68Gallium DOTA-PET imaging is preferable to standard somatostatin receptor scintigraphy where available; however, its role in the management of Lung Carcinoid tumours (LC) remains unclear.
All consecutive patients with histologically-confirmed LC from two ENETS Centres of Excellence were identified retrospectively. The primary objective was to assess the impact of 68Ga-DOTANOC-PET on clinical management in patients with LC.
Of 166 patients screened, 46 were eligible: 52% female, median age 57 years (range 21-86); type of LC: DIPNECH (4%), typical (44%), atypical (35%), not reported (17%); stage: localised (63%), locally advanced (13%) and metastatic (17%) (7% unknown). A total of 47 68Ga-DOTANOCs were performed with the following rationale: LC diagnosis confirmation (4; 9%), primary tumour identification (2; 4%), post-surgical assessment (19; 40%), staging (patients with known LC present at time of 68Ga-DOTANOC) (19; 40%) and consideration of Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) (3; 7%). Twenty-seven (57%) scans showed evidence of non-physiological uptake: median SUVmax 7.2 (range 1.42-53). 68Ga-DOTANOC provided additional information in 37% (95%CI 22-51) of patients and impacted on management in 26% (95%-CI 12-41); 9 patients (21%) were identified to have occult sites of metastases. Out of the 19 patients with post-surgical 68Ga-DOTANOC, 3 (16%) were identified to have distant metastases. There were no differences in the rate of practice changing 68Ga-DOTANOC results by type of LC (p-value 0.5).
Our results support the role of 68Ga-DOTANOC for optimizing the management of patients with LC, including post-surgical re-staging due to potential for identifying occult metastases.