Searching for primaries in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NET) of unknown primary and clinically suspected NET: Evaluation of Ga-68 DOTATOC PET/CT and In-111 DTPA octreotide SPECT/CT

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Background. To evaluate the clinical efficacy of In-111 DTPA octreotide SPECT/CT and Ga-68 DOTATOC PET/CT for detection of primary tumors in patients with either neuroendocrine tumor of unknown primary (NETUP) or clinically suspected primary NET (SNET).

Patients and methods. A total of 123 patients were included from 2006 to 2009, 52 received Ga-68 DOTATOC PET/CT (NETUP, 33; SNET, 19) and 71 underwent In-111 DTPA octreotide SPECT/CT (50; 21). The standard of reference included histopathology or clinical verification based on follow-up examinations.

Results. In the NETUP group Ga-68 DOTATOC detected primaries in 15 patients (45.5%) and In-111 DTPA octreotide in 4 patients (8%) (p < 0.001); in the SNET group, only 2 primaries could be detected, all by Ga-68 DOTATOC. In patients with NETUP, primary tumors could be found significantly more often than in patients with SNET (p = 0.01). Out of these 21 patients 14 patients were operated.

Conclusion. Ga-68 DOTATOC PET/CT is preferable to In-111 DTPA octreotide SPECT/CT when searching for primary NETs in patients with NETUP but should be used with caution in patients with SNET.

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