New Imaging Service Increases Cancer Detection Rates

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After completing a two-year clinical trial to detect prostate cancer in earlier stages, Decatur Memorial Hospital is now offering C-11 Choline PET CT and MRI to patients who have biochemical relapse of prostate cancer. C-11 Choline PET CT uses an FDA-approved tracer which, after injection, highlights the precise location of prostate cancer with much greater precision and sensitivity than traditional scans, according to a press release from Decatur Memorial Hospital, located in Decatur, Ill.

“This technology gives us an extremely unique tool to potentially save more lives through earlier detection and more effective treatment,” said Timothy D. Stone, Jr., president and CEO, Decatur Memorial Hospital.

Prostate cancer affects one in six men in America. In 2016, approximately 180,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and approximately 26,000 men will die from the disease annually. According to published reports, most men who die of prostate cancer do so after either primary local or systemic therapy has failed, the press release notes.

Suspected prostate recurrence is based upon elevated blood prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels following initial therapy. Conventional imaging tools such as CT scan, bone scan or MRI, might show the precise location of prostate cancer only once PSA has reached a value of 20.0 ng/mL – 30.0 ng/mL. The optimum PSA value for lesion detection was determined to be between 1.7 and 2.o ng/mL to obtain a maximal clinical benefit for detection of prostate cancer in men who have a biochemical relapse after primary treatment. This earlier and more precise detection can allow treatment to begin sooner and to be more accurately targeted.

Following the injection of C-11 Choline, prostate cancer cells absorb the choline and the scanner picks up the exact locations of tracer concentrations. Lesions appear as brightly illuminated spots or areas on the scan. C-11 Choline has a rapid rate of decay, losing half of its radioactivity every 20 minutes, which means the tiny amount of original radioactivity is gone quickly from the patient’s body.

In the largest published study in the U.S. on C-11 Choline imaging, there was a 32% increased detection rate of prostate cancer lesions which were not identified on conventional CT scan and bone scan, according to the press release.

DMH Cancer Care Institute recently concluded a two-year clinical research trial for recurrent prostate cancer. The trial was designed to measure the performance characteristics of C11-Choline PET/Computed Tomography (CT) and PET/Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the detection of metastatic prostate cancer in patients with a relapse of cancer after primary treatment.

Nearly 110 men between the ages of 51 and 86 underwent a C11-Choline PET CT and MRI scan at Decatur Memorial Hospital as part of this trial and were evaluated for evidence of metastatic prostate cancer. Results of the study are still in progress but assessment to date is consistent with reports from Europe and the Mayo Clinic.

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