Munir Ghesani, MD, FACNM, FACR, president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), system chief of nuclear medicine at Mount Sinai Health, and associate professor of radiology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explains prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeted radiotracers used in positron emission tomography (PET) scans are seeing rising adoption because it can significantly improve prostate cancer detection and treatment.
Prostate cancer tumors over-express PSMA proteins, making the radiotracer bind to them more readily. This makes the prostate cancer much easier to visualize and target for treatment with PSMA-PET. This includes even very small levels of tumor cells that have metastasized to other areas of the body and are often missed with convention prostate imaging.
“It is an exciting new technology that is in many ways changing the way prostate cancer is managed,” Ghesani explained. “I can say without any hesitation see the literature that will evolve from the widespread use of PSMA-PET in the coming years is going to result in a quite different management algorithm for prostate cancer in the future.”
Prostate cancer tumors over-express PSMA proteins, making the radiotracer bind to them more readily. This makes the prostate cancer much easier to visualize and target for treatment using PSMA-PET imaging. Ghesani said has revolutionized prostate cancer care. This is because even very small levels of tumor cells that have metastasized to other areas of the body can be seen, but are often missed using conventional prostate image techniques. This is helping catch and treat these areas of cancer beyond the prostate bed.
Ghesani said PSMA-PET also helps radiation oncologists zero in and target metastases. He said the imaging makes it much easier to contour images and make sure these areas of small tumors are included in the treatment plan.
Costs and time might be reduced by eliminating other exams and just using PSMA-PET
The ability of PSMA-PET to clearly see prostate cancer and its spread to other parts of the body may change the current workflow and reduce the need for extra exams.
“We are still in the transition stage to PSMA-PET, but I can see the evolving pattern for patient workups, that it may in many instances eliminate the need for a CT scan and a bone scan first before a PSMA-PET exam,” Ghesani explained.
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SNMMI President Dr. Munir Ghesani said the use of PSMA-targeted radiotracers in PET imaging is increasing because they can help improve detection and treatment of prostate cancer. “It is an exciting new technology that is in many ways changing the way prostate cancer is managed.”