Lutetium-177 labeled peptides: The European institute of oncology experience

Angela Carollo, Stefano Papi, Marco Chinol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) using radiolabeled somatostatin analogues has shown encouraging results in various somatostatin receptor positive tumors. Partial remission rates up to 30% have been documented as well as significant improvements in quality of life and survival. This treatment takes advantage of the high specific binding of the radiolabeled peptide to somatostatin receptors overexpressed by the tumors thus being more effective on the tumor cells with less systemic side-effects. The development of macrocyclic chelators conjugated to peptides made possible the stable binding with various radionuclides. In particular 177Lu features favourable physical characteristics with a half-life of 6.7 days, emission of β-with energy of 0.5 MeV for treatment and γ-emissions suitable for imaging. The present contribution describes the learning process achieved at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) since the first application of 90Y labeled peptides to the therapy of neuroendocrine tumors back in 1997. Continuous improvements led to the preparation of a safe 177Lu labeled peptide for human use. Our learning curve began with the identification of the optimal characteristics of the isotope paying attention to its chemical purity and specific activity along with the optimization of the parameters involved in the radiolabeling procedure. Also the radiation protection issues have been improved along the years and recently more and more attention has been devoted to the pharmaceutical aspects involved in the preparation. The overall issue of the quality has now been completed by drafting an extensive documentation with the goal to deliver a safe and reliable product to our patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • DOTA-peptide
  • GEP-NETs
  • Lutetium-177
  • PRRT
  • Quality control
  • β-emitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology


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