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Theranostics in Children and Young Adults

University of Iowa
Sue O'Dorisio, MD, PhD
Grant Type: 
Springboard Grants
Year Awarded: 
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
Brain Tumors, Medulloblastoma, Neuroblastoma
Project Description: 

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) constitute a health threat to children and young adults.  The incidence and prevalence of NETs in this age group is comparable to that of neuroblastoma, yet there is very little research on neuroendocrine malignancies, and no effective treatment for children with metastatic disease, over half of whom die within five years of diagnosis.

The ability to determine if a child's tumor will be susceptible or resistant prior to drug administration is the major drive behind theranostics: use of a single compound as both a therapeutic and a diagnostic agent.


Project Goal

NETs do not respond to conventional chemotherapy or external beam radiation therapy, making the development of new therapeutic options, such as peptide receptor radiotherapy (PRRT) imperative. Due to the diversity of NETs, it is unlikely that all tumors will respond to a single drug, making combination therapy an important consideration.  We hypothesize that combination PRRT employing our innovative dual-target, dual-isotope concept will improve the diagnosis and therapy of children and young adults with neuroendocrine tumors.