Giancarlo Montini

Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi, Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (10)33.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To retrospectively evaluate the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET/CT and CT alone for the evaluation of bone metastasis in patients with neuroendocrine tumour (NET). From among patients with NET who underwent (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET/CT between April 2006 and November 2008 in our centre, 223 were included in the study. Criteria for inclusion were pathological confirmation of NET and a follow-up period of at least 10 months. PET and CT images were retrospectively reviewed by two nuclear medicine specialists and two radiologists, respectively, without knowledge of the patient history or the findings of other imaging modalities. PET data were compared with the CT findings. Interobserver agreement was evaluated in terms of the kappa score. Clinical and imaging follow-up were used as the standard of reference to evaluate the PET findings. PET was performed for staging (49/223), unknown primary tumour detection (24/223), restaging (32/223), restaging before radioimmunotherapy (1/223), evaluation during therapy (12/223), equivocal findings on conventional imaging (4/223 at the bone level; 61/223 at sites other than bone), and follow-up (40/223). A very high interobserver agreement was observed. CT detected at least one bone lesion in only 35 of 44 patients with a positive PET scan. In particular, PET showed more lesions in 20/35 patients, a lower number of lesions in 8/35, and the same number in 7/35. The characteristics of the lesions (sclerotic, lytic, mixed) on the basis of the CT report did not influence PET reading. PET revealed the presence of at least one bone metastasis in nine patients with a negative CT scan. Considering patients with a negative PET scan (179), CT showed equivocal findings at the bone level in three (single small sclerotic abnormality in two at the spine level, and bilateral small sclerotic abnormalities in the humeri, femurs and scapula). Clinical follow-up confirmed the PET findings in all patients; thus there were no false-positive or false-negative findings. Considering all patients, PET detected more lesions than CT (246 vs. 194). As compared to CT, on a patient basis PET showed a higher sensitivity (100% vs. 80%), specificity (100% vs. 98%), positive predictive value (100% vs. 92%), and negative predictive value (100% vs. 95%). In conclusion, (68)Ga DOTA-NOC PET was more accurate than CT for the identification of bone lesions and led to a change in clinical management in nine patients with a negative CT scan.
    European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 04/2010; 37(4):722-7. · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In lymphoma, [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is routinely used for initial staging, early evaluation of treatment response, and identification of disease relapse. However, there are no prospective studies investigating the value of serial FDG-PET over time in patients in complete remission. All patients with lymphoma who achieved the first complete remission were prospectively enrolled onto the study and scheduled for serial FDG-PET scans at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months; further scans were then carried out on an annual basis. Overall, the population included 421 patients (160 patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma [HL], 183 patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma [NHL], and 78 patients with indolent follicular NHL). All patients had a regular follow-up evaluation, including complete clinical and laboratory evaluation, and final assessment of any suspect FDG-PET findings using other imaging procedures (computed tomography [CT] scan) and/or biopsy and/or clinical evolution. FDG-PET findings were reported as positive for relapse, inconclusive (when equivocal), or negative for relapse. PET enabled documentation of lymphoma relapse in 41 cases at 6 months, in 30 cases at 12 months, in 26 cases at 18 months, in 10 cases at 24 months, and in 11 cases at more than 36 months. All 36 patients with inconclusive positive PET underwent biopsy; only 12 (33%) of 36 patients had a concomitant suggestion of positivity on CT. A lymphoma relapse was diagnosed in 24 (66%) of 36 patients. Our results confirm FDG-PET as a valid tool for follow-up of patients with HL and NHL. In patients with inconclusive positive results, histologic confirmation plays an important role in identifying true relapse.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/2009; 27(11):1781-7. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the radiation dose delivered from patients injected with yttrium-90 (Y)-labelled tiuxetan (Zevalin) to parents and the general population, comparing different techniques. The radiation dose delivered from a group of eight patients injected with Y-Zevalin to treat recurrent lymphoma was measured. The data obtained with the Monte Carlo simulation test were compared with the experimental measurements obtained with an ionization chamber detector and with a crystal NaI(Tl) detector. A good correlation was found between the Monte Carlo simulation test and the ionization chamber detector results: the air kerma dose rate was 4.2+/-0.1 and 4.4+/-0.8 microGy/h, respectively (r=0.9, P<0.01). Moreover, more than 99.7% of the air kerma dose rate measured with the ionization chamber detector was because of the contribution of electrons, whereas the contribution of photons was less than 0.3%. In contrast, the air kerma dose rate measured with the crystal NaI(Tl) detector was significantly lower (0.76+0.12 microGy/h) in comparison with the Monte Carlo simulation test. This underestimation was related to the limited crystal NaI(Tl) detector response to low energy rates at variance with the ionization chamber detector. The effective radiation dose released by patients treated with Y-labelled tiuxetan to parents and the general population was approximately 0.1 mSv per treatment cycle. Using the Monte Carlo model as a benchmark to compare the experimental measurements obtained by the two different detectors, we found that the ionizing chamber detector was more accurate than the crystal Na(Tl) detector for measuring the exposure radiation dose delivered from patients administered with Y-labelled radiopharmaceuticals. Moreover, the effective radiation dose released by these patients to their parents and the general population is significantly lower than the value recommended by international reports and regulations.
