A molecular imaging technique—prostate-specific membrane antigen PET/CT (PSMA PET/CT)—is more accurate than conventional imaging techniques at detecting levels of a molecule associated with prostate cancer, according to a recent Australian study published in Lancet, reported in HemOnc Today. The researchers recommend that PSMA PET/CT be introduced into routine clinical care.

“Taken together, our findings indicate that prostate-specific membrane antigen PET-CT scans offer greater accuracy than conventional imaging and can better inform treatment decisions. We recommend that clinical guidelines should be updated to include prostate-specific membrane antigen PET/CT as part of the diagnostic pathway for men with high-risk prostate cancer,” Michael S. Hofman, MBBS, FRACP, FAANMS, professor of nuclear medicine at Peter McCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, said in a press release.

Standard-of-care imaging with CT and bone scan has insufficient sensitivity and specificity for detection of nonlocalized prostate cancer, researchers wrote.

In the multicenter, two-arm, prospective proPSMA study, Hofman and colleagues assessed whether gallium-68 prostate specific-membrane antigen (PSMA)-11 PET-CT — an imaging technique that delivers detailed body scans of patients as it detects prostate cancer cells — could i

The researchers randomly assigned 300 men (median age, 69 years; interquartile range [IQR], 63-73.5) with biopsy-proven prostate cancer and high-risk features across 10 hospitals in Australia to conventional imaging (n = 152) or PSMA-11 PET-CT (n = 148).

Researchers observed greater accuracy with the novel imaging technique compared with conventional imaging (92% vs. 65%;P < .0001). In addition, PSMA-11 PET-CT was associated with greater sensitivity (85% vs. 38%) and specificity (98% vs. 91%). 

Results of subgroup analyses showed superiority of PSMA-11 PET-CT vs. conventional imaging among men with pelvic nodal metastases (area under the curve, 91% vs. 59%) and men with distant metastases (AUC, 95% vs. 74%).

Read more from HemOnc Today and find the study in Lancet.

Featured image: PC-3 human prostate cancer cells, stained with Coomassie blue, under differencial interference contrast microscope.