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FDA approves new treatment for certain digestive tract cancers Lutathera (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate)



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lutetium Lu 177 dotatate

FDA approves new treatment for certain digestive tract cancers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Lutathera (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate) for the treatment of a type of cancer that affects the pancreas or gastrointestinal tract called gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). This is the first time a radioactive drug, or radiopharmaceutical, has been approved for the treatment of GEP-NETs. Lutathera is indicated for adult patients with somatostatin receptor-positive GEP-NETs. Continue reading.\

January 26, 2018


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Lutathera (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate) for the treatment of a type of cancer that affects the pancreas or gastrointestinal tract called gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). This is the first time a radioactive drug, or radiopharmaceutical, has been approved for the treatment of GEP-NETs. Lutathera is indicated for adult patients with somatostatin receptor-positive GEP-NETs.

“GEP-NETs are a rare group of cancers with limited treatment options after initial therapy fails to keep the cancer from growing,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This approval provides another treatment choice for patients with these rare cancers. It also demonstrates how the FDA may consider data from therapies that are used in an expanded access program to support approval for a new treatment.”

GEP-NETs can be present in the pancreas and in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract such as the stomach, intestines, colon and rectum. It is estimated that approximately one out of 27,000 people are diagnosed with GEP-NETs per year.

Lutathera is a radioactive drug that works by binding to a part of a cell called a somatostatin receptor, which may be present on certain tumors. After binding to the receptor, the drug enters the cell allowing radiation to cause damage to the tumor cells.

The approval of Lutathera was supported by two studies. The first was a randomized clinical trial in 229 patients with a certain type of advanced somatostatin receptor-positive GEP-NET. Patients in the trial either received Lutathera in combination with the drug octreotide or octreotide alone. The study measured the length of time the tumors did not grow after treatment (progression-free survival). Progression-free survival was longer for patients taking Lutathera with octreotide compared to patients who received octreotide alone. This means the risk of tumor growth or patient death was lower for patients who received Lutathera with octreotide compared to that of patients who received only octreotide.

The second study was based on data from 1,214 patients with somatostatin receptor-positive tumors, including GEP-NETS, who received Lutathera at a single site in the Netherlands. Complete or partial tumor shrinkage was reported in 16 percent of a subset of 360 patients with GEP-NETs who were evaluated for response by the FDA. Patients initially enrolled in the study received Lutathera as part of an expanded access program. Expanded access is a way for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening diseases or conditions who lack therapeutic alternatives to gain access to investigational drugs for treatment use.

Common side effects of Lutathera include low levels of white blood cells (lymphopenia), high levels of enzymes in certain organs (increased GGT, AST and/or ALT), vomiting, nausea, high levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia).

Serious side effects of Lutathera include low levels of blood cells (myelosuppression), development of certain blood or bone marrow cancers (secondary myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia), kidney damage (renal toxicity), liver damage (hepatotoxicity), abnormal levels of hormones in the body (neuroendocrine hormonal crises) and infertility. Lutathera can cause harm to a developing fetus; women should be advised of the potential risk to the fetus and to use effective contraception. Patients taking Lutathera are exposed to radiation. Exposure of other patients, medical personnel, and household members should be limited in accordance with radiation safety practices.

Lutathera was granted Priority Review, under which the FDA’s goal is to take action on an application within six months where the agency determines that the drug, if approved, would significantly improve the safety or effectiveness of treating, diagnosing or preventing a serious condition. Lutathera also received Orphan Drugdesignation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.

The FDA granted the approval of Lutathera to Advanced Accelerator Applications.




Dotatate lutenium Lu-177.png

Dotatate lutenium Lu-177; 437608-50-9; DTXSID20195927


Image result for lutetium Lu 177 dotatate



Lutetium 1777

Lutetium-177 has been quite a late addition as an isotope of significance to the nuclear medicine yet it is making big strides especially as a therapeutic radiopharmaceutical for neuroendocrine tumours in the form of 177Lu-DOTA-TATE on regular basis as described by Das & Pillai (2013). 

