Preclinical evaluation of 68Ga-DOTA-minigastrin for the detection of cholecystokinin-2/gastrin receptor-positive tumors

M. Brom, L. Joosten, P. Laverman, W. Oyen, M. Béhé, M. Gotthardt and O. Boerman

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Apr, 2011


In comparison to somatostatin receptor scintigraphy, gastrin receptor scintigraphy using 111In-DTPA-minigastrin (MG0) showed added value in diagnosing neuroendocrine tumors. We investigated whether the 68Ga-labeled gastrin analogue DOTA-MG0 is suited for positron emission tomography (PET), which could improve image quality. Targeting of cholecystokinin-2 (CCK2)/gastrin receptor-positive tumor cells with DOTA-MG0 labeled with either 111In or 68Ga in vitro was investigated using the AR42J rat tumor cell line. Biodistribution was examined in BALB/c nude mice with a subcutaneous AR42J tumor. In vivo PET imaging was performed using a preclinical PET-computed tomographic scanner. DOTA-MG0 showed high receptor affinity in vitro. Biodistribution studies revealed high tumor uptake of 68Ga-DOTA-MG0: 4.4 ± 1.3 \%ID/g at 1 hour postinjection. Coadministration of an excess unlabeled peptide blocked the tumor uptake (0.7 ± 0.1 \%ID/g), indicating CCK2/gastrin receptor-mediated uptake (p  = .0005). The biodistribution of 68Ga-DOTA-MG0 was similar to that of 111In-DOTA-MG0. Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal tumors were clearly visualized by small-animal PET imaging with 5 MBq 68Ga-DOTA-MG0. 111In- and 68Ga-labeled DOTA-MG0 specifically accumulate in CCK2/gastrin receptor-positive AR42J tumors with similar biodistribution apart from the kidneys. AR42J tumors were clearly visualized by microPET. Therefore, 68Ga-DOTA-MG0 is a promising tracer for PET imaging of CCK2/gastrin receptor-positive tumors in humans.