Radiolabeled somatostatin analogs can be useful for the management of recurrent medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) after a thyroidectomy, according to a study.

The results showed that gallium-68 dodecane tetraacetic acid tyr3-octreotate positron emission tomography-computed tomography (68Ga-DOTATAE PET-CT) had a relatively high detection rate, and peptide receptor radionuclide therapy with 177Lu-DOTATATE was a safe alternative for the treatment of the disease. 

The results were published in the journal Annales d’Endocrinologie.  

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Read more about the prognosis of MTC

MTC is a type of rare neuroendocrine tumor originating from the perifollicular cells of the thyroid gland. Recommended treatments for MTC include thyroidectomy and neck dissection but in almost half of cases, the tumor usually recurs following treatment.

To assess the clinical efficacy of 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT imaging in detecting MTC and the therapeutic efficacy of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy with 177Lu-DOTATATE in patients with MTC, a team of researchers led by Majid Assadi, MD, from the Bushehr Medical University Hospital in Iran, analyzed 20 patients with histologically proven MTC and suspected recurrence after thyroidectomy, based on high levels of calcitonin in the serum, who underwent somatostatin receptor-PET.

The results showed that somatostatin receptor-PET was positive in the majority of patients (17 out of 20). Of these 17 patients, 4 had peptide receptor radionuclide therapy, as did 2 patients who had positive 99mTc-octreotide scintigraphy.

Of the 6 patients who underwent peptide receptor radionuclide therapy, 2 showed a partial response, 2 had stable disease, and 2 had progressive disease. Two patients died during the follow-up period, and the median overall survival was calculated as 19 months.

“Radiolabeled somatostatin analogs are contributive for the management of recurrent MTC,” the researchers concluded. They added that more research using combination therapy is needed to confirm this finding.


Dadgar H, Jafari E, Ahmadzadehfar H, et al. Feasibility and therapeutic potential of the 68Ga/177Lu-DOTATATE theranostic pair in patients with metastatic medullary thyroid carcinoma. Ann Endocrinol. Published online September 17, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.ando.2022.08.001