Netspot® is a new imaging technology that helps to accurately diagnose neuroendocrine tumors early. Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) come from hormone-producing cells in various organs in the body. Some are slow-growing and can be cured. But others will enlarge and metastasize without causing any symptoms. Early diagnosis is the only way to get them treated.
A Netspot® scan helps to pinpoint, measure, and monitor neuroendocrine tumors with accuracy. It has a high sensitivity for the tumors and offers better chances of locating isolated tumors.
Before radiologists would use CT scans and metaiodobenzylgauanidine (MIBG) but they would produce low-quality images. An Octreoscan has been used too. It uses an agent known as octreotide, which binds itself to specific tumors and lights up the tumor during the scanning process.
Octreoscan and MIDC can identify different types of neuroendocrine tumors with success, but they don’t provide more details that can help make the much-needed disease management decisions. Also, they deliver high doses of radiation to patients.
Netspot® utilizes a molecule known as dotatate, which mimics somatostatin, a hormone that binds to receptors on the NET call surfaces. The dotatate molecules are used with gallium-68, a radioactive tracer that can be detected and seen clearly on PET scans. Netspot® can detect 30% more lesions than Octreoscan.
Using Netspot®, physicians can quantify how active a tumor is and use a PET scan to calculate the standard uptake value to compare the amount of the agent a patient is injected with and the amount consumed by the tumor. When they compute a baseline standard uptake value and discover it halved after treatment, they will know that the tumor activity has slowed or reduced.
A Netspot® scan takes around 30 minutes and is safe since very minimum doses of radiation are used. Since it can zero in on tumors, physicians can treat neuroendocrine tumors more effectively than before.