MAR 14, 2023 10:00 AM PDT

Advanced Imaging Could Help with Diagnosing and Treating Prostate Cancer

WRITTEN BY: Ryan Vingum

Prostate cancer is among the most common types of cancer in men aside from certain kinds of skin cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be almost 300,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2023 alone.

As with any cancer, effectively diagnosing prostate cancer is key, because that can shape the kinds of treatments clinicians may pursue to achieve the best result. But as new technologies emerge, researchers are looking for new ways to improve the current approach to diagnosing prostate cancer.

Findings from a trial being conducted at the University Hospital Bonn in Germany, called the DEPROMP trial, suggests that the use of a specialized imaging technique, called PSMA-PET/CT, could help with the detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer by providing a clearer image of a person’s tumor. Study findings are published in Trials.

Currently, standard of care for prostate cancer biopsy involves an MRI scan to give a clinician a sense of a patient’s tumor before performing the biopsy. The goal of the DEPROMP trial was to see if using PSMA-PET/CT technology could improve on this standard process.

During the trial, researchers followed about 200 men since March 2021, with an end goal of recruiting about 30 more participants. All participants underwent MRI and PSMA-PET/CT scans before undergoing a biopsy, Then, researchers gave results to two separate groups of urologists for analysis. One group received all the data to review, while the other group received everything except the novel PSMA-PET/CT data. Then, each urologist was asked to decide the most appropriate treatment plan based on the information they were given, such as chemotherapy or even surgical treatment.

Overall, researchers found that that with the addition of PSMA-PET/CT scan data, there were some changes to treatment management plans. However, the study investigators cautioned that it could take years to adequately determine the efficacy of these treatment plan changes, as successfully treating cancer can take some time.

Researchers did notice that about 6% of patient scans with the PSMA-PET/CT yield false positives, so more research is needed.

Sources: Eurekalert!; BMC Trials; American Cancer Society

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
Science writer and editor, with a focus on simplifying complex information about health, medicine, technology, and clinical drug development for a general audience.
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