First-in-Human PET/CT Imaging of Metastatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms with Cyclotron-Produced 44Sc-DOTATOC: A Proof-of-Concept Study

Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2017 May;32(4):124-132. doi: 10.1089/cbr.2016.2173.


44Sc is a promising positron emission tomography (PET) radionuclide (T1/2 = 4.04 hours, Eβ+average = 632 keV) and can be made available, using a cyclotron production route, in substantial quantities as a highly pure product. Herein, the authors report on a first-in-human PET/CT study using 44Sc-DOTATOC prepared with cyclotron-produced 44Sc. The production of 44Sc was carried out through the 44Ca(p,n)44Sc nuclear reaction at Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland. After separation, 44Sc was shipped to Zentralklinik Bad Berka, Germany, where radiolabeling was performed, yielding radiochemically pure 44Sc-DOTATOC. Two patients, currently followed up after peptide receptor radionuclide therapy of metastatic neuroendocrine neoplasms, participated in this proof-of-concept study. Blood sampling was performed before and after application of 44Sc-DOTATOC. PET/CT acquisitions, performed at different time points after injection of 44Sc-DOTATOC, allowed detection of even very small lesions on delayed scans. No clinical adverse effects were observed and the laboratory hematological, renal, and hepatic profiles remained unchanged. In this study, cyclotron-produced 44Sc was used in the clinic for the first time. It is attractive for theranostic application with 177Lu, 90Y, or 47Sc as therapeutic counterparts. 44Sc-based radiopharmaceuticals will be of particular value for PET facilities without radiopharmacy, to which they can be shipped from a centralized production site.

Keywords: 44Scandium; DOTATOC; PET/CT; cyclotron; neuroendocrine neoplasm.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cyclotrons
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / pathology
  • Octreotide / analogs & derivatives
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / instrumentation
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Proof of Concept Study
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Scandium


  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Scandium-44
  • Octreotide
  • Edotreotide
  • Scandium