Oligometastatic prostate cancer: shaping the definition with molecular imaging and an improved understanding of tumor biology

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The aim of this review is to discuss how novel imaging modalities and molecular markers are shaping the definition of oligometastatic prostate cancer.

Recent findings

To effectively classify a patient as having oligometastatic prostate cancer, diagnostic tests must be sensitive enough to detect subtle sites of metastatic disease. Conventional imaging modalities can readily detect widespread polymetastatic disease but do not have the sensitivity necessary to reliably classify patients as oligometastatic. Molecular imaging using both metabolic- and molecularly-targeted radiotracers has demonstrated great promise in aiding in our ability to define the oligometastatic state. Perhaps the most promising data to date have been generated with radiotracers targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen. In addition, early studies are beginning to define biologic markers in the oligometastatic state that may be indicative of disease with minimal metastatic potential.

Summary

Recent developments in molecular imaging have allowed for improved detection of metastatic prostate cancer allowing for more accurate staging of patients with oligometastatic disease. Future development of biologic markers may assist in defining the oligometastatic state and determining prognosis.

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