Ga68-DOTA-NOC-PET Imaging of Neuroendocrine Tumors

01:03 EST 27th February 2015 | BioPortfolio


Imaging of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) relies on conventional morphological methods and on somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS). SRS is effective for carcinoid tumors, and for most pancreatic islet-cell tumors, but may fail to detect some tumors. Furthermore, this technique may require repeated imaging over 24-48 hours. Introduction of newer somatostatin analogs such as DOTANOC improves lesion detection. In addition, labeling with Ga68 and use of PET/CT improves the pharmacokinetics of the tracer resulting in better tumor visualization, and an easier procedure with imaging over only 1-2 hours.

In this study, we propose to use Ga68-DOTANOC PET for imaging of various NETs, comparing the imaging data to those of anatomical and other functional modalities, and to histopathology, when available.


Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), best treated by complete surgical resection, are frequently difficult to localize due to small size, presence in hollow organs, and morphological changes caused by prior surgery. Imaging of NETs relies primarily on conventional morphological methods (EUS, CT, MRI, US). Functional imaging, such as somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS) using the In111-labeled somatostatin analog octreotide, provides better staging of the disease, visualization of occult tumor, and evaluation of patient eligibility for somatostatin analog treatment. This modality is effective for carcinoid tumors, and for most pancreatic islet-cell tumors. However, it may fail to detect some tumors, mostly due to low density of somatostatin receptors, with resulting lack of tumor uptake. The relatively poor spatial resolution of planar and SPECT imaging may also reduce tumor detection, particularly for small tumors and/or those with low uptake. Furthermore, this technique is lengthy, often requiring repeated imaging over 24-48 hours. Introduction of newer somatostatin analogs such as DOTANOC offers many advantages. Higher uptake of the newer analogs in more of the somatostatin receptor subtypes improves lesion detection. In addition, labeling with the positron emitter, Ga68, instead of In111 improves the pharmacokinetics of the tracer, and the faster tumor uptake and more rapid clearance from normal tissues increases tumor to background contrast, improving tumor visualization, and resulting in an easier procedure with imaging only 1-2 hours after tracer injection. The superior spatial resolution of positron emission tomography (PET) again enhances lesion detectability, and use of PET makes it possible to perform exact quantitation of tracer uptake that can be useful for monitoring therapy and for planning peptide receptor radionuclide therapy.

In this study, we propose to use Ga68-DOTANOC PET for imaging of various NETs, comparing the imaging data to those of anatomical and other functional modalities, and to histopathology, when available.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective


Neuroendocrine Tumor


PET scan with Ga68-DOTANOC


Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hadassah Medical Center




Hadassah Medical Organization

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Tumors whose cells possess secretory granules and originate from the neuroectoderm, i.e., the cells of the ectoblast or epiblast that program the neuroendocrine system. Common properties across most neuroendocrine tumors include ectopic hormone production (often via APUD CELLS), the presence of tumor-associated antigens, and isozyme composition.

A group of carcinomas which share a characteristic morphology, often being composed of clusters and trabecular sheets of round "blue cells", granular chromatin, and an attenuated rim of poorly demarcated cytoplasm. Neuroendocrine tumors include carcinoids, small ("oat") cell carcinomas, medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, Merkel cell tumor, cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma, pancreatic islet cell tumors, and pheochromocytoma. Neurosecretory granules are found within the tumor cells. (Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)

A 38-kDa integral membrane glycoprotein of the presynaptic vesicles in neuron and neuroendocrine cells. It is expressed by a variety of normal and neoplastic neuroendocrine cells and is therefore used as an immunocytochemical marker for neuroendocrine differentiation in various tumors. In ALZHEIMER DISEASE and other dementing disorders, there is an important synapse loss due in part to a decrease of synaptophysin in the presynaptic vesicles.

An acidic protein found in the NEUROENDOCRINE SYSTEM that functions as a molecular chaperone for PROPROTEIN CONVERTASE 2.

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