Thérapie radiopeptidique personnalisée des patients atteints de tumeurs neuroendocrines

 

Jean-Mathieu Beauregard

Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec [CHUQ]

 

Domaine : cancer

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 2

Concours 2018-2019

Personalized peptide receptor radionuclide therapy of patients with neuroendocrine tumours

Neuroendocrine tumours, most frequently arising from the digestive tract, are among the cancers which incidence increases the most. These tumours are unique, since they can produce hormones causing various, and sometimes debilitating symptoms. Unfortunately, neuroendocrine tumours are often diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they have spread to other organs. For these patients, conventional treatments have limited efficacy. A new and promising treatment utilizes a radioactive drug capable of targeting neuroendocrine tumours: radionuclide therapy. To date, clinical outcomes in patients with neuroendocrine tumours treated with radionuclide therapy are encouraging, but cure remains rare. Fortunately, there are opportunities to improve the efficacy of this treatment.

Currently, radionuclide therapy is generally administered at a fixed dose for all patients. But as every patient is different, this dose is not optimal for all, and this partly explains the variable efficacy of the treatment. Using advanced medical imaging techniques during treatment, it is now possible to customize the dose according to the individual patient characteristics, and thus maximize the chances of cure, without increasing the risk of side effects. We are studying this new personalized medicine approach.

In addition, we are attempting to combine radionuclide therapy with other drugs that can increase the sensitivity of tumours to radiation, which could further increase the its efficacy.

These novel strategies to improve the efficacy of radionuclide therapy, one of the most promising treatments against neuroendocrine tumours to date, could result in tangible improvements of the well-being and of the life expectancy of patients who suffer from this cancer. In addition, these new ways to administer radionuclide therapy could also benefit to patients with other types of cancer treatable by radionuclide therapy.