Dr Koo on Challenges With PSMA PET in Prostate Cancer


Phillip J. Koo, MD, discusses the utility of next-generation imaging in prostate cancer, highlighting the use of PSMA PET in this patient population.

Phillip J. Koo, MD, chief, Diagnostic Imaging, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the utility of next-generation imaging in prostate cancer, highlighting the use of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET imaging in this patient population.

Although PSMA PET imaging is an established standard in the prostate cancer field, when considering the use of PSMA PET imaging compared with conventional techniques, several challenges arise, Koo begins, adding that although some medical practices may possess considerable experience with PSMA PET, others may lack exposure to it. Even among seasoned practitioners, there remains a continuous learning curve with PSMA PET due to the discovery of atypical disease distribution patterns that may not have been encountered previously, Koo explains. Particularly, discussions often revolve around interpreting findings, such as solitary rib or pelvic lesions, which pose diagnostic dilemmas as they may or may not signify metastatic disease, and biopsy confirmation may not always be feasible, he adds.

PSMA PET is undeniably a valuable tool in prostate cancer imaging, yet exercising caution in its application is paramount, Koo expands. Overreliance on PSMA PET, especially across all clinical scenarios or for immediate treatment response assessment, may not necessarily yield optimal outcomes, according to Koo. Instead, a judicious approach is warranted, deploying the technology where its efficacy is most pronounced and progressively expanding its use from there, he reports, adding that adherence to established guidelines outlined by various medical societies is imperative to ensure appropriate and effective use.

In defining the role of next-generation imaging in prostate cancer, PSMA PET stands out as a pivotal advancement, characterized by its molecular targeting capabilities, Koo continues. Prostate cancer cells typically exhibit heightened PSMA expression, rendering PSMA PET highly accurate and sensitive, particularly in detecting disease at lower prostate-specific antigen levels, he notes. This heightened accuracy and improved detection ability represent significant advancements over previous imaging modalities, offering clinicians deeper insights into patients' disease statuses and facilitating more informed treatment decisions, Koo concludes.

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