Radiation Safety Observations Associated with 177Lu Dotatate Patients

Health Phys. 2019 Dec;117(6):680-687. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001122.


Lutetium-177 dotatate, marketed under the name Lutathera®, is proving to be a valuable tool for physicians treating patients with neuroendocrine somatostatin-receptive tumors. Treatment consists of four cycles of 7.4 GBq of Lu dotatate infused intravenously over 30 to 40 minutes. This paper focuses on the radiation safety implications of patients undergoing Lu dotatate treatments at two large medical centers in the United States under the manufacturer's Expanded Access Protocol. Radiation safety precautions are described for the treatment of patients to control for radiation exposure and potential contamination. Ideally, the room used for administration should have a toilet, or one that is in close proximity, and covering should be provided to minimize contamination and clean up. The patient will meet the requirements in 10 CFR Part 35.75 for immediate release based on administered activity or measured exposure rate, but will need to be provided with written instruction on how to keep doses to other individuals ALARA. Disposal of the radioactive waste from Lu dotatate therapy can present some hazard control issues due to the long-lived Lu contaminant.Based on our experience, Lu dotatate therapy is an effective outpatient procedure that can safely occur in any hospital procedural room without the need for additional local shielding. Administration can be accomplished safely with attention paid to the administration set-up and proper administration procedures. Exposure to staff or to adjacent areas is minimal.

MeSH terms

  • Coordination Complexes / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / radiotherapy*
  • Octreotide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Octreotide / therapeutic use
  • Radiation Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Radiation Monitoring / methods
  • Radiation Protection / methods
  • Radiation Protection / standards*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Safety Management / standards*


  • 177Lu-DOTA-octreotate
  • Coordination Complexes
  • Octreotide