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J Clin Oncol. 2016 Feb 20;34(6):588-96. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.64.0987. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Prospective Study of 68Ga-DOTATATE Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography for Detecting Gastro-Entero-Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors and Unknown Primary Sites.

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All authors: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.
All authors: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.



Gastro-entero-pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEPNETs) are increasing in incidence, and accurate staging is important for selecting the appropriate treatment. (68)Ga-DOTATATE imaging is a promising approach for detecting GEPNETs and could help in selecting optimal therapeutic strategies. The aim of this study was to prospectively determine the clinical utility of (68)Ga-DOTATATE positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) in detecting unknown primary and metastatic GEPNETs.


One hundred thirty-one patients were enrolled in a prospective study of patients undergoing (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, (111)In-pentetreotide single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/CT and multiphasic CT scan, and/or magnetic resonance imaging in a blinded fashion with comprehensive biochemical testing. The primary outcome measure was the detection of lesions by each imaging study.


(68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT imaging detected 95.1% of lesions (95% CI, 92.4% to 96.8%) with an average maximum standardized uptake value of 65.4 ± 47 (range, 6.9 to 244), anatomic imaging detected 45.3% of lesions (95% CI, 37.9% to 52.9%), and (111)In-pentetreotide SPECT/CT detected 30.9% of lesions (95% CI, 25.0% to 37.5%), with a significant difference between imaging modalities (P < .001). In four of 14 patients (28.6%), (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT found a previously unknown primary tumor, and detected primary GEPNET, lymph node, and distant metastases correctly in 72 of 113 lesions (63.7%) when compared with histopathology, with 22.1% and 38.9% detected by using (111)In-pentetreotide SPECT/CT and anatomic imaging, respectively. On the basis of findings with (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, 43 of 131 patients (32.8%) had a change in management recommendation. In patients with carcinoid symptoms but negative biochemical testing, (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT detected lesions in 65.2% of patients, 40% of which were detected neither by anatomic imaging nor by (111)In-pentetreotide SPECT/CT.


(68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT imaging provides important information for accurate staging of GEPNETs and selection of appropriate treatment interventions even in the absence of biochemical evidence of disease in symptomatic patients.

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