New Imaging Agent Better at Detecting Signs of Prostate Cancer Recurrence, Study Reports

New Imaging Agent Better at Detecting Signs of Prostate Cancer Recurrence, Study Reports
A new imaging agent for use in positron emission tomography (PET) is better than conventional imaging at detecting cancer location and spread in prostate cancer patients suspected of cancer recurrence, a study shows. The study, “Advanced Prostate Imaging of Recurrent Cancer after Radiation Therapy (PICs): Interim Results of a Prospective, Multi-Center Trial,” was presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology 2018 Annual Meeting. Radical radiotherapy is a nonsurgical treatment for localized prostate cancer that uses high-energy X-rays. Following treatment, however, about 15-40 percent of patients see their PSA levels rise, a condition known as biochemical recurrence, and a sign that the cancer has returned. Before deciding how to manage patients, doctors normally conduct several imaging exams that provide some insight on the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. Smaller tumors, however, may sometimes be missed by standard exams. In this study, a group of researchers tested whether a new imaging agent could improve the detection of prostate cancer and the management of these patients. The agent, a radiotracer called [18F]-DCFPyL, targets the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) — a protein whose levels are increased in prostate cancer patients — and is used in PET imaging. PET imaging uses small amounts of radioactive materials, called radiotracers, along with a special camera and computer to help evaluate organ and tissue function. Most importantly, a PET scan can help identify areas of prostate cancer recur
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