Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare cancers found in only about 2% of all individuals diagnosed with cancer each year. There are many varieties, with carcinoid being the most common one. NETs often release certain hormone-like substances into the bloodstream. Most cancers cause symptoms only in the organs they start in or spread to but carcinoid can cause symptoms throughout the body. NETs may appear almost anywhere, but they are most often found in the abdominal region, pancreas and lungs. Because symptoms resemble those of other diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease, they are often misdiagnosed for years. However, advances in treatment have improved the length of survival in carcinoids and other NETs.
The first type of Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) approved by the U.S. FDA and the European EMA is Lutathera® (177Lutetium 177Lu-DOTATATE).