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Neuroendocrine Tumours (NET)

     Neuroendocrine tumours are a relatively rare type of cancer. They often cause little to no symptoms, so they are often discovered only by chance. In rarer cases, however, they can secrete hormones that can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, flushing symptoms (seizure-like hot flashes), or hypoglycemia. Because of the wide variety of symptoms, even of small NET, diagnosis is challenging and requires a great deal of experience.

     For optimal treatment of this disease, imaging that is as accurate as possible is of particular importance. Neuroendocrine tumours often form very small metastases at an early stage, but these must be reliably detected before surgical removal. Furthermore, the selection of the best therapy - in addition to the site of origin and the growth rate of the NET - also depends on the spread of the tumour. In the imaging of NET, the 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT method is currently the gold standard, with the help of which even small tumours and metastases can be reliably detected. In this procedure, tiny amounts of a substance are injected into the vein, which binds very precisely to the cancer cells and thus makes them visible. I offer you the latest in imaging with 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT with a report from me personally. If desired, a detailed discussion of the findings of the PET/CT images including the next therapeutic steps is also possible. 

     In the treatment of inoperable or metastasized NET, in addition to various drug therapies, there is the so-called PRRT (peptide radioreceptor therapy) with 177Lu-DOTATATE. This therapy takes advantage of the fact that NET have a large number of so-called somatostatin receptors on the surface of the cancer cells. In PRRT, a protein that binds to these receptors is labeled with the radioactive 177Lutetium. By injecting this labeled protein into the vein, it binds almost exclusively to the cancer cells and leads to a targeted internal radiation that is not only highly effective, but also less stressful and leads to a proven increase in quality of life.

In contrast to the beta emitter 177Lu, alpha emitters such as 225Actinium (225Ac) offer higher efficacy due to their more potent radiation. Thus, therapy with 225-Actinium-DOTATATE shows promising results even in patients who have not responded to PRRT with 177Lu-DOTATATE. In patients who have already shown a good response to therapy with 177Lu-DOTATATE, or who have not yet been treated with it, the results are even better. Patients treated with 225Ac-DOTATATE need not fear more side effects. Our center is one of the few in the world that offers this special type of treatment. If you would like to learn more about 225Ac-DOTATATE treatment, please contact me.

     In 2012, I successfully completed my habilitation on the diagnosis and therapy of neuroendocrine tumours. Due to the constant scientific and clinical examination of this rare tumour disease, I can guarantee treatment according to the latest findings. In my office in Vienna I offer you a comprehensive and competent consultation as well as imaging. Should a therapy with 177Lu-DOTATATE or 225Ac-DOTATATE be useful, I can offer you this on an outpatient basis in a pleasant atmosphere. If, on the other hand, surgery or drug therapy is necessary, I work with experienced and specialized surgeons and oncologists. 

I will be happy to advise you on all diagnostic and therapeutic options.

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