Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of (68)Ga-labeled [1, 4, 7, 10-tetraazacyclododecane-1, 4, 7, 10-tetraacetic acid]-1-NaI(3)-octreotide (DOTA-NOC) PET/CT in the diagnosis and management of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).
Subjects and methods: One hundred nine patients (median age, 50 years) with gastroenteropancreatic NETs underwent (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET/CT. PET/CT was performed after injection of 132-222 MBq (4-6 mCi) of (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC. Images were evaluated by two experienced nuclear medicine physicians both qualitatively as well as quantitatively (maximum standardized uptake value [SUV(max)]). Results of PET/CT were compared with the results of conventional imaging. Histopathology results, when available, and follow-up PET/CT or conventional imaging with biochemical markers were considered to be the reference standards.
Results: Gallium-68-DOTA-NOC PET/CT showed sensitivity and specificity of 78.3% and 92.5%, respectively, for primary tumor and 97.4% and 100% for metastases. It was better than a conventional imaging modality for the detection of both primary tumor (p < 0.001) and metastases (p < 0.0001). It changed the management strategy in 21 patients (19%) and supported management decisions in 32 patients (29%).
Conclusion: Gallium-68-DOTA-NOC PET/CT appears to be a highly sensitive and specific modality for the detection of gastroenteropancreatic NET. It is better than conventional imaging for the evaluation of gastroenteropancreatic NETs and can have a significant impact on patient management.