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Newly-approved therapy provides improved quality of life for midgut neuroendocrine tumor patients

June 12, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. - Midgut neuroendocrine tumors are a rare type of cancer that develops in the small intestine and colon. Roughly 12,000 people are diagnosed with this disease each year. In January, the United Stated Food and Drug Administration approved Lutathera, a first-of-its-kind peptide receptor radionuclide therapy. The injection consists of a somatostatin analog combined with a radioactive isotope that directly targets neuroendocrine tumor cells.

Dr. Jonathan Strosberg, head of Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Moffitt "Treatment options have been limited for patients with neuroendocrine tumors and toxicities of treatment can often outweigh the benefit. Our studies have shown Lutathera is an effective option to treat tumor progression and also provide patients with a better quality of life," said Jonathan R. Strosberg, M.D., head of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Moffitt Cancer Center.

The Journal of Clinical Oncology published new data from the NETTER-1 clinical trial highlighting the impact of Lutathera on patients' quality of life. Strosberg notes the importance of this issue, given the relatively long durations of treatments and overall survival compared to other malignancies. The results showed that treatment with Lutathera provides significantly longer time to deterioration of quality of life for patients compared to those treated with octreotide LAR alone.

Patients in the study were given questionnaires every three months until tumor progression. Quality of life was measured by global health status, physical functioning, role functioning, fatigue, pain, diarrhea, disease-related worries and body image. The time of deterioration was defined as the period of time from the patient's first questionnaire response until their quality of life score declined ten or more points.

Patients treated with Lutathera reported improvement in many of the typical side effects, such as fatigue, pain and diarrhea. Differences in the median time to deterioration were 28.8 months versus 6.1 months for global health status, and 25.2 months versus 11.5 months for physical functioning.
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The NETTER-1 clinical trial is supported by Advanced Accelerator Applications, a Novartis company.

Media Availability: Dr. Strosberg and a patient are available for interviews; please contact Kim Polacek, 813-745-7408 // Kim.Polacek@moffitt.org.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt's scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is a Top 10 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt's expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,700 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

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