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Targeted Radiotherapy For Neuroendocrine Tumors


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Hi all,

When I first came to this site, I was looking for any possiblity of treatment for my husband's particular type of tumor. Unfortunately at that time, we were the only ones posting that had a confirmed diagnosis of Neuroendocrine Carcinoid. However, lately I've been seeing a lot more people posting who have this rare and hard to identify profile. So, I thought I'd share some information I've come across specific to Neuroendocrine carcinomas whether they are undifferentiated, poorly differentiated or whatever. Keith and I have been following for the past 2 years, and trying to qualify for, an experimental treatment which is only being done in Europe right now (Yttrium-90). It is Somatostatin Receptor Targeted Radiotherapy.

Unfortunately, neuroendocrine tumor types are reported to not be as responsive to chemotherapy. :( However, this experimental treatment is really like smart bomb technology. My husband participated in the Indium 111 study a little over a year ago. They scanned him with Octreotide imaging to find hormone receptor sites attached to his tumors. Then what they do is highly radiate doses of that hormone which then goes directly to the tumors and is sucked up killing them. There were no side effects whatsoever. Since it is targeted therapy there was no damage to surrounding tissue and little to no toxicity to the body. In order to minimize toxicity to the Kidneys they kept him in the hospital for 5 days and really flushed his body with fluids to keep the kidneys flushed and from being damaged. Unfortunately that study in New Orleans was started at a bad time for us, and we couldn't follow through with it. But, there is another study that is having an even greater response rate and that is Yttrium-90. According to 4 out of the 6 doctors we've seen, they all have said if you qualify, this is the study to try to get into. In fact, one doctor has sent his own family members to it. There is a doctor at the University of Iowa who does pre-qualifying for this study. His name is Dr. O'Dirisio. I've also read in a few other articles in the past that a small number of SCLC patients have been accepted to Yttrium trials as well with some marked success.

I highly recommend anyone with neuroendocrine feature cancer to look into this.

It sounds promising to me, and at this point I am willing to try anything for a cure.

FYI...Just thought I'd share.

Warmest Wishes



Somatostatin-Receptor Targeted Radiotherapy

Professor S. Pauwels, Head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels introduced a novel therapeutic principle consisting of a somatostatin peptide analog (Tyr3-octreotide) coupled to a complexing moiety (DOTA or DTPA) and labeled with a tightly bound beta-emitter (yttrium-90 or the diagnostic chemical analog, indium-111), especially a beta and gamma-emitter (lutetium-177). The utility of this peptide vector as an antineoplastic therapy for patients with somatostatin receptor-positive disease has been investigated in phase 1 and phase 2 trials.[37,38]

Based on very limited experience, this new treatment strategy appears promising for patients with neuroendocrine tumors and a high somatostatin receptor density. Partial remissions and stabilization of tumor growth have been observed in more than 60% of patients. Side effects of treatment include bone marrow and kidney toxicity.

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  • 2 months later...

Carleen, I know this is a very old post of yours - I found it through the search feature, - but someone on a Weight Watcher's thread posted this today and I thought of Keith. Not even sure if it was applicable, but I thought it couldn't hurt to give you all a heads-up. I have no idea WHY it was posted on Weight Watchers, but possibly because those boards get so soooo much traffic or it was a response that got posted as a new topic.

Here's the post and link:


4/3/2006 6:38:55 PM

I'm not sure where you live, but we're doing some great work with neuroendocrine tumors at Ohio State University-James Cancer Hospital. Dr. Shah is the lead physician for this. We have a lot of trials and treatments for this rare cancer.

Good luck!


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