Neuroendocrine tumours constitute a small group of malignancies; about 200 new patients are diagnosed in Norway annually. This article discusses problems associated with use of deoxyfluoroglucose (FDG) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and other available options in patients with these conditions, as well as challenges related to introduction of new radiopharmaceutical agents.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
The article is based on review of literature in connection with development of new guidelines for nuclear medicine examinations, supplemented with literature identified through a non-systematic search of Pubmed.
A large proportion of these tumours grow slowly, and recent data show that 5-year survival is about 50 %. Neuroendocrine tumours are characterised by specific biochemical processes that enable tailoring of radiopharmaceutical agents for PET and consequently a more accurate diagnosis and improved follow-up of these patients.
As for other cancer types, diagnostics and detection of metastases are an important factor for correct treatment of neuroendocrine tumours. PET with FDG is of limited use for patients with this condition. New specific radiopharmaceutical agents for PET may imply detection of 90 % of all such tumours.
2009. Vol. 129, no 15, 1474-1477 p.