Lymphocytic toxicity in patients after peptide-receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with 177lu-DOTATATE and 90Y-DOTATOC

Maribel L. Sierra, Alberto Agazzi, Lisa Bodei, Monica Pacifici, Demetrio Aricò, Concetta De Cicco, Jessica Quarna, Maddalena Sansovini, Michele De Simone, Giovanni Paganelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Peptide-receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with somatostatin analogs is an efficient new tool in patients with neuroendocrine tumors, with low risk of toxicity. Since lymphocytes express somatostatin receptors, the aim of this study was to evaluate lymphocytic toxicity after PRRT. Methods: From May 2005 to May 2007, 16 patients affected by neuroendocrine tumors received PRRT with 90Y-DOTATOC (9), 177Lu-DOTATATE (5), or both (2). Absolute count, percentage of leukocytes and lymphocytes, and lymphoid subsets (B, T, and NK) were tested at baseline and until 90 days after treatment. Results: A significant lymphoid toxicity (G2-3), mainly affecting B-cells, was observed. It was particularly evident after 90Y-DOTATOC. Toxicity resulted in being transient and resolved completely at the end of the follow-up (90 days). Conclusion: Lymphocyte toxicity in PRRT is mainly due to the selective targeting on B-cells. The relative sparing of T-lymphocytes could explain the absence of clinical side-effects in these patients, such as increased risk of infections. These findings open interesting perspectives in the treatment of B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-665
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Radionuclide therapy
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology


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