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Lutathera Fills Unmet Need in NETs, Role of Radiation Expands Across GI Cancers

Brandon Scalea
Published: Friday, Apr 05, 2019

Derek R. McHaffie, MD

Derek R. McHaffie, MD

The peptide receptor radionuclide therapy Lutathera (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate) has addressed what was previously a significant unmet need in the treatment of patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs), said Derek R. McHaffie, MD. Now, investigators are exploring different radiotherapy techniques to improve outcomes in those with oligometastatic gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.

In the phase III NETTER-1 trial, investigators compared the use of Lutathera with high-dose octreotide LAR (Sandostatin) in patients with metastatic or locally advanced, inoperable, well-differentiated midgut NETs who progressed during treatment with standard-dose octreotide LAR. Initial data, which demonstrated a 79% reduction in the risk of progression or death with Lutathera, led to the FDA’s decision in January 2018 to approve the therapy for patients with somatostatin receptor–positive GEP-NETs.1

Updated progression-free survival data presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting showed 30 events in the Lutathera arm compared with 78 events in the octreotide LAR arm. Lutathera also appeared to be much better tolerated in terms of global health status, fatigue, and physical functioning.2

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