PURPOSE: Radiolabeled Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) PET/CT is the current standard-of-care for lesion detection in patients with biochemically recurrent (BCR) prostate cancer (PCa). However, rigorous verification of detected lesions is not always performed in routine clinical practice. To aid future 18F-radiolabeled PSMA PET/CT interpretation, we aimed to identify clinical/imaging characteristics that increase the likelihood that a PSMA-avid lesion is malignant.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: 262 patients with BCR, who underwent 18F-DCFPyL PSMA PET/CT, were retrospectively analyzed. The malignant nature of 18F-DCFPyL PET-detected lesions was verified through any of the following metrics: (1) positive histopathological examination; (2) additional positive imaging; (3) a ≥50% decrease in Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) following irradiation of the lesion(s).
RESULTS: In 226/262 PET scans (86.3%) at least one lesion suspicious for recurrent PCa was detected ('positive scan'). In 84/226 positive scans (37.2%), at least one independent verification metric was available. PSMA PET-detected lesions were most often confirmed to be malignant (PCa) in the presence of a CT-substrate (96.5% vs. 55.6% without CT-substrate), with SUVpeak ≥3.5 (91.4% vs. 60.0% with SUVpeak<3.5), in patients with a PSA-level ≥2.0 ng/mL (83.7% vs. 65.7% in patients with PSA <2.0ng/mL) and in patients with >2 PET-positive lesions (94.1% vs. 64.2% in patients with 1-2 PET-positive lesions; p<0.001-0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the clinical verification of 18F-DCFPyL PET-positive lesions in patients with BCR was performed. Diagnostic certainty of PET-detected lesions increases in the presence of characteristic abnormalities on CT, when SUVpeak is ≥3.5, when PSA-levels exceed 2.0 ng/mL or in patients with more than two PET-positive lesions.