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J Nucl Med. 2011 Jul;52(7):1041-7. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.110.085100. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

177Lu-DOTATATE molecular radiotherapy for childhood neuroblastoma.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.


This study tested the principle that (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT may be used to select children with primary refractory or relapsed high-risk neuroblastoma for treatment with (177)Lu-DOTATATE and evaluated whether this is a viable therapeutic option for those children.


Between 2008 and 2010, 8 children with relapsed or refractory high-risk neuroblastoma were studied with (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT. The criterion of eligibility for (177)Lu-DOTATATE therapy was uptake on the diagnostic scan equal to or higher than that of the liver.


Of the 8 children imaged, 6 had abnormally high uptake on the (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT scan and proceeded to treatment. Patients received 2 or 3 administrations of (177)Lu-DOTATATE at a median interval of 9 wk and a median administered activity of 7.3 GBq. Of the 6 children treated, 5 had stable disease by the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST). Of these 5 children, 2 had an initial metabolic response and reduction in the size of their lesions, and 1 patient had a persistent partial metabolic response and reduction in size of the lesions on CT, although the disease was stable by RECIST. One had progressive disease. Three children had grade 3 and 1 child had grade 4 thrombocytopenia. No significant renal toxicity has been seen.


(68)Ga-DOTATATE can be used to image children with neuroblastoma and identify those suitable for molecular radiotherapy with (177)Lu-DOTATATE. We have shown, for what is to our knowledge the first time, that treatment with (177)Lu-DOTATATE is safe and feasible in children with relapsed or primary refractory high-risk neuroblastoma. We plan to evaluate this approach formally in a phase I-II clinical trial.

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