Lutetium DotaTate Therapy for Neuroendocrine Tumours

What are Neuroendocrine Tumours?

Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are a group of cancers that develop from cells of the neuroendocrine system. This system is made up of cells that release hormones in response to signals from the nervous system. NETs can develop in many different organs in the body. Some common sites include the lungs, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract and thyroid.

What is Lutetium Dota Tate therapy?

Lutetium Dota Tate therapy, also known as Lutathera, is a type of radiotherapy used to treat neuroendocrine tumours. It involves injecting a radioactive drug called lutetium Lu 177 dotatate into the bloodstream. Lutetium Lu 177 dotatate selectively binds to somatostatin receptors that are often overexpressed on NET cells. This allows the radioactivity to be delivered directly to the tumour sites. The radiation is then emitted locally to damage the cancerous cells and stop them from growing.

How Does it Work?

Lutetium DotaTate therapy is administered through intravenous injections in an outpatient clinic. The treatment consists of four doses given at 8 week intervals. Before each treatment, somatostatin receptor positron emission tomography (PET) scans are done to identify all tumour sites. 

This helps the medical team target the radiation dose accurately. Close monitoring of kidney function is also required as the radiation can potentially damage kidneys over time. NETs often have a weakness – an overabundance of somatostatin receptors. These receptors are like hungry mouths, always eager for a specific hormone called somatostatin. 

Lutetium DotaTate therapy takes advantage of this craving. It’s a radioactive drug cleverly disguised as a somatostatin lookalike.  Once injected into your bloodstream, this “Trojan horse” drug travels through your body, seeking out the somatostatin-hungry NETs. Like moths to a flame, the NETs latch onto the fake hormone, welcoming it into their midst. 

But this isn’t just any ordinary hormone. It’s carrying a hidden payload – a tiny radioactive bomb. Once inside the NETs, the bomb explodes, unleashing a targeted dose of radiation that blasts the cancerous cells from within. This targeted attack minimizes harm to healthy tissues, making it a more precise weapon against NETs.

What are the Benefits?

  • Targeted treatment: Lu-DOTATATE ties to somatostatin receptors on NET cells, conveying radiation straightforwardly to cancers and limiting harm to sound tissues.
  • Further developed movement-free endurance: Concentrates on showing critical expansions in PFS contrasted with other treatment choices, frequently multiplying or significantly increasing life expectancy.
  • Symptom relief and shrinkage of the tumour: Can recoil growths and ease side effects like agony, exhaustion, and hormonal awkward nature, prompting work on personal satisfaction.
  • The consistent response: The impacts of Lu-DOTATATE can now and again keep going for quite a long time with rehashed cycles, offering long-haul infection prevention.
  • Cost-effective: Potential savings in the long run because of its drawn-out infection prevention and diminished need for additional medications
  • Targeted Treatment: Lu-DOTATATE sticks to specific receptors on cancer cells, aiming radiation directly at tumors and sparing healthy tissue.
  • Studies indicate that Lu-DOTATATE often extends the time before the disease worsens, sometimes doubling or tripling how long people live without their condition getting worse.
  • Shrinking Tumors and Feeling Better: This treatment can make tumors smaller and ease symptoms like pain, tiredness, and hormone problems, making life better.
  • Lasting Effect:  Lu-DOTATATE’s positive effects can stick around for years with repeated cycles, providing long-term control over the disease.
  • Saving Money: It save money in the long run compared to other treatments because it controls the disease for a long time and reduces the need for more treatments

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Abdomen and pelvis

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How is Lutetium DotaTate Therapy administered?

Imagine a tiny, radioactive Trojan horse seeking out and bombarding enemy tumor cells. That’s essentially how Lutetium DotaTate Therapy works for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Here’s the lowdown on how it’s administered:

  1. Gearing Up:
  • You’ll likely stay in the hospital for a few days for this treatment. 
  • A special scan using a different radioactive drug helps doctors map out your NETs’ location.
  • Prepping includes an amino acid infusion to protect your kidneys from radiation.
  1. Infusion Day:
  • The Lutetium DotaTate, a radioactive molecule tagged with a somatostatin analog, is slowly dripped into your vein through an IV.
  • This “Trojan horse” molecule is attracted to somatostatin receptors found in abundance on NETs.
  • The radioactive payload within then bombards the tumor cells, aiming to shrink them or stop their growth.
  1. Rinse and Repeat:
  • This targeted attack is typically repeated every 8 weeks for a total of 4 doses.
  • Throughout the treatment, your doctors and nurses will monitor your vitals and side effects closely.

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