not change significantly in the other patients. WHO hematologic toxicity grade 3 or 4 occurred after less than 2% of the administrations. We observed complete remission in three patients (2%), partial remission in 32 patients (26%), minor response (tumor diameter decrease of 25% to 50%) in 24 patients (19%), stable disease (SD) in 44 patients (35%), and progressive disease (PD) in 22 patients (18%). Higher remission rates were positively correlated with high uptake on pretherapy somatostatin receptor imaging and a limited number of liver metastases, whereas PD was significantly more frequent in patients with a low performance score and extensive disease. Median time to progression in 103 patients who either had SD or tumor regression was more than 36 months.
CONCLUSION:
Treatment with 177Lu-octreotate results in tumor remission in a high percentage of patients with GEP tumors. Serious side effects are rare. The median time to progression compares favorably with chemotherapy. Results are better in patients with a limited tumor load. Therefore, early treatment, even in patients who have no PD, may be better.




Overview of results of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy with 3 radiolabeled somatostatin analogs


A new treatment modality for inoperable or metastasized gastroenteropancreatic tumors is the use of radiolabeled somatostatin analogs. Initial studies with high doses of [(111)In-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)(0)]octreotide in patients with metastasized neuroendocrine tumors were encouraging, although partial remissions were uncommon. Another radiolabeled somatostatin analog that is used for peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is [(90)Y-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N’,N”,N”’-tetraacetic acid (DOTA)(0),Tyr(3)]octreotide. Various phase 1 and phase 2 PRRT trials have been performed with this compound. Despite differences in the protocols used, complete and partial remissions in most of the studies with [(90)Y-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]octreotide were in the same ranges, 10%-30%; these ranges were higher than those obtained with [(111)In-DTPA(0)]octreotide. Treatment with the newest radiolabeled somatostatin analog, [(177)Lu-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]octreotate, which has a higher affinity for the subtype 2 somatostatin receptor, resulted in complete or partial remissions in 30% of 76 patients. Tumor regression was positively correlated with a high level of uptake on OctreoScan imaging, a limited hepatic tumor mass, and a high Karnofsky performance score. Treatment with radiolabeled somatostatin analogs is a promising new tool in the management of patients with inoperable or metastasized neuroendocrine tumors. Symptomatic improvement may occur with all (111)In-, (90)Y-, or (177)Lu-labeled somatostatin analogs that have been used for PRRT. The results obtained with [(90)Y-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]octreotide and [(177)Lu-DOTA(0),Tyr(3)]octreotate are very encouraging in terms of tumor regression. Also, if kidney protective agents are used, the side effects of this therapy are few and mild, and the duration of the therapy response for both radiopharmaceuticals is more than 2 y. These data compare favorably with those for the limited number of alternative treatment approaches.