Imaging of prostate cancer has been improving by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Current imaging techniques are not sensitive enough to give us an accurate picture of the cancer. This means that we lose predictive abilities and don’t always have adequate information to make the best treatment decisions. It also means, in some situations, that insurance will not always cover what is clearly the best treatment because we lack evidence of the actual disease state to qualify for the FDA label of certain treatments.

In a move to develop better, more accurate scanning technology, a recent study reported in the June issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine showed that sodium fluoride (Na-F-18) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (NaF-PET/CT) more accurately detects bone metastases in men with advanced prostate cancer. The study also showed that by using similar follow-up scans over time we are able to correlate with clinical outcomes and patient survival.

According to the study authors, “Our study suggests that NaF-PET/CT may be a useful imaging modality in the diagnosis, prognosis and follow-up of prostate cancer patients at high risk for bone metastasis. It provides a strong rational to further the clinical development of NaF-PET/CT as a bone imaging tool in prostate cancer and other malignancies.”

The availability of NaF-Pet/CT is limited. However, I do know that it is available at UCLA Radiology and the Ahmanson Biological Imaging in both Westwood and Santa Monica California. I am sure that it is available in other locations, if you are aware of these other locations please add a comment to this post so that I can share the information with other readers.

Apolo, L. Lindenberg, J. H. Shih, E. Mena, J. W. Kim, J. C. Park, A. Alikhani, Y. Y. McKinney, J. Weaver, B. Turkbey, H. L. Parnes, L. V. Wood, R. A. Madan, J. L. Gulley, W. L. Dahut, K. A. Kurdziel, P. L. Choyke. Prospective Study Evaluating Na18F PET/CT in Predicting Clinical Outcomes and Survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2016; 57 (6): 886 DOI: 10.2967/jnumed.115.166512