Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with [177Lu]-DOTA-TATE is an effective treatment for somatostatin receptor positive neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Post-treatment scans (PTS) are required after each cycle of treatment for personalized radiation dosimetry in order to calculate the dose to organs and tumors and to ensure a cumulative absorbed dose to kidneys under a safety threshold of 25 Gy.
A total of 187 patients who completed treatment and underwent PTS for dosimetry calculation were included in this retrospective study. The correlation between the cumulative absorbed dose to the kidneys after completion of treatment and the absorbed dose after the first cycle(s) was studied. Multilinear regression analysis was performed to predict the cumulative absorbed dose by the kidneys in the subsequent cycles. An algorithm for the follow-up of the kidney absorbed dose is proposed.
When the absorbed dose to kidneys after the first cycle of treatment is below 5.6 Gy, four cycles of treatment can be safely administered with a cumulative dose less than 25 Gy (p < 0.1). For the remaining patients, the cumulative dose absorbed after 3 or 4 cycles of treatment can be predicted after the second cycle of treatment. This protocol enabled early decisions on the number of treatment cycles and reduced the number of post-treatment SPECT/CT studies for dosimetry in 34% of patients, as well as hospitalization time for 56% of the treatment cycles.
Assessment of the kidney absorbed dose after PRRT can be simplified with the algorithm presented in this study. This approach enabled early decisions on the number of therapy cycles in 75% of patients.
The validity of these results is limited to the protocol of dosimetry calculation used in our institution. Implementation in other centers may require standardization of the acquisition parameters and the dosimetry protocol.