Please remember to confirm all medical information with your oncologist or clinic.  This site is maintined by patients, not oncologist, please see about this site for more details.

Is there a limit to the number of times a person can get PRRT in their lifetime?

The actual number of total treatments will vary by person. There are a number of factors that influence how many treatments a person can receive, the most important may be the dose and type of isotope used in each treatment as well as the condition of a person’s kidneys and the status of their blood chemistry. Each person does have a maximum limit to the amount of radiation their body can absorb during their lifetime, so the number of treatment cycles will be constrained by this factor as well. As of 2011 the maximum number of cycles that a patient has received is 11.

Does PRRT prevent a person from getting other forms of treatment?

To the best of our knowledge PRRT does not limit the use of any other forms of treatment for NET cancer. NETs patient should also evaluate their best treatment option before any treatment.

Does PRRT cause kidney damage?

PRRT could damage kidneys, but the risk is relatively low. Considerable research has been done on how to protect the kidneys from radiation damage and the results long been applied for some time to the PRRT procedure at most, if not all, of the medical centers offering this therapy. Typically a form of amino acid is administered through an IV before and after the PRRT is done. These amino acids are absorbed by the kidneys and protect them throughout the process.

Does PRRT damage your bone marrow?

PRRT could damage your bone marrow, so there is risk in using this therapy, just as there are risks with other forms of treatment. The main way to limit any effects of radiation on the marrow is for the doctors to use the lowest dosage of the selected radionuclide isotope to kill the tumors in the body. At Bad Berka this formulation of the dosimetry to be used is facilitated by the calculation of Standard Uptake Values (SUV)for each tumor in the body.

When (at what stage) should PRRT be used?

The answer to this question will likely be different depending upon whom it is you ask. For many but not all US doctors who treat NETS, the answer is usually that PRRT is the last thing, the last resort treatment to be used on the patient. It is more common for patients from the United States to be referred to centers in Europe once their US oncologist has exhausted all conventional treatments. Many European doctors, especially those at Bad Berka, believe that PRRT should begin as early as possible when the tumor burden is still minimal and the radiation therapy can be most effective. Download this article by Doctors Grabowski and Baum for more explanation.

Can I be on Octreotide therapy during treatment?

In order for PRRT to be effective - you will need to discontinue use of Long Acting Octreotide (LAR) 45 days prior to treatment and switch to sub-q injections for symptom control.  Sub-q injection should be discontinued on the Saturday prior to your treatment.  The doctors at the clinic will inform you when you can restart your octreotide therapy.  As with all medical advice PLEASE confirm this with your doctor and the clinic staff before discontinuing octreotide therapy.

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