The quarterly journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging : official publication of the Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine (AIMN) [and] the International Association of Radiopharmacology (IAR), [and] Section of the Society of...

11C-Choline PET/CT in the primary diagnosis of prostate cancer: impact on treatment planning.

PMID 24844254


Aim of the present study was to evaluate the usefulness of 11C-choline PET/CT for detecting lymphatic or haematogenous spread and for planning radiotherapy in patients with medium-to-high risk prostate cancer. We have included 61 consecutive patients recently diagnosed with cancer prostate by biopsy. All patients were classified as medium-to-high risk: Gleason: 7-9; PSA: 6.3-30.4 ng/mL; stage T2c (N.=20) or stage T3 (N.=41). Image acquisition began 5 min after intravenous injection of 11C-choline (656+119 MBq), starting at the pelvis and continuing craniocaudally. Images were interpreted visually to evaluate uptake by the prostate gland. Lymph nodes with 11C-choline uptake were considered invaded, regardless of their size. Bone lesions were considered positive when they showed greater focal uptake than the surrounding bone. In patients with evidence of lymph-node invasion or bone metastases (15 patients), disease was classified as locoregional, oligometastatic, or multimetastatic. All patients had prostate gland uptake (20 focal, 8 bifocal, and 33 multifocal). Extraprostatic disease was present in 15 patients (24.6%), as follows: 9 (60%) in a single location: in an infradiaphragmatic lymph node (N.=6), in a supradiaphragmatic lymph node (N.=1), and in bone (M1) (N.=2). Six (40%) as multifocal invasion: with both infra- and supradiaphragmatic lymph node involvement (N.=2); with infradiaphragmatic lymph node involvement and M1 bone metastases (N.=3); and infra- and supradiaphragmatic lymph node involvement plus M1 bone metastases (N.=1). Disease was classified as locoregional (N.=6), oligometastatic (N.=5), and multimetastatic (N.=4). The 11 (73.3%) patients with locoregional and oligometastatic disease were selected to undergo intensity-modulated radiation therapy with dose escalation based on the PET findings. Our results suggest that 11C-choline PET/CT is a useful one-stop diagnostic procedure for evaluating patients with medium/high risk prostate cancer scheduled for radical treatment. 11C-choline PET/CT can reliably rule out lymph node involvement and remote metastases, allowing to select candidates for radiotherapy and to plan their treatment.