Article Index

When I first heard about PRRT from a fellow Nueroendocrine Tumor (NET) patient, my first reaction was very guarded. Years of watching television programs such as 2020 and 60 Minutes as they unmasked unethical foreign charlatans who were selling laetrile in Mexico to cure cancer or promising ALS patients a miracle cure made me very cautious. I began doing my homework while keeping mum to my loved ones about this possible new treatment choice.

After five years of treatment for a very rare form of pancreatic islet cell cancer called a VIPoma, I had been through almost every treatment known to science. I had experienced three years of chemotherapy (5 FU and streptozocin, Adriamycin, and cisplatin with etopocide) including a year wearing a chemotherapy infusion pump day and night and had developed type 4 diabetes from the Streptozocin, requiring daily insulin shots. I had had much of my pancreas removed as well as my spleen and part of my stomach. Over two years I suffered through eight chemoembolizations and had gone through the disappointment of seeing the promising new systemic drugs, Sutent and RAD 001 (Afinitor) fail to stop tumor growth as they caused horrible side effects. I developed hand/foot syndrome from the Sutent and developed agonizing blisters on my feet. I was also one of the 1% of patients who get interstitial lung disease from Afinitor and it made me so sick that I really began to believe I was going to die fairly soon. My options had just about run out at the exact time my colleague told me about this treatment that seemed too good to be true.