Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy for Patients With Advanced Lung Carcinoids

Clin Lung Cancer. 2019 May;20(3):e376-e392. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2019.02.007. Epub 2019 Mar 1.


Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) are a family of malignancies of diverse origin, including the lung, gastrointestinal tract, and pancreas. Lung NEN include well differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NET) classified as typical carcinoids or atypical carcinoids, and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas classified as small-cell lung carcinoma or large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. According to a recent analysis of a large, population-based registry, approximately one-third of all patients with lung typical/atypical carcinoids have distant metastases at diagnosis, and median survival for these patients is 24 months. At present, only 1 therapy is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients with advanced lung typical/atypical carcinoids, everolimus, indicating a clear need for more treatment options in this patient population. Although not yet supported by results from randomized prospective trials, somatostatin analogues are considered an acceptable treatment option for patients with lung typical/atypical carcinoids expressing somatostatin receptors. Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with 177Lu-DOTATATE was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of gastroenteropancreatic NET; however, the role of PRRT in patients with lung typical/atypical carcinoids remains unclear, because they were not included in the pivotal NETTER-1 (Neuroendocrine Tumors Therapy) trial. Herein we provide a comprehensive review of the available clinical evidence for efficacy and safety of PRRT in patients with lung typical/atypical carcinoids. On the basis of the preliminary evidence of efficacy and the consistent safety profile in this patient group, we propose that experienced multidisciplinary NET teams may consider PRRT alongside everolimus as an option for patients with advanced somatostatin receptor-positive lung typical/atypical carcinoids whose disease is progressing during first-line treatment with somatostatin analogues.

Keywords: 177Lu-DOTATATE; Atypical carcinoids; Lung neuroendocrine tumors; PRRT; Typical carcinoids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoid Tumor / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / radiotherapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Octreotide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Octreotide / therapeutic use
  • Organometallic Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, Somatostatin / metabolism
  • Somatostatin / analogs & derivatives
  • Somatostatin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • Somatostatin
  • lutetium Lu 177 dotatate
  • Octreotide