This new scan may improve prostate cancer treatment

In a new study, researchers found that adding an interim scan during prostate cancer therapy can help guide a patient’s treatment.

The new scan is called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography (PET).

The study was done by a team from Technical University Munich in Germany.

Currently, the five-year survival rate for men with metastatic prostate cancer is 30.5%. Early assessment of treatment effectiveness is key to helping patients live longer.

In the study, the team found that the interim scan showed a big value for the survival of patients who had metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

The therapy typically involves a preliminary PSMA PET scan to identify patients who are eligible for the lutetium-177 (177Lu)-PSMA radioligand therapy.

The researchers used the PSMA-PET to evaluate the whole-body tumor burden in the patients.

Tumor response was tested by the changes in PSMA-avid tumor volume from baseline to the second PSMA PET using three classification methods.

The team found that tumor response assessed on interim PSMA PET after two treatment cycles were linked to overall survival.

They suggest that interim PSMA PET can be used for therapeutic response assessment in patients undergoing lutetium-177 (177Lu)-PSMA radioligand therapy.

Moreover, new lesions found in PSMA PET is a prognostic factor for disease progression and could be included in defining tumor response based on PSMA PET imaging.

The current analysis paves the way for use of interim PSMA PET in 177Lu-PSMA radioligand therapy. Future work needs to test the method on more prostate cancer patients.

The lead author of the study is Andrei Gafita, MD.

The study was presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

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