Objectives: There is convincing evidence that peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) using 177Lu-DOTATATE compared to octreotide therapy has a positive effect on overall survival and progression-free survival in midgut neuroendocrine tumors (NET). The current study analyzed health-related quality of life (QoL) in patients undergoing PRRT with a special focus on differences in functional performance.
Materials and methods: In our study, 70 patients (39 men or 31 female) suffering from midgut NET were included, with a mean age of 64.2 years. Functional performance was assessed by the index of the Eastern Cooperative of Oncology Group (ECOG). Thirty-three patients (47%) showed ECOG 0, 31 patients (44%) ECOG 1, and six patients (9%) ECOG 2. Health-related QoL was assessed by the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire filled in at baseline and 3 months after each PRRT cycle.
Results: The median cumulative administered activity was 27.4 GBq. Global health status significantly improved compared to baseline status after 1st (p = 0.05), 2nd (p = 0.004), and 3rd (p = 0.04) treatment cycle. Analyzing specific aspects of QoL, emotional functioning significantly improved after 1st and 2nd treatment cycle (both p < 0.001) as well as after 3rd cycle (p = 0.001). With regard to cognitive functioning, there was a significant improvement after 1st and 2nd treatment cycle (p = 0.003 and p = 0.05 respectively). With regard to alleviation of somatic symptoms, a significant reduction in pain and diarrhea was observed after the 2nd cycle (p = 0.038) and 3rd cycle (p = 0.036). Furthermore, changes in QoL in relation to functional performance status as assessed by ECOG were analyzed. There were no significant differences with regard to QoL alterations between patients with high (ECOG 0 or 1) and moderate performance status.
Conclusion: Our study confirmed an equally positive effect of PRRT on quality of life in midgut NET patients with high or moderate functional status in terms of increasing global health, functional status, and alleviating symptoms.
Keywords: 177LU-DOTATATE; MIDGUT NET; PRRT; QOL.