Ga-68 DOTANOC PET/CT imaging in detection of primary site in patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumours of unknown origin and its impact on clinical decision making: experience from a tertiary care centre in India

Ankur Pruthi, Promila Pankaj, Ritu Verma, Anjali Jain, Ethel S Belho, Harsh Mahajan
Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology 2016, 7 (3): 449-61

BACKGROUND: Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are rare, heterogeneous group of tumours which usually originate from small, occult primary sites and are characterized by over-expression of somatostatin receptors (SSTRs). Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) using Ga-68-labeled-somatostatin-analogues have shown superiority over other modalities for imaging of NETs. The objective of the study was to retrospectively evaluate the efficacy of Ga-68 DOTANOC PET/CT imaging in detecting the primary site in patients with metastatic NETs of unknown origin and its impact on clinical decision making in such patients.

METHODS: Between December 2011 and September 2014, a total of 263 patients underwent Ga-68 DOTANOC PET/CT study in our department for various indications. Out of them, 68 patients (45 males, 23 females; mean age, 54.9±10.7 years; range, 31-78 years) with histopathologically proven metastatic NETs and unknown primary site (CUP-NET) on conventional imaging, who underwent Ga-68 DOTANOC PET/CT scan as part of their clinical work-up were included for analyses. Histopathology (wherever available) and/or follow-up imaging were taken as reference standard. Quantitative estimation of SSTR expression in the form of maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of detected primary and metastatic sites was calculated. Follow-up data of individual patients was collected through careful survey of hospital medical records and telephonic interviews.

RESULTS: Maximum patients presented to our department with hepatic metastasis (50 out of 68 patients) and grade I NETs (>50%). Ga-68 DOTANOC PET/CT scan identified primary sites in 40 out of these 68 patients i.e., in approximately 59% patients. Identified primary sites were: small intestine [19], rectum [8], pancreas [7], stomach [4], lung [1] and one each in rare sites in kidney and prostate. In one patient, 2 primary sites were identified (one each in stomach and duodenum). Mean SUVmax of the detected primary sites was 25.1±18.0 (median: 16.25; range, 2.1-150). Significant positive correlation was found between SUVmax of detected primary site and SUVmax of the histopathologically proven sites of metastasis (r=0.662; P<0.0001). Based on the findings of the Ga-68 DOTANOC PET/CT scan, 3 out of 40 patients underwent definitive treatment for their primary tumour (1 gastric, 1 ileal and 1 prostatic tumour). One patient was being planned for resection of primary rectal lesion at the time of data-collection. Thirty-six out of 68 patients were started on long-acting somatostatin analogues or chemotherapy or targeted therapy. Two patients underwent multiple cycles of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRNT) using (90)Y and (177)Lu labeled somatostatin analogues.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that Ga-68 DOTANOC PET/CT is a promising imaging modality in patients with metastatic NETs of unknown origin for detection of the primary site and in guiding their therapeutic management.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"