Utility of 18F-fluciclovine PET/MRI for staging newly diagnosed high-risk prostate cancer and evaluating response to initial androgen deprivation therapy: A prospective single-arm pilot study

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND. Despite advances in prostate cancer treatment, rates of biochemical recurrence remain high, relating to lack of detection of small-volume metastatic disease using conventional imaging for initial staging. OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to assess the potential use of 18F-fluci-clovine PET/MRI for initial staging of high-risk prostate cancer and evaluating response to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). METHODS. This prospective clinical trial enrolled 14 men with newly diagnosed high-risk prostate cancer and negative or equivocal conventional staging imaging for metastatic disease between January 2018 and February 2019. All patients underwent pretreatment 18F-fluciclovine PET/MRI including multiparametric prostate MRI; 12 underwent 18F-fluciclovine PET/MRI after surgery or between ADT and radiotherapy. Confidence in identification of the primary intraprostatic lesion and nodal metastases was independently rated on a 0–3 Likert scale by three readers with nuclear medicine experience for 18F-fluciclovine PET/MRI and three readers with abdominal imaging experience for MRI alone. Findings scored as 2 or 3 by at least two readers of a given modality were considered positive. A single reader measured SUVmean, SUVmax, and volume of the MRI-defined intraprostatic lesion and SUVmax of suspicious lymph nodes on PET before and after initiation of ADT. Changes in SUV were analyzed using nonparametric Wilcox-on signed-rank tests. RESULTS. The biopsy-proven lesion in the prostate gland was accurately identified in all 14 patients on both MRI and 18F-fluciclovine PET/MRI. Suspected nodal metastases were detected in three patients on MRI and seven patients on 18F-fluciclovine PET/MRI. After ADT, all patients showed decreased activity within the intraprostatic lesion and/or all suspicious lymph nodes. The primary lesion SUVmean was 4.5 ± 1.1 (range, 2.7–6.5) before treatment and 2.4 ± 1.1 (range, 0.0–3.6) after initiation of ADT (p = .008). For suspicious lymph nodes, the pretreatment SUVmax was 5.5 ± 3.7 (range, 2.8–12.7) and the posttreatment SUVmax was 2.8 ± 1.4 (range, 1.4–5.5) (p = .03). CONCLUSION. 18F-labeled fluciclovine PET/MRI shows potential utility in initial staging of high-risk prostate cancer and in evaluating response to ADT. CLINICAL IMPACT. Given the FDA approval and widespread availability of 18F-flu-ciclovine, the findings could have an impact in the immediate future in guiding initial management of patients with prostate cancer.
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    Author List

  • Galgano SJ; McDonald AM; Rais-Bahrami S; Porter KK; Choudhary G; Burgan C; Bhambhvani P; Nix JW; Morgan DE; Li Y
  • Start Page

  • 720
  • End Page

  • 729
  • Volume

  • 217
  • Issue

  • 3