177Lutetium octreotate therapy

177Lutetium octreotate therapy can be used to treat neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). This treatment is suitable for patients where treatment, such as surgery or chemotherapy, aren’t suitable or haven’t proved successful.

What is 177Lutetium octreotate therapy

You may be offered 177Lutetium octreotate therapy if you have neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) including head and neck cancers and gastrointestinal tumours. It’s one of a group of innovative treatments known as Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT). It precisely targets cancerous cells, reducing damage to healthy tissue.How does 177Lutetium octreotate therapy work?
Cells in the body have different kinds of receptors on their surface. The receptors enable cells to send the signals that coordinate body functions. This allows them to respond to changes in their environment.
The endocrine system produces a hormone called somatostatin. Somatostatin has many functions in the body so many cells have receptors for it. NETs have many somatostatin receptors on their surface.Octreotate is a synthetic (man-made) hormone and is similar to the body’s natural somatostatin. Used in combination with a targeted radioactive substance called lutetium-177, octreotate travels to the somatostatin receptors, including NET cells, and locks on to them. This enables the cancerous cells to be precisely targeted with radiotherapy. It avoids the whole body being exposed to radiation. It’s cleared from your body when you urinate.

Why would I be offered 177Lutetium octreotate therapy?

You may be offered 177Lutetium octreotate therapy if you have tumours that start in your endocrine or nervous system. These are known as neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). It is used when other types of treatment, such as surgery or chemotherapy, aren’t suitable or haven’t worked.

This therapy helps to:

  • Stop the NETs from growing
  • Reduce the size of the tumour
  • Improve your symptoms

In some cases, NETs reduce in size for a long period of time, giving long-term remission from the disease, but this therapy can’t cure your cancer.

Further information

Before you start treatment, you’ll have a diagnostic PET/CT scan.

The scan helps us to see whether the cancer has somatostatin receptors. It identifies the location of the cancer so that it can be precisely targeted and helps in staging and planning your treatment.

177Lutetium octreotate therapy is an outpatient procedure in our Theranostics suite. Your treatment will be delivered over four hours by a drip inserted into a vein in your arm.

Most people have four treatment carried out at 4-8 week intervals between treatments. Your therapy will be personalised according to your response and symptoms.

177Lutetium is cleared from your body when you urinate, with 60% eliminated within 24 hours of treatment.

Like all cancer treatments, there can be side-effects. They vary from person to person, but may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • A temporary increase in your cancer symptoms

We’ll help you find ways to reduce and manage any side-effects. You may be able to have medication to reduce any symptoms.

Make an enquiry about 177Lutetium octreotate therapy

Whether you’re in need of treatment or would like more information please complete our enquiry form and we will get back to you – usually within 24 hours.
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How to find us

Cancer care at GenesisCare may be covered by private medical insurance – we’re recognised by most major insurers. We also offer a range of self-pay packages. We offer Theranostics at our Windsor Centre, you can choose from a range of appointment times and we can schedule your treatment to suit your needs.
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Meet Dr Yong Du

Dr Yong Du


Dr Yong Du is a Consultant Physician in Nuclear Medicine & PET/CT. He has extensive experience in both Diagnostic and Therapeutic Nuclear Medicine and was the first recipient of the UK HEFCE Clinical Senior Lectureship award in the Nuclear Medicine specialty.

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