Vanderbilt uses PET/CT to uncover cancerous tumors
Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and affiliated VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System has performed a specialized 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT scan to locate the presence of tumors.

Ronald C. Walker, MD, a professor of radiology and radiological sciences, and Jeffrey A.Clanton, MS, an associate in radiology and radiological sciences, performed the first U.S. diagnosis at Vanderbilt on a 49-year-old lung cancer patient using the 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT scan.

Eric H. Liu, MD, assistant professor of surgery and a faculty member with the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, is working with Walker and the department of nuclear medicine to assemble a team of physicians, including surgeons, medical oncologists, endocrinologists, radiologists and nurses, who are preparing studies to test its effectiveness in locating neuroendocrine lesions.

Vanderbilt said it expects to open a fully-operational neuroendocrine center in early 2011. Once opened, Liu and colleagues will begin clinical trials using the radiotracer and other modalities.