NANETS congratulates Brian Untch, MD of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as the NANETS 2017 Basic Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) Award recipient.

Dr. Untch proposed to explore new approaches for treating neuroendocrine cancers. The award will fund Dr. Untch’s work assessing the effectiveness of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), which targets somatostatin receptors in mouse models of neuroendocrine cancer. Somatostatin receptor ligands such as DOTA-TATE have been established as effective tools for detection of neuroendocrine tumors such as those found in pancreatic and gut cancers. However, these detection agents are now also being considered for their potential as treatments. This new field of “theragnostics” holds promise as an approach that may be combined with other classes of drugs to more effectively treat neuroendocrine cancers. Indeed, Dr. Untch’s research includes assessing the combined effects of PRRT and other promising chemotherapeutic approaches. The potential of these studies to have an impact on neuroendocrine cancer treatment, together with the strength of Dr. Untch’s investigator/mentor team and institution, convinced NANETS that this was project to support with this year’s award.

The BTSI is sponsored by the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) and is made possible by the generous support of the Margie and Robert Peterson Foundation. The BTSI is awarded to a NANETS member in their first five years of faculty appointment and is meant to encourage the pursuit of basic or translational research with a focus on neuroendocrine tumors. The BTSI is a grant award of $100,000 to be distrubuted over the two year grant award cycle.