Background and methods: A number of different tumors have receptors for somatostatin. We evaluated the efficacy of scanning with 123I-labeled Tyr3-octreotide, a somatostatin analogue, for tumor localization in 42 patients with carcinoid tumors, pancreatic endocrine tumors, or paragangliomas. We then evaluated the response to octreotide therapy in some of these patients.
Results: Primary tumors or metastases, often previously unrecognized, were visualized in 12 of 13 patients with carcinoid tumors and in 7 of 9 patients with pancreatic endocrine tumors. The endocrine symptoms of these patients responded well to therapy with octreotide. Among 20 patients with paragangliomas, 8 of whom had more than one tumor, 10 temporal (tympanic or jugular), 9 carotid, and 10 vagal tumors could be visualized. One small tympanic tumor and one small carotid tumor were not seen on the scan.
Conclusions: The 123I-labeled Tyr3-octreotide scanning technique is a rapid and safe procedure for the visualization of some tumors with somatostatin receptors. A positive scan may predict the ability of octreotide therapy to control symptoms of hormonal hypersecretion.