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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 102819, 11 pages
Review Article

Somatostatin Receptor-Based Molecular Imaging and Therapy for Neuroendocrine Tumors

1Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China
2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325003, China
3Zhejiang University Medical PET Center, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China
4Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China
5Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Imaging of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China
6Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, China

Received 17 July 2013; Accepted 8 August 2013

Academic Editor: Mei Tian

Copyright © 2013 Ling Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are tumors originated from neuroendocrine cells in the body. The localization and the detection of the extent of NETs are important for diagnosis and treatment, which should be individualized according to the tumor type, burden, and symptoms. Molecular imaging of NETs with high sensitivity and specificity is achieved by nuclear medicine method using single photon-emitting and positron-emitting radiopharmaceuticals. Somatostatin receptor imaging (SRI) using SPECT or PET as a whole-body imaging technique has become a crucial part of the management of NETs. The radiotherapy with somatostatin analogues labeled with therapeutic beta emitters, such as lutetium-177 or yttrium-90, has been proved to be an option of therapy for patients with unresectable and metastasized NETs. Molecular imaging can deliver an important message to improve the outcome for patients with NETs by earlier diagnosis, better choice of the therapeutic method, and evaluation of the therapeutic response.