Improving susceptibility of neuroendocrine tumors to radionuclide therapies: personalized approaches towards complementary treatments

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review



Radionuclide therapies are an important tool for the management of patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs). Especially [131I]MIBG and [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE are routinely used for the treatment of a subset of NENs, including pheochromocytomas, paragangliomas and gastroenteropancreatic tumors. Some patients suffering from other forms of NENs, such as medullary thyroid carcinoma or neuroblastoma, were shown to respond to radionuclide therapy; however, no general recommendations exist. Although [131I]MIBG and [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE can delay disease progression and improve quality of life, complete remissions are achieved rarely. Hence, better individually tailored combination regimes are required. This review summarizes currently applied radionuclide therapies in the context of NENs and informs about recent advances in the development of theranostic agents that might enable targeting subgroups of NENs that previously did not respond to [131I]MIBG or [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE. Moreover, molecular pathways involved in NEN tumorigenesis and progression that mediate features of radioresistance and are particularly related to the stemness of cancer cells are discussed. Pharmacological inhibition of such pathways might result in radiosensitization or general complementary antitumor effects in patients with certain genetic, transcriptomic, or metabolic characteristics. Finally, we provide an overview of approved targeted agents that might be beneficial in combination with radionuclide therapies in the context of a personalized molecular profiling approach.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-6932-333X/work/148144944
ORCID /0000-0002-3549-2477/work/148145331
PubMed 38164150


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Humans, Neuroendocrine Tumors/radiotherapy, 3-Iodobenzylguanidine, Quality of Life, Octreotide, Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine/drug therapy, Radioisotopes/therapeutic use