Nuclear imaging for bone metastases in prostate cancer: The Emergence of Modern Techniques Using Novel Radiotracers

Wietske I. Luining*, Dennie Meijer, Max R. Dahele, André N. Vis, Daniela E. Oprea-Lager

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Accurate staging of prostate cancer (PCa) at initial diagnosis and at biochemical recurrence is important to determine prognosis and the optimal treatment strategy. To date, treatment of metastatic PCa has mostly been based on the results of conventional imaging with abdominopelvic computed tomography (CT) and bone scintigraphy. However, these investigations have limited sensitivity and specificity which impairs their ability to accurately identify and quantify the true extent of active disease. Modern imaging modalities, such as those based on the detection of radioactively labeled tracers with combined positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scanning have been developed specifically for the detection of PCa. Novel radiotracers include18F-sodium fluoride (NaF),11C-/18F-fluorocholine (FCH),18F-fluordihydrotestosterone (FDHT),68Gallium and18F-radiolabeled prostate-specific membrane antigen (e.g.,68Ga-PSMA-11,18F-DCFPyL). PET/CT with these tracers outperforms conventional imaging. As a result of this, although their impact on outcome needs to be better defined in appropriate clinical trials, techniques like prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET/CT have been rapidly adopted into clinical practice for (re)staging PCa. This review focuses on nuclear imaging for PCa bone metastases, summarizing the literature on conventional imaging (focusing on CT and bone scintigraphy—magnetic resonance imaging is not addressed in this review), highlighting the prognostic importance of high and low volume metastatic disease which serves as a driver for the development of better imaging techniques, and finally discussing modern nuclear imaging with novel radiotracers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117
JournalDiagnostics (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

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