There’s a better way to do a PET scan, by using radiotracer fluciclovine (fluorine-18; F-18) (Journal of Nuclear Medicine, March 2017)
According to researcher Ashesh B. Jani, MD, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, fluciclovine can improve imaging in recurrent prostate cancer patients with no additional radiation side effects.
An improved PET scan helps patients and doctors see if their advanced stage targeted treatment is working.
For the study, 96 patients were enrolled in a clinical trial of radiotherapy for recurrent prostate cancer after prostatectomy. All patients underwent initial treatment planning based on results from conventional abdominopelvic imaging (CT or MRI). Forty-five of the patients then underwent treatment-planning modification (better defining the tumor-targeted area) after additionally undergoing abdominopelvic F-18-fluciclovine PET/CT. No increase in toxicity was observed with this process.
The Emory researchers determined that the inclusion of F-18-fluciclovine PET information in the treatment planning process leads to significant differences in target volumes (the areas to receive radiotherapy). It did result in higher radiation dose delivered to the penile bulb, but no significant differences in bladder or rectal radiation dose or in acute genitourinary or gastrointestinal toxicity.
These are preliminary results in a three-year study, which hypothesizes that there will be an increase in disease-free survival for patients in the F-18-fluciclovine-modified treatment group over those in the standard treatment group.