MVHS uses new technology to localize tumors

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The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) is now offering a new test to identify rare neuroendocrine pancreatic tumors – dotatate gallium GA 68 PET scan.

Using this new technology, radiologists at MVHS are able to identify somatostatin receptor positive neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) in adult and pediatric patients with greater accuracy.

NETs are rare tumors that develop in the hormone-producing cells of the body’s neuroendocrine system and can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).

NET cells can be found throughout the body in organs including the stomach, intestines, pancreas, lungs and other locations and contain receptors for somatostatin, a hormone which regulates the endocrine system. 

When used with positron emission tomography (PET) scans, NETSPOT, the kit used to prepare gallium Ga 68 dotatate injections, helps to illuminate and identify small tumors by binding to the cells that produce somatostatin. Images can be acquired 40 to 90 minutes after administration.

“Currently, MVHS is one of the only organizations in the area to provide this test,” said Anthony Dischiavi, administrative director, Medical Imaging, Interventional Radiology at MVHS.

“Albany Medical Center is the only other organization in the area to have this technology. We are excited to offer it to our patients.”

The test may have an impact on disease management and treatment decisions, and may help identify candidates for somatostatin receptor-directed therapies. These therapies can improve symptoms and prognosis in tumors.

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