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NetSpot Neuroendocrine Tumor in Santa Fe

Neuroendocrine tumors tend to be quite small.  They can occur anywhere in the body, from the intestines to the lungs to the stomach and pancreas.  Their size makes them difficult to detect early.

Approved by the FDA in 2016, NetSpot is a new tool which has revolutionized the standard positron emission tomography (PET).  PET scans on their own tend not to be effective in detecting these types of tumors, due to their slower uptake of glucose (unlike other cancer tumors).

But now, NetSpot has been developed.  Previously, PET scans relied on tracers which identified tumors using radiolabeled glucose.  NetSpot can identify even the smallest abnormalities with more success than other type of imaging agent currently in use.

The NetSpot edge

NetSpot deploys Ga-68 dotatate, a radioactive clone of a hormone which serves to bind somatostatin receptors, making tumors visible.

NETs absorb glucose very slowly in comparison to other cancers but contain somatostatin receptors.

With NetSpot, tumor detection is enhanced is 3 key ways:

  • Faster: NetSpot takes only 2 hours, whereas the octreoscan traditionally used as a diagnostic is a three-day process.
  • Higher quality images: The images produced by the PET scan used in combination with NetSpot are of a much higher resolution, which makes abnormalities easier to spot – even miniscule ones.
  • Guides therapeutic response: Due to the quality of captures obtained with this technology, oncologists can respond with more accurately targeted therapies.

And when this diagnostic is chosen, patients can source a new treatment for NETs – Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT).  This is a type of radiation therapy which uses hormones as part of the radiation to get to and destroy cancer cells.

How to prepare

Before your NetSpot PET scan, you’ll need to advise your doctor of any and all medications, whether over the counter, prescription, herbal supplements or vitamins.  If you’re taking Somatostatin analogs, it’s important that your doctor know.

If you’re taking a long-acting somatostatin analog, your scan will be scheduled before your next dose.  Those taking short-acting versions of this medication can use them up to 24 hours prior to their procedure.

Hydrate well before your scan.

What to expect

Once you’re injected with NetSpot, your technician will ask that you wait between 40 and 90 minutes to proceed with the scan.  Once the scan is started, the procedure will take 30 – 60 minutes.

You’ll be asked to lie as still as possible during the scan.  Movement can impact the quality of captured images.

Following the procedure, your technician and others will review your results.  These will be shared with your doctor and then, with you.

X-Ray Associates of New Mexico

XRANM has been in the vanguard of diagnostic radiology for over 70 years.  Since then, we’ve been bringing New Mexico patients leading-edge technology like NetSpot.

We’re proud to be leaders in the field, working in 6 clinics located throughout the state.  As part of our commitment to care, we also offer same-day scheduling for your peace of mind.

Contact us to find out more about NetSpot in Santa Fe.