Researchers identify pitfall in popular prostate cancer PET imaging method
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RESTON, VA – Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has become a popular method for determining the stage of a patient’s prostate cancer. However, researchers have identified a major pitfall in this imaging technique and are cautioning medical professionals to be aware of the potential for misdiagnosis when relying solely on PSMA PET. The study is featured in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine‘s September issue.

PSMA is a highly expressive enzyme in prostate cancer cells and metastases, which makes it a very useful target for imaging, allowing physicians to more easily diagnose the cancer and determine best treatments. However, past studies have noted that some benign tissues also show increased PSMA expression and could potentially be confused with lymph node metastases. These tissues include parts of the kidney, bowels, salivary glands and ganglia along the sympathetic trunk. The result could be a misdiagnosis and unnecessary change in therapy regimen.

“It is important that nuclear medicine physicians be aware of this pitfall, as the interpretation of PSMA PET scans may have a substantial impact on therapy guidance,” said Christoph Rischpler, MD, in the department of nuclear

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