Why is this important?
Despite the effectiveness of PRRT to prolong NET survival, many patients will be diagnosed with metastases a few years later. This two-year Petersen Investigator Project explored the safety of a novel radionuclide for a more effective PRRT treatment. Schibli and colleagues developed a new therapy based on terbium radionuclides (161Tb), which have distinct radioactive properties, compared to Lu 177. The researchers evaluated the improved ability of 161Tb-DOTATOC to kill NET cells in a pre-clinical setting before they proceed with the first-in-man study. They theorize that this new therapy may result in a paradigm shift in the PRRT treatment of NETs
What did researchers do?
Schibli developed a different radionuclide-biomolecule, that uses terbium-161 (161Tb) instead of lutetium-177 (177Lu), bound to DOTATOC. The 161Tb-molecules were then applied to two NET patients in a clinical pilot study to investigate its distribution in the body.
What did researchers learn?
Due to its different radiation-emitting properties, he found that 161Tb-labeled molecules are more effective in killing cancer cells and that killing single cancer cells could represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of neuroendocrine cancer. This may provide patients with a more sustainable therapy option.
Zhang J, Singh A, Kulkarni HR, et al. From bench to bedside—the Bad Berka experience with first-in-human studies. Semin Nucl Med. 2019;49(5):422-437. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2019.06.002. Epub 2019 Jul 6.
Gracheva N, Müller C, Talip Z, et al. Production and characterization of no-carrier-added 161Tb as an alternative to the clinically applied 177Lu for radionuclide therapy. EJNMMI Radiopharm Chem. 2019;4(1):12. Published 2019 Jul 10. doi:10.1186/s41181-019-0063-6
What is the next step?
These data will serve as the basis for a clinical study whose success may encourage the use of 161Tb as an improved PRRT therapeutic option.