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The diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors comes with several inherent challenges, including the identification of type and primary site. To address this, several specialized imaging techniques are available, such as octreotide scans.
In general, Pamela L. Kunz, MD, notes that she generally begins with cross-sectional imaging using a multiphasic contrast-enhanced CT or MRI. She adds that as more data become available on novel therapeutics, the need to conduct an octreotide scan increases. Additionally, if more information is needed regarding the primary site of the tumor an octreotide scan may be required.
In many cases, several diagnostic tests are performed in an attempt to identify the primary site of the tumor, moderator Matthew H. Kulke, MD, points out. Rodney F. Pommier, MD, believes these efforts are completely necessary, as different treatments become available based on the type of tumor. In general, identifying the tumor type and primary site becomes more crucial, as new trials form and agents are approved.