A prospective randomized multicentre study of the impact of gallium-68 prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET/CT imaging for staging high-risk prostate cancer prior to curative-intent surgery or radiotherapy (proPSMA study): clinical trial protocol

BJU Int. 2018 Nov;122(5):783-793. doi: 10.1111/bju.14374. Epub 2018 Jun 3.


Background: Accurate staging of patients with prostate cancer (PCa) is important for therapeutic decision-making. Relapse after surgery or radiotherapy of curative intent is not uncommon and, in part, represents a failure of staging with current diagnostic imaging techniques to detect disease spread. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron-emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) is a new whole-body scanning technique that enables visualization of PCa with high contrast. The hypotheses of this study are that: (i) PSMA-PET/CT has improved diagnostic performance compared with conventional imaging; (ii) PSMA-PET/CT should be used as a first-line diagnostic test for staging; (iii) the improved diagnostic performance of PSMA-PET/CT will result in significant management impact; and (iv) there are economic benefits if PSMA-PET/CT is incorporated into the management algorithm.

Objectives and methods: The proPSMA trial is a prospective, multicentre study in which patients with untreated high-risk PCa will be randomized to gallium-68-PSMA-11 PET/CT or conventional imaging, consisting of CT of the abdomen/pelvis and bone scintigraphy with single-photon emission CT/CT. