68Ga-NOTA-Aca-BBN(7-14) PET imaging of GRPR in children with optic pathway glioma

  • Jingjing Zhang
  • Yongji Tian
  • Deling Li
  • Gang Niu
  • Lixin Lang
  • Fang Li
  • Yuhan Liu
  • Zhaohui ZhuEmail author
  • Xiaoyuan ChenEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Infection and inflammation



Optic pathway glioma (OPG) is a rare neoplasm that arises predominantly during childhood. Its location in a sensitive region involving the optic pathways, onset in young patients and controversial therapy choice make the management of OPG a challenge in paediatric neuro-oncology. In this study we assessed gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR)-targeted positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in children with OPG, and the application of a PET/MRI imaging-guided surgery navigation platform.


Eight children (five boys, mean age 8.81 years, range 5–14 years) with suspicion of optic pathway glioma on MRI were recruited. Written informed consent was obtained from all patients and legal guardians. Brain PET/CT or PET/MRI acquisitions were performed 30 min after intravenous injection of 1.85 MBq/kg body weight of 68Ga-NOTA-Aca-BBN(7-14). Four patients also underwent 18F-FDG brain PET/CT for comparison. All patients underwent surgical resection within 1 week.


All 11 lesions (100%) in the eight patients showed prominent 68Ga-NOTA-Aca-BBN(7-14) uptake with excellent contrast in relation to surrounding normal brain tissue. Tumour-to-background ratios (SUVmax and SUVmean) were significantly higher for 68Ga-NOTA-Aca-BBN(7-14) than for 18F-FDG (28.4 ± 5.59 vs. 0.47 ± 0.11 and 18.3 ± 4.99 vs. 0.35 ± 0.07, respectively). Fusion images for tumour delineation were obtained in all patients using the PET/MRI navigation platform. All lesions were pathologically confirmed as OPGs with positive GRPR expression, and 75% were pilocytic astrocytoma WHO grade I and 25% were diffuse astrocytoma WHO grade II. There was a positive correlation between the SUV of 68Ga-NOTA-Aca-BBN(7-14) and the expression level of GRPR (r2 = 0.56, P < 0.01, for SUVmax; r2 = 0.47, P < 0.05, for SUVmean).


This prospective study showed the feasibility of 68Ga-NOTA-Aca-BBN(7-14) PET in children with OPG for tumour detection and localization. 68Ga-NOTA-Aca-BBN(7-14) PET/MRI may be helpful for assisting surgery planning in OPG patients with severe symptoms, GRPR-targeted PET has the potential to provide imaging guidance for further GRPR-targeted therapy in patients with OPG.


Optic pathway glioma (OPG) 68Ga-NOTA-Aca-BBN(7-14) Paediatric neuro-oncology PET PET/MRI Gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) 



This work was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81701742).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Statement of human rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the principles of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study and their legal guardians.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Peking Union Medical College HospitalChinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Molecular Targeted Diagnosis and Therapy in Nuclear Medicine, Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) HospitalChinese Academy of Medical Science and PUMCBeijingChina
  3. 3.THERANOSTICS Center for Molecular Radiotherapy and Precision OncologyZentralklinik Bad BerkaBad BerkaGermany
  4. 4.Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical UniversityBeijing Key Laboratory of Brain TumorBeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical UniversityBeijing Key Laboratory of Brain TumorBeijingChina
  6. 6.Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LOMIN), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)National Institutes of Health (NIH)BethesdaUSA

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