Overcoming nephrotoxicity in peptide receptor radionuclide therapy using [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumour

Lorain Geenen, Julie Nonnekens, Mark W. Konijnenberg, Sarah Baatout, Marion de Jong, An Aerts

    Research outputpeer-review


    Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is used for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastasized somatostatin receptor type 2 (SSTR2)-expressing gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (GEP-NETs). The radiolabelled somatostatin analogue [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE delivers its radiation dose to SSTR2-overexpressing tumour cells, resulting in selective cell killing during radioactive decay. While tumour control can be achieved in many patients, complete remissions remain rare, causing the majority of patients to relapse after a certain period of time. This raises the question whether the currently fixed treatment regime (4 × 7.4 GBq) leaves room for dose escalation as a means of improving therapy efficacy. The kidneys have shown to play an important role in defining a patient's tolerability to PRRT. As a consequence of the proximal tubular reabsorption of [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE, via the endocytic megalin/cubilin receptor complex, the radionuclides are retained in the renal interstitium. This results in extended retention of radioactivity in the kidneys, generating a risk for the development of radiation nephropathy. In addition, a decreased kidney function has shown to be associated with a prolonged circulation of [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE, causing increased irradiation to the bone marrow. This can on its turn lead to myelosuppression and haematological toxicity, owing to the marked radio sensitivity of the rapidly proliferating cells in the bone marrow. In contrast to external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), the exact absorbed dose limits for these critical organs (kidneys and bone marrow) in PRRT with [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE are still unclear. Better insights into these uncertainties, can help in optimizing PRRT to reach its maximum therapeutic potential, while avoiding severe adverse events, like nephropathy and hematologic toxicities. In this review we focus on the nephrotoxic effects of PRRT with [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE for the treatment of GEP-NETs. If the absorbed dose to the kidneys can be lowered, higher activities can be administered, enlarging the therapeutic window for PRRT. Therefore, we evaluated the renal protective potential of current and promising future strategies and discuss the importance of (renal) dosimetry in PRRT.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
    StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021

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