Molecular imaging with 68Ga-SSTR PET/CT and correlation to immunohistochemistry of somatostatin receptors in neuroendocrine tumours

Daniel Kaemmerer, Luisa Peter, Amelie Lupp, Stefan Schulz, Jörg Sänger, Vikas Prasad, Harshad Kulkarni, Sven Petter Haugvik, Merten Hommann, Richard Paul Baum

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125 Scopus citations


Purpose: Somatostatin receptors (SSTR) are known for an overexpression in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (GEP-NET). The aim of the present study was to find out if the receptor density predicted by the semiquantitative parameters generated from the static positron emission tomography (PET/CT) correlated with the in vitro immunohistochemistry using a novel rabbit monoclonal anti-SSTR2A antibody (clone UMB-1) for specific SSTR2A immunohistochemistry and polyclonal antibodies for SSTR1 and 3-5. Methods: Overall 14 surgical specimens generated from 34 histologically documented GEP-NET patients were correlated with the preoperative 68Ga-DOTA-NOC PET/CT. Quantitative assessment of the receptor density was done using the immunoreactive score (IRS) of Remmele and Stegner; the additional 4-point IRS classification for immunohistochemistry and standardized uptake values (SUV max and SUVmean) were used for PET/CT. Results: The IRS for SSTR2A and SSTR5 correlated highly significant with the SUVmax on the PET/CT (p<0.001; p< 0.05) and the IRS for SSTR2A with the SUV mean (p<0.013). The level of SSTR2A score correlated significantly with chromogranin A staining and indirectly to the tumour grading. Conclusion: The highly significant correlation between SSTR2A and SSTR5 and the SUV max on the 68Ga-DOTA-NOC PET/CT scans is concordant with the affinity profile of 68Ga-DOTA-NOC to the SSTR subtypes and demonstrates the excellent qualification of somatostatin analogues in the diagnostics of NET. This study correlating somatostatin receptor imaging using 68Ga-DOTA-NOC PET/CT with immunohistochemically analysed SSTR also underlines the approval of therapy using somatostatin analogues, follow-up imaging as well as radionuclide therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1659-1668
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Clone UMB-1
  • Neuroendocrine tumour
  • Somatostatin receptor imaging
  • Somatostatin receptor immunohistochemistry


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