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Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9481276, 10 pages
Research Article

Correlation of Somatostatin Receptor-2 Expression with Gallium-68-DOTA-TATE Uptake in Neuroblastoma Xenograft Models

1The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada
2The STTARR Innovation Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
3The Center for Probe Development and Commercialization, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Correspondence should be addressed to Sylvain Baruchel

Received 1 March 2017; Revised 18 June 2017; Accepted 9 July 2017; Published 8 August 2017

Academic Editor: Xuelei Ma

Copyright © 2017 Libo Zhang 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.


Peptide-receptor imaging and therapy with radiolabeled somatostatin analogs such as 68Ga-DOTA-TATE and 177Lu-DOTA-TATE have become an effective treatment option for SSTR-positive neuroendocrine tumors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation of somatostatin receptor-2 (SSTR2) expression with 68Ga-DOTA-TATE uptake and 177Lu-DOTA-TATE therapy in neuroblastoma (NB) xenograft models. We demonstrated variable SSTR2 expression profiles in eight NB cell lines. From micro-PET imaging and autoradiography, a higher uptake of 68Ga-DOTA-TATE was observed in SSTR2 high-expressing NB xenografts (CHLA-15) compared to SSTR2 low-expressing NB xenografts (SK-N-BE(2)). Combined autoradiography-immunohistochemistry revealed histological colocalization of SSTR2 and 68Ga-DOTA-TATE uptake in CHLA-15 tumors. With a low dose of 177Lu-DOTA-TATE (20 MBq/animal), tumor growth inhibition was achieved in the CHLA-15 high SSTR2 expressing xenograft model. Although, in vitro, NB cells showed variable expression levels of norepinephrine transporter (NET), a molecular target for 131I-MIBG therapy, low 123I-MIBG uptake was observed in all selected NB xenografts. In conclusion, SSTR2 expression levels are associated with 68Ga-DOTA-TATE uptake and antitumor efficacy of 177Lu-DOTA-TATE. 68Ga-DOTA-TATE PET is superior to 123I-MIBG SPECT imaging in detecting NB tumors in our model. Radiolabeled DOTA-TATE can be used as an agent for NB tumor imaging to potentially discriminate tumors eligible for 177Lu-DOTA-TATE therapy.