The Nuclear Medicine Service, in collaboration with the nursing professionals of the Vascular Surgery Service, has expanded its portfolio of services with the implementation of a new technique called 177 Lutecio-Lutathera, which is aimed at adult patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors, NETs. Gastrointestinal or pancreatic origin.
Lutetium (177 Lu) was the first radioactive drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018 for the treatment of these rare cancers. In La Rioja, 4 patients per year are expected to be candidates for this treatment according to indications approved by regulatory agencies.
To receive this treatment, the patient is admitted to the Metabolic Therapy Unit of San Pedro University Hospital for 24 hours, where the radioactive isotope is given. The drug enters tumor cells with somatostatin receptors, and radiation emitted by the lutetium-177 isotope helps to kill cells.
This is a very important advance for patients with certain neuroendocrine tumors and provides a new option for many affected people who do not respond to other treatments.
Surgery is the only curative treatment in patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors. In people with inoperable tumors, with disease that recurs or has spread to other organs, there are few therapeutic options and therapy with radiolabeled somatostatin analogs, called radiometabolic therapy, has shown promise and 177Lu-Lutathera Due to its radioactive emission of beta particles, it is suitable for medical use.
Target of radiopharmaceutical
The aim of this radiopharmaceutical is to reduce or disappear the signs and symptoms caused by the disease, to reduce the size of tumors in different locations and to be able to be used in combination with other treatments. The median overall survival with this type of treatment is 27.4 months, which is very significant in this type of advanced tumor.
Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare, although their incidence is increasing due to high rates of incidental diagnosis. About two-thirds of these tumors are of gastrointestinal or pancreatic origin, and their most frequent location is the small intestine. In the case of La Rioja, the incidence is estimated at 21 new cases per year.