Purpose: Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with radiolabelled somatostatin analogues has been demonstrated to be an effective therapeutic option in patients with disseminated neuroendocrine tumours (NET). Treatment with tandem [(90)Y]DOTA-TATE and [(177)Lu]DOTA-TATE may improve the efficacy of PRRT without increasing the toxicity. In a phase II study we evaluated the feasibility of combined PPRT with a high-energy beta emitter ((90)Y) and a medium-energy beta/gamma emitter ([(177)Lu) in patients with metastatic NET refractory to conventional therapy.
Methods: A group of 26 patients with metastatic NET were treated with four therapeutic cycles of alternating [[(177)Lu]DOTA-TATE (5.55 GBq) and [(90)Y]DOTA-TATE (2.6 GBq). A dosimetric evaluation was carried out after administration of [[(177)Lu]DOTA-TATE to calculate the absorbed doses in healthy organs. The acute and long-term toxicities of repeated treatment were analysed. PRRT efficacy was evaluated according to RECIST.
Results: Administration of tandem [(90)Y]DOTA-TATE and [[(177)Lu]DOTA-TATE induced objective responses in 42.3 % of patients with metastatic NET with a median progression-free survival longer than 24 months. Of patients with pretreatment carcinoid syndrome, 90 % showed a symptomatic response or a reduction in tumour-associated pain. The cumulative biologically effective doses (BED) were below the toxicity limit in the majority of patients, in the absence of renal function impairment.
Conclusion: The results of our study indicates that combined [(90)Y]DOTA-TATE and [(177)Lu]DOTA-TATE therapy is a feasible and effective therapeutic option in NET refractory to conventional therapy. Furthermore, the absence of kidney damage and the evaluated cumulative BEDs suggest that increasing the number of tandem administrations is an interesting approach.