Liver is the predominant site of metastatization for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Up to 75% of patients affected by intestinal NETs presents liver metastases at diagnosis. For hepatic NET, surgery represents the most effective approach but is often unfeasible due to massive involvement or multifocal disease. In such cases, chemotherapy, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy and loco-regional treatments may represent alternative therapeutic options. In particular, radioembolization with 90Y-microspheres has been introduced as a novel technique for treating hepatic malignant lesions, combining the principles of embolization and radiation therapy. In order to evaluate the response to 90Y-radioembolization, standard radiologic criteria have been demonstrated to present several limitations. 18Fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is routinely used for monitoring the response to therapy in oncology. Nevertheless, NETs often present low glycolytic activity thus the conventional 18FDG PET may be not adequate for these tumors. For many years, somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS) with 111In-pentetreotide has been used for diagnosis and staging of NETs. More recently, three 68Ga-DOTA-compounds have been developed and introduced for the imaging of NETs with PET technology. The aim of the present paper is to review the existing literature concerning the application of different metabolic and molecular probes for the imaging evaluation of hepatic NETs following 90Y-RE .
Keywords: Neuroendocrine tumors, radioembolization, 90Y-microspheres, PET, SPECT, FDG.
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