In vivo somatostatin receptor imaging in medullary thyroid carcinoma

Published on Tuesday, 20 March 2018


Using in vivo scintigraphy with the 111In-labeled somatostatin analog octreotide, tumor localizations were demonstrated in 11 of 17 patients (65%) with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).

Tumor localizations in the liver in 7 patients, and in the thyroid in 1 patient were not detected on octreotide scintigraphy, most probably because of normal uptake of labeled octreotide in these organs.

Specific somatostatin receptors were demonstrated in vitro on all 5 investigated tumors which had also been visualized in vivo, as well as on 1 tumor that was not. Immunohistochemically, somatostatin was present in 1 of 6 tumors that were visualized in vivo, and in neither of 2 tumors that were not.

The ratio of serum calcitonin over carcino-embryonic antigen concentrations was significantly higher in patients whose MTCs were visualized during octreotide scintigraphy than in those whose tumors were not.

We have formed the following conclusions:

  1. In the majority of patients with metastatic MTC, tumor sites can be visualized using octreotide scintigraphy, although this technique is insensitive in detecting liver metastases or intrathyroidal tumor;
  2. The visualization of MTC during in vivo somatostatin receptor imaging correlates with the in vitro presence of somatostatin receptors;
  3. The immunohistochemical presence of somatostatin in the tumor does not seem to influence the outcome of in vivo somatostatin receptor imaging;
  4. Higher serum calcitonin over carcino-embryonic antigen ratios in patients whose MTC is visualized during octreotide scintigraphy might imply that somatostatin receptors are present on more differentiated MTC.


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See also:

- Somatostatin in oncology, the overlooked evidences;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Somatostatin, Octreotide, LAR analogues and/or derivatives);

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: clinical records on 17 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- The Di Bella Method Increases by the 30% the survival rate for Pancreas tumors and for this reason should be proposed as first line therapy for this type of cancer;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with low performance status;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in chemotherapy-pretreated patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and low performance status;

- Observations on the Report of a case of pulmonary adenocarcinoma with lymph node, hepatic and osseus metastasis.