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Gamma Emitters in Pancreatic Endocrine Tumors Imaging in the PET Era: Is there a Clinical Space for 99mTc-peptides?

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 2 ]


Vittorio Briganti*, Vincenzo Cuccurullo, Giuseppe Danilo Di Stasio and Luigi Mansi   Pages 156 - 170 ( 15 )


Background: Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PNETs) are rare neoplasms, sporadic or familial, even being part of a syndrome. Their diagnosis is based on symptoms, hormonal disorders or may be fortuitous. The role of Nuclear Medicine is important, mainly because of the possibility of a theranostic strategy. This approach is allowed by the availability of biochemical agents, which may be labeled with radionuclides suitable for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, showing almost identical pharmacokinetics. The major role for radiopharmaceuticals is connected with radiolabeled Somatostatin Analogues (SSA), since somatostatin receptors are highly expressed on some of the neoplastic cell types.

Discussion: Nowadays, in the category of radiolabeled SSA, although 111In-pentetreotide, firstly commercially proposed, is still used, the best choice for diagnosis is related to the so called DOTAPET radiotracers labeled with 68-Gallium (Ga), such as 68Ga-DOTATATE, 68Ga-DOTANOC, and 68Ga-DOTATOC. More recently, labeling with 64-Copper (Cu) (64Cu-DOTATATE) has also been proposed. In this review, we discuss the clinical interest of a SAA (Tektrotyd©) radiolabeled with 99mTc, a gamma emitter with better characteristics, with respect to 111Indium, radiolabeling Octreoscan ©. By comparing both pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Octreoscan©, Tektrotyd© and PET DOTA-peptides, on the basis of literature data and of our own experience, we tried to highlight these topics to stimulate further studies, individuating actual clinical indications for all of these radiotracers.

Conclusion: In our opinion, Tektrotyd© could already find its applicative dimension in the daily practice of NETs, either pancreatic or not, at least in centers without a PET/CT or a 68Ga generator. Because of wider availability, a lower cost, and a longer decay, compared with respect to peptides labeled with 68Ga, it could be also proposed, in a theranostic context, for a dosimetry evaluation of patients undergoing Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT), and for non-oncologic indications of radiolabelled SSA. In this direction, and for a more rigorous cost/effective evaluation, more precisely individuating its clinical role, further studies are needed.


PNETs, PET/CT, 111-In-pentetreotide, 68Ga-somatostatin analogs, 18F-DOPA, 18F-FDG, Tektrotyd.


Nuclear Medicine Unit - Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi Firenze, Nuclear Medicine Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine "F.Magrassi, A.Lanzara" – Università della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Napoli, Nuclear Medicine Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine "F.Magrassi, A.Lanzara" – Università della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Napoli, Health and Development Section, Interuniversitary Research Center for Sustainable Development, Napoli-Roma

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