Lutetium-177 a lanthanide is an f block element that has a half-life of 6.7 days and decays mainly by beta emission to Hf-177, is accompanied by two gamma ray emissions. These radionuclide properties are very similar to those of I-131 which has long served as a therapeutic radionuclide, it was therefore not surprising that Lu-177 also emerged as a highly valuable radionuclide for similar applications,
There are several other upcoming applications especially for bone pain palliatiion. As a result of its convenient production logistics Lu-177 as discussed by Pillai et al (2003) is fast emerging a radionuclide of choice in radionuclide therapy (RNT).
Lu-177 can be prepared in a nuclear reactor by one of the two reactions given below :
176Lu(n,gamma)177Lu or
176Yb(n,gamma)177Yb –beta–> 177Lu
The former reaction has a high thermal neutron capture cross section and is presently the method adopted at our reactors in spite of the  formation of long lived Lu-177m whose yield is very much low and is considered insignificant to cause any great concern.
Lutetium-177 Impact 
Recently there has been a rush of several research reviews and articles where Lu-177 holds the centre stage, for example, Banerjee et al (2015) have reviewed the chemistry and applications of Lu-177; Dash et al (2015) reviewed its production and available options; Knapp & Pillai (2015) highlighted its usefulness in cancer treatment and chronic diseases and Pillai and Knapp (2015) have discussed the evolving role of Lu-177 in nuclear medicine with this ready availability of Lu-177. Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy is one of the upcoming field of investigation where Lu-177 holds much promise among few other radionuclides. Indeed Lutetium-177 has covered a good distance especially for Therapeutic and as a palliative radiopharmaceutical.
Das et al (2014) have described the preparation of Lu-177 EDTMP kit.
Parus et al (2015) have discussed chemistry of bifunctional chelating agents for binding Lu-177.
Gupta et al (2014) have compiled methods of labelleing antibdoies with radioiodine and radiometals. 
Limouris (2012) has reviewed applications in neuroendocrine tumors with focus on Liver metastasis. Das and Banerjee (2015) described the potential theranostic applications with Lu-177.
Anderson et al (1960) were among the first to use Lutetium (as chloride and citrate) in a clinical trial which were not so successful and did not encourage much promise. Keeling et al (1988) published their results with in vitro uptake of Lutetium hydroxylapatite particles. Lu-EDTMP as bone palliating agent by Ando et al (1998) soon followed,  However the greatest impact was seen with the advent of a somatostatin analogue Lu-DOTATATE for targetting neuroendocrine tumors reported by Kwekkeboom et al (2001) and reviewed recently by Bodei et al (2013).
PRRNT  – IAEA (2013) has brought out a human health series booklet on the subject with emphasis on neuroendocrine tumors.
177Lu Labelled Peptides in NET Kam et al (2012).
177Lu- DOTATATE – PRRNT – Bakker et al (2006)
177Lu-EDTMP – Bone Pain Palliation –  Bahrami-Samani et al (2012)
177Lu-EDTMP – Pharmacokinetics, dosimetry and Therapeutic efficacy – Chakraborty S et al (2015)
177Lu-Hydroxylapatite – Radiosynovectomy – Kamalleshwaran et al. (2014) Shinto et al. (2015)
117Lu- Radioimmunotherapy – Kameshwaran et al (2015) 
177Lu – Pretargeted Radioimmunotherapy (PRIT) Frost et al (2015).
More specific applications and additional information about the highly valuable therapeutic isotope would soon be added.
References and Notes
Anderson J, Farmer FT, Haggith JW, Hill M. (1960). The treatment of myelomatosis with Lutetium. Br J Radiol. 33:374-378.
Ando A, Ando L, Tonami N, Kinuya S, Kazuma K, Kataiwa A, Nakagawa M, Fujita N. (1998). 177Lu-EDTMP: a potential therapeutic bone agent. Nucl Med Commun. 19: 587-591.
Bahrami-Samani A, Anvari A, Jalilian AR, Shirvani-Arani S, Yousefnia H, Aghamiri MR, Ghannadi-Maragheh M. (2012). Production, Quality Control and Pharmacokinetic Studies of 177Lu-EDTMP for Human Bone Pain Palliation Therapy Trials. Iran J Pharm Res. 11:137-44.
Bakker WH, Breeman WAP, Kwekkeboom DJ, De Jong LC, Krenning EP. ((2006) Practical aspects of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy with [177Lu][DOTA0, Tyr3]octreotate. Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 50: 265-271.

