Biochemical Persistence of Prostate-Specific Antigen After Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy: Tumor localizations using PSMA PET/CT imaging

Dennie Meijer, Maarten L. Donswijk, Yves J. L. Bodar, Pim J. van Leeuwen, Henk G. van der Poel, Wouter V. Vogel, Jakko A. Nieuwenhuijzen, N. Harry Hendrikse, Daniela E. Oprea-Lager, André N. Vis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Since the introduction of radiolabeled prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET/CT, the ability to visualize recurrent prostate cancer has improved substantially. However, diagnostic accuracy is largely lacking for radiolabeled PSMA PET/CT in patients with biochemical persistence (BCP; that is, persistently measurable prostate-specific antigen [PSA] values after robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy [RARP]). Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the role of PSMA (i.e.,18F-DCFPyL or 68Ga-PSMA-11) PET/CT imaging in patients who experience BCP after RARP and to evaluate the sites of persistent disease on PSMA PET/CT. Methods: In total, 150 consecutive patients with BCP after RARP who underwent radiolabeled PSMA PET/CT imaging were retrospectively evaluated. BCP was defined as any detectable first serum PSA value after RARP (≥0.1 ng/mL) at least 6 wk after surgery, in the absence of an undetectable PSA value after RARP. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors for the detection of metastases outside the prostatic fossa (≥miN1) on PSMA PET/CT. Results: PSMA PET/CT was performed at a median PSA value of 0.60 ng/mL (interquartile range, 0.3-2.4) after a median of 6 mo (interquartile range, 4-10) after RARP. In total, 101 of 150 patients (67%) had lesions with PSMA expression on PET/CT, and 89 of 150 (59%) had lesions with increased PSMA expression sites outside the prostatic fossa. Moreover, 39 of 150 patients (26%) had PSMA-positive lesions outside the pelvis. On multivariable analysis, higher PSA values after RARP (P = 0.004) and positive pathologic lymph node status (P = 0.006) were independent predictors for ≥miN1. Conclusion: In the presence of BCP, a high proportion of patients already had disease metastatic to the pelvic lymph nodes or showed evidence of distant metastases, as indicated by PSMA PET/CT. Higher PSA levels after RARP and positive pathologic lymph node status were significantly associated with metastases outside the prostatic fossa. In patients with BCP, PSMA PET/CT imaging is warranted to guide salvage treatment strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-967
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number7
Early online date6 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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