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Lenox Hill successfully treats esthesioneuroblastoma with PRRT


Physicians from Lenox Hill Hospital, in partnership with the CHU de Quebec-Universite Laval, announced today that they have published a paper in the prestigious journal Operative Neurosurgery regarding an investigational radiation treatment for one of the most aggressive skull base tumors -- esthesioneuroblastoma (ENB).

The experimental treatment, called Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT), involves a targeted cancer medicine using small amounts of radioactivity to destroy tumor cells from within as opposed to attacking the cancer cells externally.

The technical case report published online March 14th is entitled, "Neuroradiological and Neuropatholigical Changes after 177Lu-octreotate Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) of Refractory Esthesioneuroblastoma," and was co-authored by Lenox Hill physicians John Boockvar, MD; Peter Costantino, MD; David Langer, MD; Stephen Scharf, MD; Julia Schneider, BS; Deborah Shatzkes, MD; Tristan Tham, MD; Kay Kulason, BA; Shamik Chakraborty, MD; Todd Anderson, MD; and, Saeed Asiry, MD. The paper was also co-authored by Francois-Alexandre Buteau, MD; Michela Del Prete, MD; and, Jean Mathieu Beauregard, MD from the department of medical imaging at CHU de Quebec-Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada.

"Our case report highlights a 60-year-old male patient with refractory ENB, which is an uncommon malignant tumor of the upper nasal cavity and anterior skull base," said Dr. Boockvar, director of Lenox Hill's Brain Tumor Center. "The patient's cancer reoccurred after chemotherapy, surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, and immunotherapy. He received four cycles of investigational PRRT therapy over six months with a partial response of all lesions. Four months after the last PRRT cycle, two of the lesions rapidly relapsed and these were successfully resected by Dr. Langer and Dr. Costantino at Lenox Hill Hospital. Three months after surgery, PET/CT and MR imaging indicated no further progression of the disease."

This is the first case report describing neuropatholigical changes associated with this treatment. The investigational drug, 177Lu-octreotate, is administered through infusion drip into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the molecule binds to a particular receptor expressed on the surface of the tumor cell. After the targeting molecule is bound to the receptor, the receptor internalizes and brings the molecule inside the tumor cell. Once inside the tumor cell, the radioactivity emitted, kills the tumor cell from within, without effecting nearby healthy cells.

"This type of tumor has a unique receptor," said Dr. Scharf, one of the co-authors of the paper and nuclear medicine specialist at Lenox Hill. "If we target that receptor with a radioactive particle, in combination with the investigational drug, it has the potential to act like a magic bullet. It's designed to travel to the tumor and stay on the tumor to deliver a small amount of radioactivity while leaving the healthy surrounding tissue unharmed."

To view the paper published in Operative Neurosurgery, click here.

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About Lenox Hill Hospital

Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of Northwell Health, is a 652-bed, fully accredited, acute care hospital located on Manhattan's Upper East Side with a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. US News & World Report has ranked the hospital among the nation's top 50 in Cardiology and Heart Surgery and among the top 10 hospitals in the state of New York with a total of 11 "high performing" designations for its clinical performance in Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Urology. For more information, go to

Michelle Pipia-Stiles
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Barbara Osborn
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