Molecular imaging in neuroendocrine tumors: Molecular uptake mechanisms and clinical results

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Neuroendocrine tumors can originate almost everywhere in the body and consist of a great variety of subtypes. This paper focuses on molecular imaging methods using nuclear medicine techniques in neuroendocrine tumors, coupling molecular uptake mechanisms of radiotracers with clinical results. A non-systematic review is presented on receptor based and metabolic imaging methods. Receptor-based imaging covers the molecular backgrounds of somatostatin, vaso-intestinal peptide (VIP), bombesin and cholecystokinin (CCK) receptors and their link with nuclear imaging. Imaging methods based on specific metabolic properties include meta-iodo-benzylguanide (MIBG) and dimercapto-sulphuric acid (DMSA-V) scintigraphy as well as more modern positron emission tomography (PET)-based methods using radio-labeled analogues of amino acids, glucose, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), dopamine and tryptophan. Diagnostic sensitivities are presented for each imaging method and for each neuroendocrine tumor subtype. Finally, a Forest plot analysis of diagnostic performance is presented for each tumor type in order to provide a comprehensive overview for clinical use. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.




Koopmans, K. P., Neels, O. N., Kema, I. P., Elsinga, P. H., Links, T. P., de Vries, E. G. E., & Jager, P. L. (2009, September). Molecular imaging in neuroendocrine tumors: Molecular uptake mechanisms and clinical results. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology.

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