The use of PET/CT in prostate cancer

Roger Li, Gregory C. Ravizzini, Michael A. Gorin, Tobias Maurer, Matthias Eiber, Matthew R. Cooperberg, Mehrdad Alemozzaffar, Matthew K. Tollefson, Scott E. Delacroix, Brian F. Chapin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background: Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) has recently emerged as a promising diagnostic imaging platform for prostate cancer. Several radiolabelled tracers have demonstrated efficacy for cancer detection in various clinical settings. In this review, we aim to illustrate the diverse use of PET/CT with different tracers for the detection of prostate cancer. Methods: We searched MEDLINE using the terms 'prostate cancer', 'PET', 'PET/CT' and 'PET/MR'). The current review was limited to 18F-NaF PET/CT, choline-based PET/CT, fluciclovine PET/CT and PSMA-targeted PET/CT, as these modalities have been the most widely adopted. Results: NaF PET/CT has shown efficacy in detecting bone metastases with high sensitivity, but relatively low specificity. Currently, choline PET/CT has been the most extensively studied modality. Although having superior specificity, choline PET/CT suffers from low sensitivity, especially at low PSA levels. Nevertheless, choline PET/CT was found to significantly improve upon conventional imaging modalities (CIM) in the detection of metastatic lesions at biochemical recurrence (BCR). Newer methods using fluciclovine and PSMA-targeted radiotracers have preliminarily demonstrated great promise in primary and recurrent staging of prostate cancer. However, their superior efficacy awaits confirmation in larger series. Conclusions: PET/CT has emerged as a promising staging modality for both primary and recurrent prostate cancer. Newer tracers have increased detection accuracies for small, incipient metastatic foci. The clinical implications of these occult PET/CT detected disease foci require organized evaluation. Efforts should be aimed at defining their natural history as well as responsiveness and impact of metastasis-directed therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-21
Number of pages18
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research


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