Bassett Healthcare Network Begins Offering Lutathera — the First in a New Family of Cancer Treatments

The Bassett Cancer Institute in Cooperstown, NY has announced that it is now offering Lutathera as a treatment for neuroendocrine cancer, also known as carcinoid tumor. Lutathera is a breakthrough pharmaceutical radiation therapy that can dramatically improve outcomes for patients with this rare cancer type.

Dr. Timothy Korytko
Dr. Timothy Korytko

“First and foremost, this is great news for patients with this cancer,” says Dr. Timothy Korytko, Bassett Medical Center’s chief of radiation oncology.

“Until now, there’s only been one basic treatment for low-grade neuroendocrine cancer. If a patient’s case was unresponsive or had already spread, there was little to do. Lutathera is a powerful, effective new option.”

Bassett is offering this potentially life-saving treatment to patients throughout the region. Previously, patients seeking the Lutathera treatment were required to travel to Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, or New York City.

“Lutathera marks the start of a new paradigm in treatment,” says Dr. Korytko. Radiopharmaceutical treatments are prescription medications developed from radioactive materials. For decades this was limited to treating thyroid cancer. Lutathera is part of a growing family of drugs designed to operate on the same principle. 

“Science has advanced so that we can now attach molecules to each other,” explains Dr. Korytko. “We can now create radioactive materials that target specific kinds of cells. Lutathera is the first, but there have been positive clinical trials for prostate cancer and there will be more new drugs for other cancers in the future.”

Bassett made accommodations in their facilities to receive approval to administer Lutathera in New York State, putting it on firm footing for future treatment developments.

“As other treatments in this class become available, we’ve already developed a process and a space to administer them. This could be the beginning of a bright future,” says Dr. Korytko.