(68)Ga-PSMA 11 ligand PET imaging in patients with biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy - diagnostic performance and impact on therapeutic decision-making

To evaluate the diagnostic performance of [(68)Ga]Ga-PSMA(HBED-CC) conjugate 11 positron emission tomography (PSMA-PET) in the early detection of metastases in patients with biochemical recurrence (BCR) after radical prostatectomy (RP) for clinically non-metastatic prostate cancer, to compare it to CT/MRI alone and to assess its impact on further therapeutic decisions.

We retrospectively assessed 117 consecutive hormone-naïve BCR patients who had (68)Ga-PSMA 11 PET/CT (n = 46) or PET/MRI (n = 71) between May 2014 and January 2017. BCR was defined as two PSA rises above 0.2 ng/ml. Two dedicated uro-oncological imaging experts (radiology/nuclear medicine) reviewed separately all images. All results were presented in a blinded sequential fashion to a multidisciplinary tumorboard in order to assess the influence of PSMA-PET imaging on decision-making.

The median time from RP to BCR was 36 months (IQR 16-72). Overall, 69 (59%) patients received postoperative radiotherapy. Median PSA level at the time of imaging was 1.04 ng/ml (IQR 0.58-1.87). PSMA-positive lesions were detected in 100 (85.5%) patients. Detection rates were 65% for a PSA value of 0.2 to <0.5 ng/ml, 85.7% for 0.5 to <1, 85.7% for 1 to <2 and 100% for ≥2. PSMA-positive lesions could be confirmed by either histology (16%), PSA decrease in metastasis-directed radiotherapy (45%) or additional information in diffusion-weighted imaging when PET/MRI was performed (18%) in 79% of patients. PSMA-PET detected lesions in 67 patients (57.3%) who had no suspicious correlates according to the RECIST 1.1 criteria on MRI or CT. PSMA-PET changed therapeutic decisions in 74.6% of these 67 patients (p < 0.001), with 86% of them being considered for metastases-directed therapies.

We confirm the high performance of PSMA-PET imaging for the detection of disease recurrence sites in patients with BCR after RP, even at relatively low PSA levels. Moreover, it adds significant information to standard CT/MRI, changing treatment strategies in a significant number of patients.

European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. 2017 Oct 26 [Epub ahead of print]

B Grubmüller, P Baltzer, D D'Andrea, S Korn, A R Haug, M Hacker, K H Grubmüller, G M Goldner, W Wadsak, S Pfaff, J Babich, C Seitz, H Fajkovic, M Susani, P Mazal, G Kramer, S F Shariat, Markus Hartenbach

Department of Urology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria., Division of General and Pediatric Radiology, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria., Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria., Department of Urology and Andrology, University Hospital Krems, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences, Krems, Austria., Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria., Division of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Radiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA., Clinical Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria., Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. .

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