    Nuclear Medicine Communications 01/2009; 29(12):1100-5. · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: (18)F-FDG positron emission tomography (PET) value for the assessment of neuro-endocrine tumours (NET) is limited. Preliminary studies indicate that (18)F-DOPA and (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC are more accurate for disease assessment and (68)Ga-DOTA peptides provide additional data on receptor status that are crucial for targeted radionuclide therapy. At present, there are no comparative studies investigating their role in NET. The aim of this study was to compare (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC and (18)F-DOPA for the evaluation of gastro-entero-pancreatic and lung neuro-endocrine tumours. Thirteen patients with biopsy-proven NET (gastro-entero-pancreatic or pulmonary) were prospectively enrolled and scheduled for (18)F-DOPA and (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET. PET results obtained with both tracers were compared with each other, with other conventional diagnostic procedures (CT, ultrasound) and with follow-up (clinical, imaging). The most common primary tumour site was the pancreas (8/13) followed by the ileum (2/13), the lung (2/13) and the duodenum (1/13). The carcinoma was well differentiated in 10/13 and poorly differentiated in 3/13 cases. (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET was positive, showing at least one lesion, in 13/13 cases while (18)F-DOPA PET was positive in 9/13. On a lesions basis, (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC identified more lesions than (18)F-DOPA (71 vs 45), especially at liver, lung and lymph node level. (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC correctly identified the primary site in six of eight non-operated cases (in five cases, the primary was surgically removed before PET), while (18)F-DOPA identified the primary only in two of eight cases. Although the patients studied are few and heterogeneous, our data show that (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC is accurate for the detection of gastro-entero-pancreatic and lung neuro-endocrine tumours in either the primary or metastatic site and that it offers several advantages over (18)F-DOPA.
    European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 05/2008; 35(8):1431-8. · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a rare group of neoplasms that originate from pluripotent stem cells or differentiated neuroendocrine cells, mostly localized in the bronchus, lungs, or gastroenteropancreatic tract. This issue reviews the results achieved with PET. The potential applications of the most commonly used receptor or metabolic positron-emitter radiopharmaceuticals in the field of NET to stage or restage disease, to detect unknown primary tumor, and to assess and monitor therapy response to different kind of treatments are analyzed.
    PET Clinics. 04/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: (18)F-FDG PET value for the assessment of neuroendocrine tumours (NET) is limited. Preliminary studies indicate that somatostatin receptor PET using (68)Ga-DOTA-peptides is more accurate for disease assessment and provide additional data on receptor status, that are crucial for targeted radionuclide therapy. At present, however, few papers investigated the role of (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET in NET, especially in unusual situations. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC for the evaluation of NET of uncommon presentation. Patients with biopsy-proven NET were scheduled for (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET; we excluded from further evaluation cases with most common NET tumours (gastro-entero-pancreatic and pulmonary localization of primary lesion, MEN syndromes, medullary thyroid carcinoma, pheochromocytomas). PET results were compared with findings of conventional imaging, including CT, ultrasonography, MR and somatostatin receptor scintigraphy; finally PET results were compared with follow-up data with respect to the impact on patient management. Fourteen patients were finally enrolled; primary tumours were located at uterine level (3 cases), prostate (3 cases), ovary (1 case), kidney (1 case), breast (1 case), ear (1 case); also 3 cases of paraganglioma (at neck, abdominal and mediastinum level) and 1 case of lymphoma were included. (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET was positive, showing at least 1 lesion, in 6/14 cases while 5 cases turned out negative and 2 inconclusive. On a clinical basis, (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC provided additional information in comparison to conventional imaging procedures in 7/14 cases, and was considered useful in 12/14 patients, with 8 patients in which (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC PET was determinant for patient's management. Although the number of patients studied is limited, our data show that (68)Ga-DOTA-NOC can be usefully applied for the evaluation of NET of uncommon presentation; in particular very promising results were obtained in paraganglioma. On the other hand, care has to be paid when studying lesions localized at sites of physiological concentration of the tracer, and in presence of inflammation.
    Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie 04/2008; 62(10):667-71. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the value of 18F-fluorodeoxy-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography with computed tomography (PET/CT) in myeloma in patients presenting with a solitary plasmacytoma of bone (SPB). Fourteen consecutive patients studied since 2006, all having a diagnosis of SPB before PET/CT imaging took part in this study. In 3 patients PET/CT was performed for staging while in the remaining 11 it was used to monitor therapy. PET/CT was performed using a dedicated tomograph 60-90 minutes after intravenous injection of 53 MBq/kg of 18F-FDG and the results were compared to other diagnostic procedures [radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)], biopsy, and other available follow-up data. In 8/14 patients, PET/CT scans showed previously unsuspected sites of increased FDG accumulation. In 6/8 patients, FDG uptake was considered pathologic, depicting myeloma involvement in bone, while in the remaining cases, findings were considered incidental and not related to myeloma. PET findings attributed to myeloma were confirmed (i.e. true positives) in 6/6 cases (100%) and in all patients with findings reported as non-pathologic, myeloma was excluded (100% true negatives). Our preliminary data in a small number of cases suggests that there are a group of patients with SPB (local disease) in whom FDG PET/CT may detect other unsuspected sites of bone involvement, upstaging the extent of the disease. In these cases, SPB may be a local manifestation of multiple myeloma where other sites of involvement have eluded detection by other less sensitive imaging modalities (i.e. skeletal surveys) or anatomically restricted imaging (i.e., less than total body MR or CT). Finding other sites of involvement have significant implications for appropriate treatment of myeloma.
    In vivo (Athens, Greece) 01/2008; 22(4):513-7. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess whether 18F-dopa PET/CT is able to provide information relevant in changing the clinical management of patients with gastro-enteropancreatic (GEP) tumours where there is negative or inconclusive conventional radiological imaging (ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) and 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy. From January 2005 to October 2006, 84 patients with clinical and biochemical suspicion of GEP tumours were investigated by US and CT scans, MRI and 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy. In 13/84 (15.4%) both conventional radiological imaging and 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy provided negative or inconclusive findings, and patients were referred for 18F-dopa PET/CT imaging. Each patient received 5.3 MBq x kg(-1) 18F-dopa intravenously, and imaged 60 min later using a hybrid PET/CT scanner. 18F-dopa PET/CT detected the primary tumour in all 13 patients (size range, 7-26 mm, mean, 18 mm; SUVmax range, 2.3-16.3, mean, 5.7) and further 12 unsuspected lesions (size range, 12-23 mm, mean 17; SUVmax range 2.8-12.7, mean 4.6). Confirmation of the PET/CT findings was obtained in all patients from histopathological analysis of tissue obtained after surgery and/or biopsy. All the 18F-dopa-positive primary lesions were confirmed as being the primary tumour at histology, whereas of the other 12 unsuspected 18F-dopa-positive lesions, 11 were found to be metastatic deposits and one due to unspecific inflammation (one false positive result). Notably, the results of 18F-dopa PET/CT imaging changed the clinical management in 11/13 patients (84%). Our preliminary results suggest that 18F-dopa PET/CT has a promising role in GEP patients with negative or inconclusive findings at conventional radiological imaging and 111In-pentetreotide scintigraphy. The findings were helpful in biopsy guidance and played a major role in changing the management of those patients.
    Nuclear Medicine Communications 07/2007; 28(6):473-7. · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Somatostatin receptor PET-CThemploys positron emitting tracers (68Ga-DOTA-peptides) that specifically bind to somatostatin receptors (ssr) expressed on tumor cell surface and has been used mainly for the assessment of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). NETs derive from neuroendocrine cells widely dispersed in the human body and present an increased expression of ssr, particularly of ssr2. 68Ga-DOTA-peptides are very accurate for the assessment of well-differentiated NETs, since being slow-growing tumors, they are not clearly visualized on 18F-FDG PET-CT scans.

Publication Stats

192 Citations
33.90 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2009
    • Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi
      Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
    • University of Bologna
      • Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine DIMES
      Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
    • University Hospital of Parma
      Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy