Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a rare type of cancer that originate in the neuroendocrine cells, which are responsible for producing hormones. These tumors can occur in various parts of the body, including the lungs, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs.
Led by Dr. Ebrahim Delpassand, our team offers radioisotope therapy to treat neuroendocrine tumors here at Excel Diagnostics & Nuclear Oncology Center. Specifically, we utilize a type of therapy called peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT). This therapy identifies and attacks cancer cells without damaging any of your nearby healthy tissue.
Below, we explore how PRRT works and its effectiveness in treating neuroendocrine cancer.
What is PRRT?
PRRT is a targeted form of cancer treatment that utilizes a radioactive substance to deliver radiation directly to neuroendocrine tumor cells. It works by binding a radioactive substance, such as Lutetium-177 or Yttrium-90, to a specific peptide or protein that targets the receptors found on the surface of neuroendocrine tumor cells.
Once administered, the radioactive substance emits radiation that selectively targets and destroys the cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissues.
How does PRRT eradicate neuroendocrine cancer?
PRRT is highly effective in eradicating neuroendocrine cancer due to its targeted nature. The peptide or protein used in PRRT has an affinity for the receptors present on neuroendocrine tumor cells.
When the radioactive substance is bound to the targeting molecule, it delivers radiation directly to the cancer cells. The emitted radiation damages the DNA within the tumor cells, disrupting their ability to divide and grow. Over time, the tumor cells die, leading to tumor shrinkage and potentially complete eradication.
Effectiveness of PRRT
PRRT has shown effectiveness in treating neuroendocrine cancer, especially for advanced or metastatic cases. According to a study published in the journal Pancreas, researchers have demonstrated significant tumor reduction, improved quality of life, and prolonged survival rates in patients undergoing PRRT. In some cases, PRRT has been successful in achieving complete remission, where no evidence of cancer is detectable.
PRRT can be particularly beneficial for patients with inoperable tumors or those whose tumors have spread to other parts of the body. It offers a noninvasive treatment option that can help manage symptoms, control tumor growth, and potentially extend life expectancy. Additionally, PRRT can be used as a complementary treatment alongside other therapies, such as surgery or chemotherapy, to enhance treatment outcomes.
Is PRRT right for you?
Determining if PRRT is suitable for your specific condition requires a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary medical team experienced in treating neuroendocrine cancer. They will consider several factors, including the type and stage of your cancer, overall health status, and previous treatment history. Diagnostic tests, such as molecular imaging using somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS), will also be conducted to identify the presence and distribution of neuroendocrine tumor cells.
It is important to discuss PRRT with our team here at Excel Diagnostics who can provide a thorough assessment and guide you through the treatment decision-making process. We explain the potential benefits and risks associated with PRRT, address any concerns or questions you may have, and work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan.
A new hope for neuroendocrine cancer
PRRT offers new hope for patients with neuroendocrine cancer. By specifically targeting the cancer cells with radiation, PRRT can effectively eradicate tumors, control disease progression, and improve overall quality of life. If you have been diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to further explore the possibilities.
You can reach our Houston, Texas, office 一 now designated as a Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence 一 at 713-781-6200 or simply use our online portal to schedule an appointment.