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Somatostatin receptors in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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Somatostatin receptors (SS-Rs) are expressed in neuroendocrine tumour tissues where they can be targetted for diagnosis and therapy. This study investigated the presence of SS-Rs in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), a common cancer in South-East Asia. Nasopharynx biopsy specimens were obtained from 12 NPC patients and 5 patients without tumours. Somatostatin receptor autoradiography was performed using 125I-labelled [Tyr3]-octreotide and 125I-labelled [Leu8, DTrp22, Tyr25]-somatostatin-28 as radioligands. Of the 12 NPC samples 9 showed moderate to high expression of SS-Rs. These were of the sst2 type, based on the rank order of potency of subtype-selective analogues. The 5 non-neoplastic samples, consisting primarily of granulomatous tissue, did not express measurable amounts of SS-Rs. This study demonstrates for the first time the presence of type 2 SS-R in NPC. These receptors may play a role in the management of NPC, as is the case for other somatostatin-expressing tumours.

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Loh, K., Waser, B., Tan, .L. et al. Somatostatin receptors in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Virchows Arch 441, 444–448 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00428-002-0693-y

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