Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are called the zebra of cancers because they are rare, and behave very differently from other cancer types. While NETs are typically small and slow growing, they can develop anywhere in the body, most commonly the stomach, intestines, pancreas, lungs and liver. Since they don’t show up on typical PET scans, finding them at early stages or detecting metastasis is difficult.
A solid ten years of dreaming and planning finally came to fruition only to go up in flames thanks to a 30-minute doctor appointment on the Upper West Side. The culprit? Cancer.
A new agent, gallium-68 dotatate (Netspot®), recently FDA-approved and available at Roswell Park, can be used as a PET tracer instead of the glucose to identify carcinoid tumors—even very small lesions—significantly better than any currently available imaging.