Radionuclide Therapy in Neuroendocrine Tumours: A Systematic Review
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The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the effects of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals in patients with different types of advanced neuroendocrine tumour (NETs). A literature search was carried out in MEDLINE and EMBASE from January 1998 to November 2010. The Cochrane Library (to Issue 10, 2010) and the Standards and Guidelines Evidence Inventory of Cancer Guidelines, including over 1100 English-language cancer guidelines from January 2003 to June 2010, were also checked. No existing systematic reviews or clinical practice guidelines based on a systematic review or randomised controlled trials focusing on this topic were found. Twenty-four fully published articles were abstracted and summarised: 16 articles focused on five peptide receptor radionuclide therapy ((111)In-DTPAOC, (90)Y-DOTALAN, (90)Y-DOTATOC, (90)Y-DOTATATE, and (177)Lu-DOTATATE) and eight focused on (131)I-MIBG treatment. Limited evidence from a historical comparison of studies in one centre supported that (177)Lu-DOTATATE might be associated with greater clinical outcomes compared with (90)Y-DOTATOC or (111)In-DTPAOC. The severe toxicities for (177)Lu-DOTATATE included hepatic insufficiency in 0.6%, myelodysplastic syndrome in 0.8% and renal insufficiency in 0.4% of patients in this study. Insufficient evidence suggested efficacy of (131)I-MIBG in adult NET patients, but the overall tumour response rate from (131)I-MIBG was 27-75% for malignant neuroblastoma, paraganglioma or pheochromocytoma. Haematological toxicities were the main severe side-effects after (131)I-MIBG and 4% of patients developed secondary malignancies in one study. To date, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy seems to be an acceptable option and is relatively safe in adult advanced NET patients with receptor uptake positive on scintigraphy, but patients' renal function must be monitored. (131)I-MIBG may be effective for malignant neuroblastoma, paraganglioma or pheochromocytoma, but its side-effects need to be considered. No strong evidence exists to support that one therapeutic radiopharmaceutical is more effective than others. Well-designed and good-quality randomised controlled trials are required on this research topic.
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