Neuroendocrine cancer, which is diagnosed in about 8,000 Americans each year, consists of a heterogeneous group of tumors that arise mostly in the gastrointestinal tract. These tumors are often challenging to diagnose and treat. Symptoms can be vague, consisting of diarrhea, abdominal cramps, shortness of breath, blood pressure changes, headaches and rashes. Tumors may not be detected by routine imaging. As a result, a diagnosis is often made when the disease is at an advanced stage.
Appropriate treatment of neuroendocrine tumors depends on the particular type of tumor, where it originated and its stage and grade. Recent advancements in molecular imaging with PET have led to a greater ability to accurately evaluate neuroendocrine tumors.
UCLA Nuclear Medicine, in a joint venture with UCLA Radiology, is the first facility on the West Coast to assess neuroendocrine tumors using positron emission tomography with computed tomography (PET/CT) and a new imaging agent called gallium-68 DOTATATE (68Ga DOTATATE). READ MORE »
UCLA Nuclear Medicine is now offering a NeuroPET clinic in Westlake Village. The service brings UCLA experts to an office serving the West San Fernando and Conejo Valleys. Brain PET can often provide a level of diagnostic certainty that is not possible with other imaging technologies, and with a longer record of clinical experience in brain PET than any other institution, UCLA provides PET image acquisition and interpretation of the highest quality.
PET (positron emission tomography) reveals brain activity by tracing the metabolism of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a form of glucose with a radioactive attachment that makes it visible to the PET scanner. The scan produces a series of virtual slices through the brain from top to bottom, showing the location and extent of FDG metabolism throughout the brain. READ MORE »