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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 917968, 14 pages
Review Article

Somatostatin Receptor Based Imaging and Radionuclide Therapy

Caiyun Xu1,2,3,4 and Hong Zhang1,2,3,4

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

Received 19 September 2014; Revised 15 January 2015; Accepted 20 January 2015

Academic Editor: Enzo Terreno

Copyright © 2015 Caiyun Xu and Hong Zhang. 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.


Somatostatin (SST) receptors (SSTRs) belong to the typical 7-transmembrane domain family of G-protein-coupled receptors. Five distinct subtypes (termed SSTR1-5) have been identified, with SSTR2 showing the highest affinity for natural SST and synthetic SST analogs. Most neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) have high expression levels of SSTRs, which opens the possibility for tumor imaging and therapy with radiolabeled SST analogs. A number of tracers have been developed for the diagnosis, staging, and treatment of NETs with impressive results, which facilitates the applications of human SSTR subtype 2 (hSSTr2) reporter gene based imaging and therapy in SSTR negative or weakly positive tumors to provide a novel approach for the management of tumors. The hSSTr2 gene can act as not only a reporter gene for in vivo imaging, but also a therapeutic gene for local radionuclide therapy. Even a second therapeutic gene can be transfected into the same tumor cells together with hSSTr2 reporter gene to obtain a synergistic therapeutic effect. However, additional preclinical and especially translational and clinical researches are needed to confirm the value of hSSTr2 reporter gene based imaging and therapy in tumors.