News Release

Whole-body PET/MRI provides one-stop shop for staging high-risk prostate cancer patients

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Whole Body PET/MRI Provides One-Stop-Shop for Staging High-Risk Prostate Cancer Patients

video: Dr. Andrei Gafita from Technical University Munich discusses new research showing that molecular imaging--specifically, PSMA PET/MR--performs as well as currently used tools and provides additional information on tumor location that could help guide treatment for prostate cancer patients. The research is featured in the December 2018 issue of <a target="_blank"href=""><i>The Journal of Nuclear Medicine</i></a>. view more 

Credit: <i>The Journal of Nuclear Medicine</i>

New research on prostate cancer staging shows that PSMA-targeted PET/MRI performs equally as well as currently used predictive tools to determine the risk for advanced disease. The first-of-its-kind study, published in the December issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, purports that whole-body imaging with 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI could be advantageous for physicians, as it offers information to guide treatment options for prostate cancer patients.

Accurate primary staging is imperative to develop individualized treatment strategies for those with prostate cancer. Currently, prediction tools--or nomograms--assess a variety of factors to determine risk of advanced disease: prostate-speci?c antigen value at diagnosis, Gleason score, and others. While these nomograms offer an estimate of probability, they do not specifically indicate the extent of disease, which can be obtained using molecular imaging.

To compare the performance 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI with clinical nomograms, researchers conducted a retrospective study including 73 patients. Each patient's risk for advanced disease was predicted using the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) nomogram, the Partin tables and 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI. The staging predictions were then compared with histopathologic results, specifically, the prevalence of lymph node metastases (LNM), extracapsular extension (ECE) and seminal vesicle invasion (SVI).

In each of the three advanced disease types analyzed (LNM, ECE and SVI), 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI resulted in an equivalent positivity rate compared with the MSKCC nomogram and the Partin tables. On a patient base, the sensitivity and specificity for 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI were also comparable to that of the other methodologies for the three disease types. Overall, a trend towards higher prediction of the final T and N stages on a patient base was noticed for PSMA-targeted molecular imaging.

"Our results showed that PSMA-targeted PET/MRI performed equally well to established clinical nomograms for preoperative staging in high-risk prostate cancer patients and provided additional information on tumor location" noted Andrei Gafita, MD. "Translated into a clinical setting, the use of this imaging technique for preoperative staging might support treatment planning that may lead to improved patient outcomes."


The authors of "One-Stop-Shop Whole-Body 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI Compared with Clinical Nomograms for Preoperative T and N Staging of High-Risk Prostate Cancer" include Mark Thalgott, Charlotte Düwel, Matthias M. Heck, Jürgen E. Gschwend and Tobias Maurer, Department of Urology, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany; Isabel Rauscher, Andrei Gafita and Markus Schwaiger, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany; Bernhard Haller, Institute of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany; and Matthias Eiber, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany and Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles.

This study was made available online in May 2018 ahead of final publication in print in December 2018.

To schedule an interview with the researchers, please contact Rebecca Maxey at 703-652-6772 or Current and past issues of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine can be found online at

About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to advancing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, vital elements of precision medicine that allow diagnosis and treatment to be tailored to individual patients in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

SNMMI's more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings, and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit

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