PRRT delivers targeted radiation therapy by exploiting the physiology of neuroendocrine tumors. The PRRT currently in use typically combines a somatostatin agonist with a radioactive substance called a radionuclide to form highly specialized molecules called radiopeptides. These radiopeptides can bind receptors on tumor cells where they emit radiation that can either 1) be read for diagnostic imaging or 2) kill tumor cells.
To improve effectiveness while reducing side effects, Dr. Weber and his collaborators have developed a technique for “next generation” PRRT. Instead of somatostatin agonists, this next generation PRRT will employ somatostatin antagonists. Based on preclinical data, Dr. Weber believes that somatostatin receptor antagonists can be more effective and generate fewer side effects than the substances that are currently being used to treat patients. Patients will first undergo a PET/CT with 68Ga-DOTA-JR11. Patients with sufficient tumor uptake of 68Ga-DOTA-JR11 will be offered therapy with 177Lu-DOTA-JR11. Therapy will be preceded by a dosimetric study to determine the amount of radioactivity that can be safely administered.