Three studies support PET/CT in prostate cancer staging

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The results of three studies, released Oct. 21 during a meeting of the North Central Section of the American Urological Association, validated previous research that suggested C-11 choline PET/CT scans can be utilized as a staging and potentially therapeutic tool in prostate cancer.

One study found that C-11 choline PET/CT scans, rather than multiple x-rays, can be used as a staging tool, though it is not necessarily better than x-rays. The two other studies supported favorable claims made in recent medical literature about the use of PET scans to evaluate patients with recurrent prostate cancer. The findings also showed the procedure can help distinguish between localized disease recurrence and systemic recurrence, which is important for optimizing follow-up treatments.

"Taken together, the three studies presented today represent an important validation of the C-11 choline PET/CT scan as a staging tool for patients with prostate cancer," R. Jeffrey Karnes, MD, senior author of all three papers, said in a statement. "We believe the use of these scans can improve the staging and treatment of this common form of cancer, while potentially reducing the cost of delivering the best possible care."

The three studies were:

  • "Initial Staging for High-Risk Prostate Cancer: Is there a Role for C-11 Choline PET Scan?" – The findings from this study suggested that C-11 choline PET, when used as the initial staging modality prior to definitive treatment, is an accurate diagnostic tool. Use of C-11 choline PET could potentially eliminate the need for CT and/or bone scans.
    • "Detection of Consolidated Disease Recurrences of Prostate Cancer by C-11 Choline PET Scan: Results Confirmed by Surgical Resection" – This study found that a C-11 choline PET scan is an accurate diagnostic tool for detecting localized disease recurrences that, in select cases, are suitable for salvage surgical resection.
    • "Operational Characteristics of C-11 Choline PET Scan for Prostate Cancer Patients with Biochemical Recurrence Following Initial Treatment" – The results of this study supported the favorable claims regarding the operational performance of C11-choline PET for evaluating patients with recurrent prostate cancer. The use of C-11-choline PET substantially enhanced the rate of prostate cancer lesion detection by approximately 30 percent beyond what can be garnered using conventional imaging technologies.