Metabolic Imaging in Prostate Cancer: Where We Are

In recent years, the development of diagnostic methods based on metabolic imaging has been aimed at improving diagnosis of prostate cancer (PCa) and perhaps at improving therapy. Molecular imaging methods can detect specific biological processes that are different when detected within cancer cells relative to those taking place in surrounding normal tissues. Many methods are sensitive to tissue metabolism; among them, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) are widely used in clinical practice and clinical research. There is a rich literature that establishes the role of these metabolic imaging techniques as valid tools for the diagnosis, staging, and monitoring of PCa. Until recently, European guidelines for PCa detection still considered both MRSI/MRI and PET/CT to be under evaluation, even though they had demonstrated their value in the staging of high risk PCa, and in the restaging of patients presenting elevated prostatic-specific antigen levels following radical treatment of PCa, respectively. Very recently, advanced methods for metabolic imaging have been proposed in the literature: multiparametric MRI (mpMRI), hyperpolarized MRSI, PET/CT with the use of new tracers and finally PET/MRI. Their detection capabilities are currently under evaluation, as is the feasibility of using such techniques in clinical studies.

Frontiers in oncology. 2016 Jan 09*** epublish ***

Claudia Testa, Cristian Pultrone, David Neil Manners, Riccardo Schiavina, Raffaele Lodi

Functional MR Unit, Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna , Bologna , Italy., Urologic Unit, Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, Department of Urology, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna , Bologna , Italy.