Toxicity of a combined therapy using the mTOR-inhibitor everolimus and PRRT with [ 177 Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE in Lewis rats

EJNMMI Res. 2020 Apr 25;10(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s13550-020-00628-y.


Purpose: Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with [177Lu]Lu-DOTA0,TYR3-octreotate ([177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE) and the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor everolimus are both approved for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumours (NET). However, tumour progression is still frequent, and treatment strategies need further improvement. One possible approach could be to combine different therapy options. In this study, we investigated the toxicity of a combined treatment with everolimus and [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE in female Lewis rats.

Methods: Animals received 200 MBq of [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE once and/or 5 mg/kg body weight everolimus or placebo weekly for 16 weeks and were divided into four groups (group 1, placebo; group 2, everolimus; group 3, placebo + [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE; group 4, everolimus + [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE). Blood levels of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were assessed weekly to monitor nephrotoxicity, and a full blood count was performed at the time of euthanasia to monitor myelotoxicity. Additionally, renal function was analysed by sequential [99mTc]Tc-mercaptoacetyltriglycine ([99mTc]Tc-MAG3) scintigraphies. Histopathological examination was performed in all the kidneys using a standardized renal damage score (RDS).

Results: Rats receiving everolimus showed a significantly lower increase in creatinine levels than those receiving placebo. Everolimus therapy reduced white blood count significantly, which was not observed for [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE. Functional renal scintigraphies using [99mTc]Tc-MAG3 showed a compromised initial tracer uptake after PRRT and slower but still preserved excretion after everolimus. Histology showed no significant RDS differences between groups.

Conclusion: Renal scintigraphy is a highly sensitive tool for the detection of renal function impairment after a combination of everolimus and PRRT. Additional treatment with everolimus does not increase renal and haematological toxicity of PRRT with [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE.

Keywords: Everolimus; PRRT; Renal clearance; Scintigraphy; [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE.