What is PRRT

Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) is a treatment that delivers a targeted radiation to tumors in the body.

A cell-targeting protein is combined with a radionuclide creating a special type of radiopharmaceutical called a radiopeptide. When injected into the bloodstream, this radiopeptide binds specifically to a certain receptor expressed on the tumor cells. The radiopeptide is then internalized into the tumor cells, delivering cancer killing radiation in a targeted manner. Commonly used radionuclides are lutetium 177 (Lu-177) and yttrium 90 (Y-90), selected for their relatively short tissue penetration, which results in direct impact to tumors with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissues.


Adults with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) that test positive for somatostatin receptors.

It is possible that neuroendocrine tumor patients with tumors in other parts of their body, such as bronchial NETs, as well as patients with tumors including pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, may also benefit from PRRT.  In the United States, as of January 2018 the only FDA-approved indication is for gastroenteropancreatic NETs.

  • PRRT is administered through an IV infusion.
  • A course of treatment typically includes 4 administrations, given 8 weeks apart.
  • Before and during each PRRT treatment, you will also be given amino acids to protect your kidneys from absorbing radiation, and
    medication to help with potential nausea and vomiting during treatment.
  • Each treatment will take several hours and you should be prepared to spend most of the day at the treatment center. You may want to invite a family member or friend to keep you company, unless the  reatment center has any specific restrictions. Approx. 5hours
  • PRRT may be administered when surgery is not an option or when other treatments are not effectively slowing down tumor growth.
  • Your doctor will determine if PRRT (LUTATHERA) is appropriate for you by using a gallium 68 dotatate PET/CT scan to confirm that your tumors have the necessary receptors.
  • Before PRRT can be administered, it is necessary to test that you are eligible for treatment based on blood, kidney, and liver function.
  • Key Facts about PRRT

PRRT is administered in an outpatient clinical setting. Your doctor or a patient advocacy group can help you find a location offering PRRT, if it is recommended for you.

Please use the Find a facility button throughout this website to locate institutions offering PRRT.

A treatment that uses targeted radiation to kill cancer cells from within. It is a form of nuclear medicine. PRRT is comprised of a targeting molecule that binds to specific receptors (somatostian) on the tumor cell surface and a radioactive particle that can kill the tumor cell. LUTATHERA® (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate) is the first FDA-approved PRRT.

What are the advantages of PRRT?

PRRT and other molecular therapies offer more personalized cancer treatment because radiopharmaceuticals can be tailored to the unique biologic characteristics of the patient and the molecular properties of the tumor. PRRT is also considered a targeted therapy because radiopeptides are highly selective in their ability to damage neuroendocrine tumor cells, while limiting radiation exposure to healthy tissue. As a result, PRRT typically has milder side effects compared with chemotherapy.

PRRT is a treatment option that is highly effective in controlling advanced, progressive neuroendocrine tumors. PRRT is not curative, but has been shown to help relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Is PRRT safe?

All therapies, including PRRT, have side effects and risks. You should discuss with your medical provider the risks and benefits of PRRT and any other therapies you are considering. Your medical provider will help you determine whether PRRT is right for you, given your medical history. Please make sure to tell your provider about any prior therapies you have received, as this can play a role in determining the correct therapy and dosage.

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