Authors: Sebastian Dennis-Beron, Future Science Group
The results of the Phase III NETTER-1 trial have demonstrated that the use of a novel drug, Lutetium-DOTATATE (Lutathera), significantly lowers the risk of disease progression and death in patients with previously treated, advanced midgut neuroendocrine tumors.
Lutetium-DOTATE, a peptide receptor radionuclide therapy, was tested against octreotide LAR 60 mg in a study group of 230 patients with inoperable, progressive disease. Treatment with 177Lutetium-DOTATATE resulted in an approximate 80% decrease in risk for disease progression or death, when compared with patients treated with octreotide. Twenty three patients in the 177Lutetium-DOTATATE group had confirmed disease progression or death compared with 67 patients in the octreotide group.
This major development in treatment was recently welcomed by experts at the 13th Annual Conference of the European Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (ENETS; 9–11 March, Barcelona, Spain).
“With the results of the Netter-1 trial and the significant ongoing work to demonstrate the effectiveness of other PRRT agents, hopefully the door will now open to making this therapy available and affordable throughout the US and around the world,” stated Ron Hollander (President of the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance).
ENETS have also developed an intense quality procedure for the accreditation of Centres of Excellence in treating neuroendocrine tumors. This highly successful program now has 34 centers accredited with a further three – two in the UK and one in Poland – receiving accreditation at the conference.
As Martyn Caplin (Royal Free Hospital, UK) explained: “Exciting new data with pharma sponsored trials such as Lutetium-DOTATATE as well as other recent clinical trials such as RADIANT 4 with everolimus and TELESTAR with telotristat etiprate together with ENETS work leading the way in developing accredited new centers of excellence, offers real hope for many patients with advanced endocrine cancer whose second-line therapeutic options have been so limited.”