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Ga-68 dotatate tracer used for first time in Croatia

(Photo: KBC Zagreb)

A Gallium-68-DOTATAT (Ga-68 dotatate) radiopharmaceutical tracer has been used to examine patients with neuroendocrine tumours for the first time in Croatia at the KBC Zagreb hospital.

A Gallium-68-DOTATATE is a radiopharmaceutical tracer used during PET (positron emission tomography) scans that evaluates primary and metastatic well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors.

Neuroendocrine tumours are relatively rare and until now patients in Croatia have been referred outside of the country for examinations.

“This is a top achievement by our experts, which the Clinical Institute for Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Protection, PET/CT Centre and KBC Zagreb rank among the most advanced institutions in Europe,” the hospital said. 

(Photo: KBC Zagreb)

In the last five years, two two-year projects have been successfully implemented with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the purpose of which was to educate employees of the Clinical Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Protection on new methods of nuclear medicine in cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

Through a dozen scientific visits and scholarships, nuclear medicine specialists, radiochemists, biochemists and physicists have been successfully educated in the field of Ga-68 PET/CT diagnostics and peptide-labeled therapy at major clinical centres in Innsbruck, London and Liverpool. 

Through the joint activities of the Clinical Institute for Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Protection, KBC Zagreb and IAEA, the necessary equipment was procured, a special Ga-68 laboratory was equipped and a device for the production and synthesis of Ga-68 labeled peptides and Ge / Ga-68 generator was installed.

“In all this, it is important to highlight the significant support of the Ministry of Health and the HZZO, which approved new DTP procedures with Ga-68 radiopharmaceuticals and thus made these tests available to health system users. At the moment we already have six radiopharmaceuticals approved by the HZZO as separate tests for PET/CT diagnostics (F-18 FDG, F-18 Colin, F-18 DOPA, F-18 Flutemetamol and now the latest Ga-68 DOTATATE and Ga-68 PSMA). Such an impressive list of PET/CT scans that is covered and available to our patients places our Clinical Hospital Centre and our country at the very top of European PET/CT diagnostics,” KBC Zagreb said.

(KBC Zagreb)

At the official presentation was prof. dr. sc. Ante Ćorušić, director of KBC Zagreb, prof. dr. sc. Stjepko Pleština, Deputy Director of KBC Zagreb and Head of the Oncology Clinic, prof. dr. sc. Dražen Huić, Head of the Clinical Institute for Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Protection, Dr. Anja Tea Golubić, Nuclear Medicine Specialist, Marijan Žuvić, B.Sc.

“It is also worth noting that there are no significant waiting lists for this search. Each patient indicated for this search waits for a maximum of three weeks to a month,” the hospital concluded.

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