December 16, 2022
Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care is now offering an advanced diagnostic tool for the detection of prostate cancer, known as prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Images are acquired using state-of-the-art PET/computed tomography (CT) equipment.
“PSMA PET is the next generation of prostate-specific imaging, which now allows us to detect even small amounts of prostate cancer anywhere in the body,” said Thomas Kole, MD, PhD, radiation oncologist for Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care. “This imaging technology is currently being used for those patients who have been treated for prostate cancer and we now suspect may have disease recurrence or progression. Such patients would include those with rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.”
The PSMA PET imaging tool builds upon traditional prostate cancer imaging, known as fluciclovine PET, which involves injecting patients with a synthetic radioactive amino acid. Using piflufolastat-F18, a newly FDA-approved radioactive imaging agent, PSMA PET imaging is more sensitive and specific in locating disease which has metastasized outside of the prostate.
“The imaging agent, also known as a tracer, attaches itself to PSMA proteins, which are found on the surface of most prostate cancer cells. As the tracer accumulates on the surface of these cells, a signal is detected by the PET scanner. This signal triggers an accompanying CT image that is used to localize the site of high PSMA proteins,” said Keith F. Dockery, MD, Director of Nuclear Medicine and PET Imaging at The Valley Hospital. “While PSMA is expressed in tissues other than prostate cancer, a higher expression of PSMA’s surface protein, or brightness on the scan, likely indicates prostate cancer.”
Additionally, the PSMA PET scan can be used for an untreated individual who is considered “high risk” (defined by a Gleason score of seven or greater). The scan can help to enhance the accuracy of staging prior to the initiation of treatment.
If you are at high risk of recurrent prostate cancer or display rising PSA levels, please speak with your physician and tell them about Valley’s offering of PSMA PET imaging. A referral is required. For more information, please call 201-634-5567.