What sets treatment by Dr. Baum and his team at Bad Berka apart from PRRT offered at other medical centers in Europe is not only a individualized approach to dosimetry and treatment, but also the view that patients should be administered lower amounts of radioactivity at more frequent and prolonged intervals (3-6 months in between therapies), rather than given a high dose of radiation at shorter intervals. The Bad Berka approach followed by Dr. Baum and his team sees the NET cancer as a chronic disease to be treated over time.  Dr. Baum and his team have published results of this approach in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine in 2010.

The individualized approach is made largely possible by the use of the 68-Gallium PET/CT scan. The 68-Ga PET/CT scan is used to calculate the Standard Uptake Values (SUV) for all the tumors (with receptors) as well as for diagnostic detection of tumors and post-treatment evaluations of the PRRT. This scan allows the team at Bad Berka in conjunction with other diagnostic tests, to better determine the type of isotope to be used (Lu-177 or Y-90 – or both) and the strength of the dose tailored to each patient's tumor load and renal function.

In addition to facilitating the individualized dosimetry, the 68-Ga PET/CT scan adds considerable depth to the diagnostic evaluation. The somatostatin analog that is radiolabeled with 68-Gallium has a strong affinity for the somatostatin receptors in the tumors and this can help to detect smaller sized tumors and give better definition to the PET scan image when combined with a CT image.

And why is this important? It is important because the ultimate goal is to use as low a power of isotope as possible to do the most damage to the tumors and the least damage to any organs or other tissue.