A multicentre validation of the NETPET score (Dual [68Ga]DOTATATE and [18F]FDG PET/CT in patients with metastatic GEPNENs

A multicentre validation of the NETPET score (Dual [68Ga]DOTATATE and [18F]FDG PET/CT in patients with metastatic GEPNENs

Clinical Trials, Patient Advocacy, Survivorship, Treatment
Background It's normally the case that the higher the grade/Ki67 in Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs), the less likely the tumours will have somatostatin receptors and therefore be able to take advantage of somatostatin receptor PET (SSTR PET) as the gold standard in nuclear imaging.  This is why most grade 3 NENs will receive [18F]FDG PET/CT which finds glycolytic activity in the tumour and predicts an aggressive disease course and normally a higher histological grade. It can also add to prognostic outcomes, which in turn can add to therapy choice decisions. There is an overlap though, particularly with the recognition of well-differentiated Grade 3 Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs).  It is known that some glycolytic activity might be present in some well-differentiated NETs, in particular, grade 3 and the upper range of 2 Neuroendocrine…
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Understanding your Somatostatin Receptor (SSTR) PET Results

Understanding your Somatostatin Receptor (SSTR) PET Results

Patient Advocacy
BackgroundIn my online patient group, there is constant discussion about the meaning of both pictures and words on scan reports.  The one that seems to cause the most confusion is PET scans, mainly somatostatin receptor (SSTR) PETs such as Ga68 and Cu64 variants. Worth adding that it's the addition of a nuclear tracer that makes PETs seem different. Generally speaking, the PET hardware is essentially the same.  Most have a built-in CT scan, much less frequently an MRI scan.Confusion is often triggered by healthcare system processes where the patient receives the report before the appointment to discuss the results with the referring physician.  Cue anxiety because the average patient reader does not understand and certain words cause them to worry, often unnecessary worry.  The patient then becomes impatient and will…
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Dual Tracer (68Ga-DOTATATE and 18F-FDG) PET Imaging in G2 & G3 Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours

Dual Tracer (68Ga-DOTATATE and 18F-FDG) PET Imaging in G2 & G3 Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours

Clinical Trials
For some time now, I've been watching the development of PET scans for Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs).  I use the term 'Neoplasms' because there are different strategies for well and poorly differentiated types, Neuroendocrine Tumour (NET) and Neuroendocrine Carcinoma (NEC) respectively.It's known that most NETs have somatostatin receptors which makes tumours be seen better on somatostatin receptor-based imaging e.g. 68Ga-DOTATATE or 64Cu DOTATATE, but more aggressive types tend not to have working somatostatin receptors and are better seen on regular PET, i.e. 18F-FDG PET/CT.   However, nothing in NENs is simple and there's always outliers.  This has been highlighted since the addition of a Grade 3 Well Differentiated NET into the equation.The variable clinical outcome of patients with G2 & G3 well diff Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours (GEP NETs) makes the selection of…
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Neuroendocrine Tumours: a spotlight on Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma

Neuroendocrine Tumours: a spotlight on Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma

Awareness, Patient Advocacy
I spend a lot of time talking about the most common forms of Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs), but what about the less well-known types?  As part of my commitment to all types of NETs, I'd like to shine a light on two less common tumour types known as Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas - with an incidence rate of approximately 8 per million per year. They are normally grouped together, and the definitions below will confirm why.  If you think it's difficult to diagnose a mainstream NET, this particular sub-type is a real challenge.So, let's get definitions out of the way:Pheochromocytomas (Pheo for short)Pheochromocytomas are tumours of the adrenal gland that produce excess adrenaline. They arise from the central portion of the adrenal gland, which is called the adrenal medulla (the remainder of…
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Neuroendocrine Cancer – If you can see it, you can detect it!

Neuroendocrine Cancer – If you can see it, you can detect it!

Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, Survivorship
BackgroundScanning is a key diagnostic support and surveillance tool for any cancer.  Even though you have elevated bloods or urine (....or not), a picture of your insides is really like a thousand words.... and each picture has a story behind it.  Scanning can be a game changer in the hunt for tumours and although scans do not normally confirm the cancer type and grade, they certainly help with that piece of detective work and are key in the staging of the cancer.When I read stories of people in a difficult diagnosis, I always find myself saying 'a scan might resolve this' and I always suggest people should try to get one.  Even in the case of a story about late diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, I find myself thinking 'if only they had done a scan…
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