Gallium-68 DOTATOC: PET Imaging of Neuroendocrine Tumour

Gallium-68 DOTATOC is a radiopharmaceutical agent for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. It has emerged as a valuable tool in diagnosing and managing neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). Ga-68 DOTATOC development is significant because it has improved the accuracy and sensitivity of PET imaging, allowing for better detection, staging, and monitoring of NETs. This article will explore the properties, clinical applications, and advantages of Ga-68 DOTATOC in medical imaging.

Properties of Gallium-68 DOTATOC

Gallium-68 DOTATOC is a radiolabelled peptide consisting of gallium-68, a positron-emitting radioisotope, and DOTATOC, a synthetic octreotide analogue that binds to somatostatin receptors (SSTRs). Ga-68 has a short half-life of 68 minutes, making it ideal for PET imaging. When injected into the body, the DOTATOC component of the radiotracer selectively targets cells expressing SSTRs, which are commonly found on the surface of NETs.

Clinical Applications

The primary clinical application of Ga-68 DOTATOC PET imaging is in detecting and evaluating neuroendocrine tumours. These are a diverse group of tumours arising from neuroendocrine cells and can occur in various organs, including the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs. In addition, NETs often express high levels of SSTRs, making them suitable targets for Ga-68 DOTATOC imaging.

By binding to SSTRs on tumour cells, Ga-68 DOTATOC provides a particular and sensitive method for detecting NETs, even at an early stage. This has been crucial for the accurate staging of tumours, which influences treatment decisions and prognosis. This imaging agent is also beneficial for monitoring patients during and after treatment, helping to assess therapeutic response and detect any recurrent or residual disease.

Advantages of Gallium-68 DOTATOC

Gallium-68 DOTATOC PET imaging offers several advantages over conventional imaging techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These benefits include:

  • Ga-68 DOTATOC PET imaging has a higher sensibility for detecting NETs than conventional imaging techniques. This allows for better disease localisation and evaluation.
  • Gallium-68 exposes patients to lower radiation doses due to its short half-life compared to other radiopharmaceuticals.
  • Ga-68 DOTATOC PET imaging provides a quantitative measurement of SSTR expression, which can help select appropriate therapy and monitor response to treatment.
  • Ga-68 DOTATOC PET imaging enables whole-body assessment in a single examination, making it a more efficient and comprehensive approach.


Gallium-68 DOTATOC has emerged as a significant development in medical imaging, particularly for diagnosing and managing neuroendocrine tumours. With its high sensitivity and specificity, Ga-68 DOTATOC PET imaging has improved the detection, staging, and monitoring of NETs, leading to better patient care and outcomes. As research continues, Ga-68 DOTATOC will likely find further applications in diagnosing and treating other malignancies expressing somatostatin receptors.

You Are Here: Home » gallium-68 DOTATOC
Tags: Dosimetry, Gallium-68 Radiotracers, Radiopharmaceuticals
Open Medscience