Detection of Recurrent Prostate Cancer Using Prostate-specific Membrane Antigen Positron Emission Tomography in Patients not Meeting the Phoenix Criteria for Biochemical Recurrence After Curative Radiotherapy

Bernard H. E. Jansen, Pim J. van Leeuwen, Maurits Wondergem, Tim M. van der Sluis, Jakko A. Nieuwenhuijzen, Remco J. J. Knol, Reindert J. A. van Moorselaar, Henk G. van der Poel, Daniela E. Oprea-Lager, André N. Vis

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Biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer (PCa) after curative radiotherapy is defined as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) rise of ≥2 ng/ml above the nadir ("Phoenix criteria", 2005). With the introduction of prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography (PSMA-PET), the ability to localise PCa recurrences has increased markedly. Here, we reviewed 315 patients scanned with PSMA-PET after curative radiotherapy in the Prostate Cancer Network Amsterdam (2015-2018). Sixty-three patients (20.3%) were scanned below the Phoenix threshold (PSA rise <2.0 ng/ml). In 53 of these patients (84.1%), PSMA-PET-avid lesions were detected nonetheless: 21 patients (33.3%) revealed a local recurrence as a single site of disease, 32 patients (50.8%) harboured metastatic PCa. Besides rising PSA, no predictors were identified that prompted early PSMA-PET imaging. In this communication, we report on the frequent detection of metastatic PCa with PSMA-PET in men below the Phoenix PSA threshold. These findings are a plea for re-evaluation of current diagnostic work-up for rising PSA values after radiotherapy, as early detection of recurrences might refine salvage and/or adjuvant therapies. PATIENT SUMMARY: This study reports on the unexpected detection of prostate cancer (PCa) recurrences with prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography in patients treated with radiotherapy. This calls for re-evaluation of the current criteria for recurrent PCa after radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-825
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Urology Oncology
Issue number5
Early online date19 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

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