Recent studies have shown enhanced tumor targeting by novel somatostatin receptor (SSTR) antagonists compared with clinically widely used agonists. However, these results have been obtained mostly in neuroendocrine tumors, and only limited data are available for cancer types with lower SSTR expression, including breast cancer (BC). To date, two studies have reported higher binding of the antagonist than the agonist in BC, but in both studies only a limited number of cases were evaluated. In this preclinical study, we further investigated whether the application of an SSTR antagonist can improve SSTR-mediated BC imaging in a large panel of BC specimens. We also generated an in vivo BC mouse model and performed SPECT/MRI and biodistribution studies. Methods: Binding of 111In-DOTA-Tyr3-octreotate (SSTR agonist) and 111In-DOTAJR11 (SSTR antagonist) to 40 human BC specimens was compared using in vitro autoradiography. SSTR2 immunostaining was performed to confirm SSTR2 expression of the tumor cells. Furthermore, binding of the radiolabeled SSTR agonist and antagonist was analyzed in tissue material from 6 patient-derived xenografts. One patient-derived xenograft, the estrogen receptor-positive model T126, was chosen to generate in vivo mouse models containing orthotopic breast tumors for in vivo SPECT/MRI and biodistribution studies after injection with 177Lu-DOTA-Tyr3-octreotate or 177Lu-DOTA-JR11. Results: 111In-DOTA-JR11 binding to human BC tissue was significantly higher than 111In-DOTA-Tyr3-octreotate binding (P < 0.001). The median ratio of antagonist binding versus agonist binding was 3.39 (interquartile range, 2-5). SSTR2 immunostaining confirmed SSTR2 expression on the tumor cells. SPECT/MRI of the mouse model found better tumor visualization with the antagonist. This result was in line with the significantly higher tumor uptake of the radiolabeled antagonist than of the agonist as measured in biodistribution studies 285 min after radiotracer injection (percentage injected dose per gram of tissue: 1.92 6 0.43 vs. 0.90 6 0.17; P = 0.002). Conclusion: SSTR antagonists are promising candidates for BC imaging.

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Keywords Agonist, Antagonist, Breast cancer, Imaging, Somatostatin receptor
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Journal The Journal of Nuclear Medicine
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Dalm, S.U, Haeck, J.C, Doeswijk, R.Q, de Blois, E, de Jong, M, & van Deurzen, C.H.M. (2017). SSTR-mediated imaging in breast cancer: Is there a role for radiolabeled somatostatin receptor antagonists?. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 58(10), 1609–1614. doi:10.2967/jnumed.116.189035