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FLOPET: 18F-DA PET Scans for Neuroblastoma and Pheochromocytoma Tumors

About this study

Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor that most often develops on the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys. Pheochromocytoma is a tumor that is closely related to neuroblastoma. This study will evaluate a new way to help doctors diagnose these tumors.

In this study, we will use an imaging test called a PET (positron emission tomography) scan, combined with a drug, to find and analyze tumors. The drug is called a radioactive tracer. The PET scan and tracer work together to create a 3-dimensional (3-D) picture of your child’s organs and tumor.

The most common tracer used to analyze neuroblastoma tumors is called 123I-mIBG. However, the picture it provides is not always clear enough to see very small areas of the disease.

The purpose of this study is to find out if another radioactive tracer, called 18F-DA, is safe to use in children. This new tracer is made from 2 naturally occurring chemicals: dopamine and fluorine. Dopamine is present in our bodies, and fluorine occurs in nature. 18F-DA has been shown to be safe and more effective than 123I-mIBG in analyzing pheochromocytoma.

Purpose of this clinical trial

The main goal of this study is to test the safety of 18F-DA in children with neuroblastoma or pheochromocytoma. Researchers also want to learn how 18F-DA moves throughout the body. Finally, they want to find out if 18F-DA could replace 123I-mIBG in the future.

Eligibility overview

  • Known or suspected neuroblastoma or pheochromocytoma
  • At least 1 year old

The above information is intended to provide only a basic description about a research protocol that may be currently active at St. Jude. The details made available here may not be the most up-to-date information on protocols used by St. Jude. To receive full details about a protocol and its status and or use at St. Jude, a physician must contact St. Jude directly.


Full title:

18F-Fluorodopamine PET Studies of Neuroblastoma and Pheochromocytoma

Study goal:

The main goal of this study is to test the safety of 18F-DA in children with neuroblastoma or pheochromocytoma.


Neuroblastoma, pheochromocytoma


At least 1 year old

For physicians and researchers

Patients accepted to St. Jude must be referred by a physician or other qualified medical professional. Learn how St. Jude can partner with you to care for your patient.


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