In a study published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, a team of researchers and patient advocates has addressed the challenges related to traveling after receiving 177Lu-DOTATATE radiation therapy. Due to the residual radiation activity of 177Lu-DOTATATE, neuroendocrine tumor patients have experienced travel delays at U.S. ports of entry. It is recommended that patients carry a travel card containing treatment information after each therapy cycle and for an additional three months after therapy has concluded to avoid travel delays.
“Disruption in travel, especially if not anticipated, can be extremely distressing for patients who have enough to deal with already. For many such patients, this travel is meant to take the mind off of their disease. Being stopped at borders is, without a doubt, potentially traumatic,” says Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, MD, professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
To alleviate potential delays while traveling, the study authors recommend that patients be given a travel card containing the patient’s personal information, type of radiation received, dose of radiation administered and date of administration. The card should also include information about the treating institution and contact information with 24-hour access in case further information is required. In addition, patients should carry a copy of their most recent clinical notes in a single envelope that is easily accessible when going through U.S. border crossings, ports of entry and high-security areas.
Featured image: Travelers passing through the security screening checkpoint at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado. Photo © Chris Humphreys, Dreamstime (ID 53134234).