Transformation of G1-G2 neuroendocrine tumors to neuroendocrine carcinomas following peptide receptor radionuclide therapy

in Endocrine-Related Cancer
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Igryl S Cordero-Hernandez Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

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Alicia C Ross Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

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Arvind Dasari Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5271-9744
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Daniel M Halperin Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

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Beth Chasen Department of Nuclear Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

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James C Yao Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1875-3962

Correspondence should be addressed to J C Yao: jyao@mdanderson.org
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We observed that some patients with well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NET) who received peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with Lutetium-177 (177Lu) DOTATATE developed rapid disease progression with biopsy-proven histologic transformation to neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC), an outcome that has not been previously described. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective review of all patients with well-differentiated G1-G2 NET who received at least one cycle of PRRT with (177Lu) DOTATATE at our center from January 2019 to December 2020. Among 152 patients, we identified 7 patients whose NET transformed to NEC. Median time from start of PRRT to transformation was 8.2 months (range: 2.6–14.4 months). All patients whose tumors underwent transformation had pancreatic tail as the primary site and had prior chemotherapy with temozolomide. No differences in the incidence of transformation were observed according to gender, race, original tumor grade, or number of prior therapies. Six patients received treatment with platinum and etoposide after transformation with two patients having partial response as best response. All patients with transformation died from progressive disease with median overall survival (OS) after transformation of 3.3 months (95% CI 2.1–4.4). Molecular testing of transformed NEC identified mutation(s) in TP53 and/or ATM in all cases. Transformation of NET to NEC following PRRT is associated with aggressive course and dismal prognosis. Patients with pancreatic tail as the primary site who had prior therapy with temozolomide may be at a higher risk. Further investigation is necessary to determine the best treatment sequence in this patient population.

 

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