Banerjee S, Pillai MR, Knapp FF (2015). Lutetium-177 Therapeutic Radiopharmaceuticals: Linking Chemistry, Radiochemistry, and Practical Applications. Chem Rev. 115: 2934-2974.
Bodei L, Mueller-Brand J, Baum RP, Pavel ME, Hörsch D, O’Dorisio MS, O’Dorisio TM, Howe JR, Cremonesi M, Kwekkeboom DJ, Zaknun JJ. (2013).The joint IAEA, EANM, and SNMMI practical guidance on peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRNT) in neuroendocrine tumours. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2013 40:800-16.
Chakraborty S, Balogh L, Das T, Polyák A, Andócs G, Máthé D, Király R, Thuróczy J, Chaudhari PR, Jánoki GA, Jánoki G, Banerjee S, Pillai MR (2015). Evaluation of 177Lu-EDTMP in dogs with spontaneous tumor involving bone: Pharmacokinetics, dosimetry and therapeutic efficacy. Curr Radiopharm (ahead of Pub)
Das T, Banerjee S. (2015). Theranostic Applications of Lutetium-177 in Radionuclide Therapy. Curr Radiopharm. (ahead of print).
Das T , Sarma HD, Shinto A, Kamaleshwaran KK, Banerjee S. (2014). Formulation, Preclinical Evaluation, and Preliminary Clinical Investigation of an In-House Freeze-Dried EDTMP Kit Suitable for the Preparation of Lu-177-EDTMP. Cancer Biotherap Radiopharm. 29: (ahead of publication).
Das T, Pillai M.R.A. (2013).Options to meet the future global demand of radionuclides for radionuclide therapy. Nucl Med Biol. 40: 23-32.
Dash A, Pillai MR, Knapp FF Jr. (2015). Production of 177Lu for targeted radionuclide therapy : Available options. Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 49: 85-107. 

Frost SH, Frayo SL, Miller BW, Orozco JJ, Booth GC, Hylarides MD, Lin Y, Green DJ, Gopal AK, Pagel JM, Bäck TA, Fisher DR, Press OW. (2015) Comparative efficacy of 177Lu and 90Y for anti-CD20 pretargeted radioimmunotherapy in murine lymphoma xenograft models. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 18;10(3):e0120561.
Gupta S, Batra S, Jain M (2014) Antibody labeling with radioiodine and radiometals. Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1141:147-57. 
IAEA (2013). Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRNT) for neuroendocrine tumors. IAEA Human Health Series No. 20., IAEA, Vienna. 
Kam BLR, Teunissen JJM, Krenning EP, de Herder WW, Khan S, van Vliet EI, Kwekkeboom DJ. (2012). Lutetium-labelled peptides for therapy of neuroendocrine tumours.  Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 39 (Suppl 1):S103–S112.
Kamaleshwaran KK, Rajamani V, Thirumalaisamy SG, Chakraborty S, Kalarikal R, Mohanan V, Shinto AS.(2014). 

Kameshwaran M, Pandey U, Dhakan C, Pathak K, Gota V, Vimalnath KV, Dash A, Samuel G. (2015) .Synthesis and Preclinical Evaluation of (177)Lu-CHX-A”-DTPA-Rituximab as a Radioimmunotherapeutic Agent for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2015 Aug;30(6):240-6

Kwekkeboom DJ, Bakker WH, Kooij PP, Konijnenberg MW, Srinivasan A, Erion JL, Schmidt MA, Bugaj JL, de Jong M, Krenning EP.. (2001). [177Lu-DOTAOTyr3]octreotate: comparison with [111In-DTPAo]octreotide in patients.Eur J Nucl Med.  28: 1319-1325.

Parus JL, Pawlak D, Mikolajczak R, Duatti A. (2015) Chemistry and bifunctional chelating agents for binding 177Lu Curr Radiopharm (Ahead of Pub)
Limouris G. (2012) Neuroendocrine tumors: a focus on liver metastatic lesions. Front Oncol. 2:20 (Ahead of Pub) PMC article
Pillai MR, (Russ) Knapp FF. (2015). Evolving Important Role of Lutetium-177 for Therapeutic Nuclear Medicine Curr Radiopharm (ahead of print).
Pillai MR, Chakraborty S, Das T, Venkatesh M, Ramamoorthy N. (2003). Production logistics of 177Lu for radionuclide therapy. Appl Radiat Isot. 59: 109-118.
Shinto AS, Kamaleshwaran KK, Vyshakh K, Thirumalaisamy SG, Karthik S, Nagaprabhu VN, Vimalnath KV, Das T, Chakraborty S, Banerjee S. (2015)  Radiosynovectomy of Painful Synovitis of Knee Joints Due to Rheumatoid Arthritis by Intra‑Articular Administration of 177Lu‑Labeled Hydroxyapatite Particulates: First Human Study and Initial Indian Experience. World J Nucl Med. 14: (ahead of print).
Other names

3D model (JSmol)
PubChem CID
Molar mass 1,435.63 g·mol−1
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

DOTA-TATEDOTATATE or DOTA-octreotate is a substance which, when bound to various radionuclides, has been tested for the treatment and diagnosis of certain types of cancer, mainly neuroendocrine tumours.

Chemistry and mechanism of action

DOTA-TATE is an amide of the acid DOTA (top left in the image), which acts as a chelator for a radionuclide, and (Tyr3)-octreotate, a derivative of octreotide. The latter binds to somatostatin receptors, which are found on the cell surfaces of a number of neuroendocrine tumours, and thus directs the radioactivity into the tumour.

