The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first kit for the preparation of gallium Ga 68 dotatate injection, a radioactive diagnostic agent for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. This radioactive probe will help locate tumors in adult and pediatric patients with the rare condition, somatostatin receptor positive neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).
NETs are rare noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tumors that develop in the hormone-producing cells of the body’s neuroendocrine system. These cells are found throughout the body in organs, such as the stomach, intestines, pancreas, lungs and other locations. NETs have receptors for somatostatin, a hormone that regulates the endocrine system. Ga 68 dotatate, a positron emitting analogue of somatostatin, works by binding to such receptors.
“Use of advanced imaging techniques to detect rare neuroendocrine tumors at an early stage in patients is critical,” said Libero Marzella, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Medical Imaging Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Netspot provides another diagnostic tool whose results will help clinicians determine the location and extent of the tumor. This information is important for planning the appropriate course of therapy.”
Netspot is supplied as a sterile, single-dose kit for preparation of Ga 68 dotatate injection for intravenous use. The uptake of Ga 68 dotatate reflects the level of somatostatin receptor density in NETs. This uptake can also be seen in a variety of other tumor types or other pathologic conditions or might occur as a normal variant. The uptake of Ga 68 dotatate may need to be confirmed by histopathology or other assessments.