To answer this question, the Uppsala University researcher designed a retrospective analysis of all 121 post-prostatectomy patients with elevated PSA and undergoing 11C-acetate PET, including 22 with prostate-cancer specific death (Cohort 1) and the censored group of 99 (Cohort 2) over a median of 79 months. Post-operative Gleason sums(PS), PSA at time of PET, SUVmax, tumor volume (using threshold of 30% of SUVmax), total tumor volume and total lipogenic activity (TLA=summed SUVmax*TV). Survival analysis was followed by Cox-proportional hazards ratios (HR) in patients with positive PET findings.
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11C-acetate is available to many countries including the USA as an investigative radiopharmaceutical for cancer detection, especially after initial therapy. While awaiting further confirmation from prospective randomized trials, current findings indeed support the use of 11C-acetate PET in the care of post-prostatectomy patient upon biochemical relapse. 11C-acetate PET-CT may in fact serve more than mere recurrence detection by providing prognosis. A negative 11C-acetate PET-CT in asymptomatic patients with PSA relapse after prostatectomy suggests an excellent 5-year survival.
Upon questioning, the author answered that a relative threshold of 30% SUVmax was chosen to derive the tumor volumes which were used to calculate the TLAs. He did not optimize the threshold because it is standard procedure as done by others.
Presented by the Team headed by Naresh Kumar Regula at the 2016 Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting in San Diego, CA, USA. Abstract #521.
Written By: Franklin C. Wong, MD. PhD, JD, Professor of Nuclear Medicine and Neuro-Oncology The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston