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DOTA Peptides and Cancer Diagnosis

Author: Cathy Miller
by Cathy Miller
Posted: Apr 09, 2018

The impact of technological developments is huge and beyond our imagination, especially in the pharmaceutical aspect. Technological advances in molecular imaging have revolutionized NET clinical pathways. If you happen to get into hospital (hopefully not), you’ll notice that significant changes have occurred with regards to the management of NET patients especially in molecular imaging and therapy. The credit should be owed to the never-ceasing discovery in science and technology. And in this article, we are going to discuss the benefits brought by DOTA peptides.

DOTA is an organic compound and commonly used as a complexing agent, which have been widely used as contrast agents for cancer treatments. But at the same time, it can also be linked to molecules that have affinity to various structures (somatostatin receptors on neuroendocrine tumors, just to give an example).

The generated compounds may combine with a number of radioisotopes to be used in cancer therapy and diagnosis. For example, DOTA could act as a chelator for a radionuclide. (Tyr3)-octreotate, a derivative of octreotide, can bind to somatostatin receptors that are found on the cell surfaces of a number of neuroendocrine tumors. Therefore, DOTA-(Tyr3)-Octreotate is able to direct the radioactivity into the tumor.

As a useful tool in receptor-mediated tumor imaging and peptide receptor-targeted radionuclide therapy, the significance of DOTA cannot be neglected. As a matter of fact, it is the most frequently used chelating agent for radio-metal labeling of peptides. There are a number of scientific researches focused on investigate the benefits of DOTA peptides on diagnosing various cancers. In Europe, Ga-68 DOTA-peptide product has already been licensed for such medical use.

Next we will briefly see how DOTA peptides can facilitate cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is by far the most common malignant tumor of the nasopharynx. It is uncommon in the United States but very common in southern region of China accouting for over 18% of all cancers. It is also common in Taiwan. The new molecular imaging biomarker 68Ga-DOTA-NOC may potentially provide earlier and better management of undifferentiated Nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Another study highlights the potential of 68 Ga-DOTA-peptide PET/CT as a new molecular biomarker for newly diagnosed undifferentiated NPC, and less so for recurrent NPC and metastatic nodes. This potentially opens up new diagnostic and therapeutic options in the management of undifferentiated NPC.


DOTA is used as a complexing agent in medical applications as contrast agents and cancer treatments. Therefore, DOTA is linked to molecules that have affinity for various structures (e.g. somatostatin receptors in neuroendocrine tumors). The resulting compounds can be bound to radionuclides and are used with a number of radioisotopes in cancer therapy and diagnosis (for example in positron emission tomography).

This article is shared by Creative Peptides, which specialized in research peptides offerings for decades. For more information, please contact at

About the Author

Contact Creative Peptides for more information on any peptides of interest to you, such as isotope labeled peptides.

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Author: Cathy Miller

Cathy Miller

United States

Member since: Dec 17, 2017
Published articles: 17

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