Role of 11C-choline PET/CT in radiation therapy planning of patients with prostate cancer

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Abstract

Background

In the era of image-guided radiotherapy, PET has become an important tool for tumor delineation in several types of cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of this imaging modality in treatment planning of a cohort of patients with prostate cancer eligible for radiotherapy.

Methods

From September 2011 to January 2016, 135 consecutive patients (median age 69 years, range: 53–89) were referred to our department for radiation therapy with radical intent (n=28), for postoperative adjuvant (n=13) or salvage treatment (n=50), for re-irradiation (n=19), or for radiotherapy on oligometastases (n=25). Before planning the radiotherapy course, patients were submitted to carbon-11-choline PET (Cho-PET) to confirm the indication to radiotherapy and the irradiation volumes.

Results

Among the 135 patients subjected to Cho-PET, the indication to radiotherapy was modified in 66 (48.8%) cases based on the Cho-PET result. In particular, Cho-PET helped to better define the radiotherapy programme in 12 out of 28 (42.8%) patients who were candidates for primary radiation therapy, 33 (52.4%) of 63 patients undergoing adjuvant/salvage radiotherapy, and 21 out of 44 (47.7%) patients with relapsed/metastatic disease. Overall biochemical response is documented by mean and median prostate specific antigen values, which changed from 15.29 to 4.00 ng/ml, respectively, before to mean 4.74 ng/ml and median 0.81 ng/ml after therapy (P=0.05).

Conclusion

In our series, Cho-PET had a significant effect on radiotherapy planning of patients affected by prostate cancer, determining a change in management in 48.8% of cases, considering all therapeutic indications.

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