Usage examples

Gallium (68Ga) DOTA-TATE (GaTate[1]) is used for tumour diagnosis in positron emission tomography (PET).[2] DOTA-TATE PET/CT has a much higher sensitivitycompared to In-111 octreotide imaging.[1]

Lutetium (177Lu) DOTA-TATE[3] has been tested for the treatment of tumors such as carcinoid and endocrine pancreatic tumor. It is also known as Lutathera.[4]

Patients are typically treated with an intravenous infusion of 7.5 GBq of lutetium-177 octreotate. After about four to six hours, the exposure rate of the patient has fallen to less than 25 microsieverts per hour at one metre and the patients can be discharged from hospital.

A course of therapy consists of four infusions at three monthly intervals.[5]


Lu177 octreotate therapy is currently available under research protocols in five different medical centers in North America: Los Angeles (CA), Quebec City, (Qc), Birmingham, AL, Edmonton, (Ab), London, (On) as Houston (Tx) on clinical trial.[6] Medical centers in Europe also offer this treatment. For instance: Cerrahpasa Hospital in TurkeyUppsala Centre of Excellence in Neuroendocrine Tumors in Sweden and Erasmus University in the Netherlands.[7] In Israel, treatment is available at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center. In Australia, treatment is available at St George Hospital and Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney;[8] the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Brisbane [9], the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre [1] and at the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Fremantle Hospital in Western Australia.[10] In Aarhus universitet hospital in Denmark. In the coming years such therapy will also become commercially available in Latvia, Riga – “Clinic of nuclear medicine”.

See also

  • DOTATOC or edotreotide, a similar compound


  1. Jump up to:a b c Hofman, M. S.; Kong, G.; Neels, O. C.; Eu, P.; Hong, E.; Hicks, R. J. (2012). “High management impact of Ga-68 DOTATATE (GaTate) PET/CT for imaging neuroendocrine and other somatostatin expressing tumours”. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology56 (1): 40–47. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9485.2011.02327.xPMID 22339744.
  2. Jump up^ Breeman, W. A. P.; De Blois, E.; Sze Chan, H.; Konijnenberg, M.; Kwekkeboom, D. J.; Krenning, E. P. (2011). “68Ga-labeled DOTA-Peptides and 68Ga-labeled Radiopharmaceuticals for Positron Emission Tomography: Current Status of Research, Clinical Applications, and Future Perspectives”. Seminars in Nuclear Medicine41 (4): 314–321. doi:10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2011.02.001PMID 21624565.
  3. Jump up^ Bodei, L.; Cremonesi, M.; Grana, C. M.; Fazio, N.; Iodice, S.; Baio, S. M.; Bartolomei, M.; Lombardo, D.; Ferrari, M. E.; Sansovini, M.; Chinol, M.; Paganelli, G. (2011). “Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy with 177Lu-DOTATATE: The IEO phase I-II study”. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging38(12): 2125–2135. doi:10.1007/s00259-011-1902-1PMID 21892623.
  4. Jump up^ Radiolabeled Peptide Offers PFS Benefit in Midgut NET
  5. Jump up^ Claringbold, P. G.; Brayshaw, P. A.; Price, R. A.; Turner, J. H. (2010). “Phase II study of radiopeptide 177Lu-octreotate and capecitabine therapy of progressive disseminated neuroendocrine tumours”. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging38 (2): 302–311. doi:10.1007/s00259-010-1631-xPMID 21052661.
  6. Jump up^ Clinical trial number NCT01237457 for “177Lutetium-DOTA-Octreotate Therapy in Somatostatin Receptor-Expressing Neuroendocrine Neoplasms” at
  7. Jump up^ “PRRT Behandelcentrum Rotterdam”PRRT Behandelcentrum RotterdamErasmus Universiteit.
  8. Jump up^
  9. Jump up^
  10. Jump up^ Turner, J. H. (2012). “Outpatient therapeutic nuclear oncology”. Annals of Nuclear Medicine26 (4): 289–97. doi:10.1007/s12149-011-0566-zPMID 22222779.

//////////////Lutathera, lutetium Lu 177 dotatate, fda 2018, PRIORITY REVIEW, ORPHAN DRUG


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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with AFRICURE PHARMA, ROW2TECH, NIPER-G, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt. of India as ADVISOR, earlier assignment was with GLENMARK LIFE SCIENCES LTD, as CONSUlTANT, Retired from GLENMARK in Jan2022 Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 32 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 32 PLUS year tenure till date Feb 2023, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 100 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 100 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, 227 countries, 7 continents, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 38 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 227 countries...... , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc He has total of 32 International and Indian awards

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