Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy or simply the PRRT approach is a radioisotope therapy used principally in the treatment of Neuroendocrine carcinoma. This essentially is a “one-size-fits-all” approach which involves a cell-targeting protein called the octreotide which is combined with a small amount of radioactive material, thereby creating a special type of radiopharmaceutical known as a Radiopeptide. This when injected into the patient’s bloodstream, travels and binds to the neuroendocrine tumor cells; at the site, it delivers a high dose of radiation to the cancer hence either slowing its progression or completely warding off its advance. And into the bargain is the amount of radioactivity administered, all patients receive the same quota of radiation. Consequently, a patient may not be able to derive maximum benefit from this treatment in case he/she needs a stronger dose than realistically be required.
A new study by Jean-Mathieu Beauregard from Universite Laval, Canada, has now possibly widened this treatments’ potential by personalizing it. This approach firstly measures the amount of radiation an individual can tolerate and can be deemed safe; this was optimized by analyzing the buildup of the same in the Kidney. It then administers the radiopeptide, in this case, lutetium-177 (177Lu)-octreotate.
A total of 55 personalised 177Lu-octreotate cycles was tested on 27 neuroendocrine cancer patients from mid to late 2016, which was followed up using quantitative SPECT dosimetry. The result was eye-opening as it showed an increase in the radiation dose to tumors for a majority of participants. The radiation provided indicated increases as high as three times the dose originally being delivered through conventional PRRT.
Further, the study intends to showcase how personalized PRRT results in improved therapeutic benefits, such as reduced tumor progression and longer survival.