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Lower 68 Ga-DOTATOC uptake in nonfunctioning pituitary neuroendocrine tumours compared to normal pituitary gland-A proof-of-concept study.

Journal article
Authors Axel Tjörnstrand
Olivera Casar-Borota
Kerstin Heurling
Michael Schöll
Peter Gjertsson
Jakob Himmelman
Oleksiy Itsenko
Oskar Ragnarsson
Helena Filipsson Nyström
Published in Clinical endocrinology
Volume 92
Issue 3
Pages 222-31
ISSN 1365-2265
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Institute of Medicine
Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 222-31
Language en
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology


68  Ga-DOTATOC PET targets somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) and is well established for the detection of SSTR-expressing tumors, such as gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors. Pituitary adenomas, recently designated as pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs), also express SSTRs, but there has been no previous evaluations of 68  Ga-DOTATOC PET in PitNET patients. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the diagnostic properties of 68  Ga-DOTATOC PET in the most common PitNET, ie non-functioning (NF)-PitNET.NF-PitNET patients (n = 9) and controls (n = 13) were examined preoperatively with 68  Ga-DOTATOC PET for 45 min after tracer injection in dynamic list mode. Tumor specimens were collected during surgery in patients. MRI and PET images were co-registered using PMOD software. The maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax ) was analyzed in manually outlined regions of interest (ROI) around the tumor in patients and around the pituitary gland in controls. Immunohistochemical analyses were conducted on tumor specimens for assessment of tumor cell type and SSTR expression.Median SUVmax (IQR) was lower in patients than in controls (3.9 [3.4-8.5] vs 14.1 [12.5-15.9]; P < .01]. In ROC analysis, the area under the curve was 0.87 (P < .01) for SUVmax , with 78% sensitivity and 92% specificity. Immunohistochemical analysis showed NF-PitNETs were of gonadotroph (n = 7) and corticotroph (n = 2) origin. SSTR expression was high for SSTR3, low-to-moderate for SSTR2, and low for SSTR1 and SSTR5.This proof-of-concept study shows that 68 Ga-DOTATOC PET can be used to differentiate between normal pituitary tissue and NF-PitNET.

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