Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner Opens New Infusion Space for Neuroendocrine Tumor Therapy

Ochsner Medical Center- Kenner (OMC-Kenner) opened a new, dedicated infusion space to administer the recently FDA-approved Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). OMC-Kenner is one of about 100 sites in the country to offer PRRT, and is the only site in Louisiana.

A NET is a rare, hormone-producing tumor that affects neuroendocrine cells, which are present throughout the nervous and endocrine systems. NETs can originate anywhere in the body. Carcinoid tumors, however, are the most common kind detected and are usually found in the lungs or GI tract. Most of the time it grows very slowly and because it is so often difficult to detect, diagnosis is delayed on average of 10 years. Approximately 12,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor every year.

“NET diagnoses have tripled in the last decade alone, so there is a huge and unmet need. Treatment is multi-disciplinary, with local and systemic forms of therapies available. With new agents on the horizon, the challenge now becomes to shrink the disease, while continuing to improve the quality of life,” said Robert Ramirez, DO, FACP, medical oncologist, OMC-Kenner.

OMC-Kenner is home to the Neuroendocrine Program, which specializes in the diagnosis and management of all forms of neuroendocrine tumors. It has been a national leader for more than a decade in the treatment and management of this condition. The Neuroendocrine Program at OMC-Kenner is witnessing more people living beyond 10 years. This can be attributed to advancements in clinical trials, surgical and non-surgical procedures and medical management.

One such advancement is the treatment option of PRRT, a targeted radiation that halts tumor growth. For years, OMC-Kenner has been administering this therapy via an Internal Review Board-approved clinical research trial, but it was approved by the FDA in July 2018 to dispense commercially. To date, the program has administered more than 150 treatments, with 31 patients completing the infusion course and 40 patients currently in active treatment. Up until last summer, patients seeking this therapy had to travel abroad. OMC-Kenner’s expanded infusion space has allowed PRRT to be administered to more patients who need it, while enhancing and increasing patient survival an additional three or four years while newer innovative therapies are developed.

The Neuroendocrine Program at OMC– Kenner, NOLANETS, is an affiliation between Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Ochsner Medical Center and specializes in the diagnosis and management of all forms of neuroendocrine tumors.