Understanding Results

Typically most cancer patients want to understand the statistics associated with survival for their particular form of cancer. The survival rate and other measures in terms of months or years is almost always part of any report on the efficacy of a treatment. For patients being treated for a NET cancer there are several measures of treatment efficacy that are important when considering a treatment.

When you and your doctor are evaluating which treatment modality is right for you, be sure to compare the Time to Progression/Progression Free Survival and Duration of Therapy Response for PRRT to other modalities under consideration.

Also of interest is the measurement called Overall Survival (OS).

Time to Progression or Progression Free Survival

From a NET cancer patient's perspective this may be the most important statistics to know and understand This is the amount of time that lapses between when a treatment is given and when a tumor or tumors start to grow or a new tumor or tumors are found to have returned. This is important because the best a patient can do is to treat the cancer as if it is a chronic illness. This means using a treatment that will stabilize or even reduce tumors in the body and then repeat the treatment or go to a different treatment to attack tumors once they start growing again or reappearing.

When the results for PRRT are published, this measurement is most often expressed in terms of months as the Median Time to Progression or Median Progression Free Survival. In some studies it is reported as the Mean Time to Progression, again measured in months.

Overall Results from Bad Berka

-- In articles published by Dr. Baum, Zentralklinik Bad Berka sees only patients that have progressive disease or symptoms that can not be controlled using standard therapies. After three PRRT treatments 55% have some form of response (Complete (rare), Partial, Minor) while an additional 36% of patient have Stable Disease, 9% of the patients continue to have progressive disease.

PRRT with Lu-177

-- In studies by Dr. Kwekkeboom and others from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Median Time to Progression for this treatment was 40 months.

-- In studies by Dr. Richard Baum and colleagues it was found that patients treated with PRRT had a mean progression free survival of 44 months.

PRRT compared to Chemotherapy

According to the article published by Dr. Kwekkeboom and colleagues in January of 2010 on PRRT, the median time for progression for most studies on chemotherapy show a result of less than 18 months. Compare this to the median time to progression for PRRT of 30 months for PRRT with Y-90 and 40 months for PRRT with Lu-177.

Duration of Therapy Response

Once PRRT with either Y-90 or Lu-177 is used, the cell death process will continue to work for a long period of time that can be measured in terms of months. This is called the duration of therapy response. This means that one treatment of PRRT can be effective for over 2 years continuing to cause tumors to regress and die.

In studies by Dr. Kwekkeboom and his colleagues, the duration of therapy response for Y-90 octreotide and for Lu-177 octreotate is reported at more than 30 months.

Overall Survival

This is another time-based measure that starts at the time of diagnosis and covers the time for treatment until death. In most cases this measurement pertains to a type of cancer. It is also being used to assess a patient's longevity once a particular type of treatment has been used.

- In research published by Dr. Kwekkeboom and colleagues at Rotterdam, it was found that Overall Survival for patients treated with Lu-177 Octreotate ranged from a low of 40 months to a high of 72 months from the time of diagnosis.

- In research by Dr. Richard Baum and colleagues at Bad Berka, the median overall survival for PRRT patients treated with a combination of Y-90 and Lu-177 was 59 months (for 415 patients).