SPECT/CT Image-Derived Absorbed Dose to Red Marrow Correlates with Hematologic Toxicity in Patients Treated with [177Lu]Lu-DOTATATE

J Nucl Med. 2024 Mar 28:jnumed.123.266843. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.123.266843. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Hematologic toxicity, although often transient, is the most common limiting adverse effect during somatostatin peptide receptor radionuclide therapy. This study investigated the association between Monte Carlo-derived absorbed dose to the red marrow (RM) and hematologic toxicity in patients being treated for their neuroendocrine tumors. Methods: Twenty patients each receiving 4 treatment cycles of [177Lu]Lu-DOTATATE were included. Multiple-time-point 177Lu SPECT/CT imaging-based RM dosimetry was performed using an artificial intelligence-driven workflow to segment vertebral spongiosa within the field of view (FOV). This workflow was coupled with an in-house macroscale/microscale Monte Carlo code that incorporates a spongiosa microstructure model. Absorbed dose estimates to RM in lumbar and thoracic vertebrae within the FOV, considered as representations of the whole-body RM absorbed dose, were correlated with hematologic toxicity markers at about 8 wk after each cycle and at 3- and 6-mo follow-up after completion of all cycles. Results: The median of absorbed dose to RM in lumbar and thoracic vertebrae within the FOV (D median,vertebrae) ranged from 0.019 to 0.11 Gy/GBq. The median of cumulative absorbed dose across all 4 cycles was 1.3 Gy (range, 0.6-2.5 Gy). Hematologic toxicity was generally mild, with no grade 2 or higher toxicity for platelets, neutrophils, or hemoglobin. However, there was a decline in blood counts over time, with a fractional value relative to baseline at 6 mo of 74%, 97%, 57%, and 97%, for platelets, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and hemoglobin, respectively. Statistically significant correlations were found between a subset of hematologic toxicity markers and RM absorbed doses, both during treatment and at 3- and 6-mo follow-up. This included a correlation between the platelet count relative to baseline at 6-mo follow up: D median,vertebrae (r = -0.64, P = 0.015), D median,lumbar (r = -0.72, P = 0.0038), D median,thoracic (r = -0.58, P = 0.029), and D average,vertebrae (r = -0.66, P = 0.010), where D median,lumbar and D median,thoracic are median absorbed dose to the RM in the lumbar and thoracic vertebrae, respectively, within the FOV and D average,vertebrae is the mass-weighted average absorbed dose of all vertebrae. Conclusion: This study found a significant correlation between image-derived absorbed dose to the RM and hematologic toxicity, including a relative reduction of platelets at 6-mo follow up. These findings indicate that absorbed dose to the RM can potentially be used to understand and manage hematologic toxicity in peptide receptor radionuclide therapy.

Keywords: [177Lu]Lu-DOTATATE; peptide receptor radionuclide therapy; radiopharmaceutical therapy; red marrow dosimetry; theranostics.