Despite the effectiveness of Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) to prolong survival of those with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), many patients will see their cancer spread a few years later.

To help discover technology capable of more accurately killing individual neuroendocrine cancer cells, NETRF granted a 2018 Petersen Investigator award to Roger Schibli, PhD, Paul Scherrer Institut, Zurich Switzerland. His study will explore the safety of a novel radionuclide for PRRT to reduce risks of recurrence. Schibli will study terbium radionuclides (Tb-161), which have distinct radioactive properties, compared to existing radionuclides, such as lutetium 177 dotatate (Lu-177) or Yttrium-90 (Y-90). According to Schibli, Tb-161’s properties may help to kill single cancer cells, which may be left lingering on the margins of a tumor and then continue to grow, leading to recurrence or metastases.

Testing Tb-161 for neuroendocrine tumors

Tb-161 kills tumor cells at short and long ranges. Schibli’s study evaluates the ability of Tb-161 dotatoc to kill single cancer cells and tiny metastases in a pre-clinical setting before they proceed with the first-in-man study. Schibli’s proof-of-concept clinical testing of Tb-161 is planned to be done in collaboration with Richard Baum, MD, PhD, in Bad Berka, Germany.

Watch this video to learn more.