Positron emission tomography with C11-acetate for tumor detection and localization in patients with prostate-specific antigen relapse after radical prostatectomy

Urology. 2006 May;67(5):996-1000. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2005.11.044.


Objectives: To evaluate positron emission tomography with C11-acetate as a method for detecting and localizing prostate cancer recurrence. No technique for localizing and detecting prostate cancer recurrence after biochemical relapse available today is sensitive enough to localize recurrence at a stage at which salvage radiotherapy is still curative.

Methods: Twenty patients (age 56 to 77 years) who had undergone radical prostatectomy and had an increasing prostate-specific antigen level measured on two consecutive occasions were included. In addition to the investigations usually performed when prostate cancer recurrence is suspected, they underwent positron emission tomography with C11-acetate as the marker.

Results: Pathologic uptake of acetate was seen in 15 (75%) of the 20 patients. In 8 of these patients, a solitary lesion was found (seven in the prostatic fossa and one at the regional lymph nodes). Multiple lesions were found in the remaining 7. False-positive uptake was seen in 3 men (15%). Additional investigations in these men revealed pathologic findings other than prostate cancer.

Conclusions: Positron emission tomography with C11-acetate as marker is a promising method for early detection and localization of prostate cancer recurrence. False-positive uptake does occur.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates*
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Carbon Radioisotopes*
  • Carbon*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / blood
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / diagnostic imaging
  • Pilot Projects
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery


  • Acetates
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • carbon-11 acetate
  • Carbon
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen