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Semin Nucl Med. 2012 Sep;42(5):328-42. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2012.04.004.

Functional imaging for prostate cancer: therapeutic implications.

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  • 1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, and Nuclear Medicine Service, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.

Abstract

Functional radionuclide imaging modalities, now commonly combined with anatomical imaging modalities computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (single photon emission computed tomography [SPECT]/CT, positron emission tomography [PET]/CT, and PET/magnetic resonance imaging), are promising tools for the management of prostate cancer, particularly for therapeutic implications. Sensitive detection capability of prostate cancer using these imaging modalities is one issue; however, the treatment of prostate cancer using the information that can be obtained from functional radionuclide imaging techniques is another challenging area. There are not many SPECT or PET radiotracers that can cover the full spectrum of the management of prostate cancer from initial detection to staging, prognosis predictor, and all the way to treatment response assessment. However, when used appropriately, the information from functional radionuclide imaging improves, and sometimes significantly changes, the whole course of the cancer management. The limitations of using SPECT and PET radiotracers with regard to therapeutic implications are not so much different from their limitations solely for the task of detecting prostate cancer; however, the specific imaging target and how this target is reliably imaged by SPECT and PET can potentially make significant impact in the treatment of prostate cancer. Finally, although the localized prostate cancer is considered manageable, there is still significant need for improvement in noninvasive imaging of metastatic prostate cancer, in treatment guidance, and in response assessment from functional imaging, including radionuclide-based techniques. In this review article, we present the rationale of using functional radionuclide imaging and the therapeutic implications for each of radionuclide imaging agent that have been studied in human subjects.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22840598
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3408625
Free PMC Article

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