Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with prostate-specific membrane antigen- (PSMA-) binding tracers has been found incidentally to demonstrate uptake in CNS tumors. Following the encouraging findings of several such case reports, there is a growing interest in the potential application of PSMA-targeted PET imaging for diagnostics, theranostics, and monitoring of CNS tumors. This is a systematic literature review on PSMA-binding tracers in CNS tumors.
A PubMed search was conducted, including preclinical and clinical reports. One hundred and twelve records were identified, and after screening, 56 were included in the final report.
Tissue studies demonstrated PSMA expression in tumor vascular endothelial cells, without expression in normal brain tissue, though the extent and intensity of staining varied by anti-PSMA antibody and methodology. Most included studies reported on gliomas, which showed strong PSMA ligand uptake and more favorable tumor to background ratios than other PET tracers. There are also case reports demonstrating PSMA ligand uptake in prostate cancer brain metastases, nonprostate cancer brain metastases, and meningiomas. We also review the properties of the various PSMA-binding radiotracers available. Therapeutic and theranostic applications of PSMA-binding tracers have been studied, including labeled alpha- and beta-ray emitting isotopes, as well as PSMA targeting in directing MRI-guided focused ultrasound.
There is a potential application for PSMA-targeted PET in neuro-oncology as a combination of diagnostic and therapeutic use, as a theranostic modality for managing CNS tumors. Further research is needed regarding the mechanism(s) of PSMA expression in CNS tumors and its differential performance by tumor type.
Molecular imaging. 2022 Apr 15*** epublish ***
Brittany M Stopa, James Crowley, Csaba Juhász, Cara M Rogers, Mark R Witcher, Jackson W Kiser
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke, VA, USA., Carilion Clinic Radiology, Roanoke, VA, USA., Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA.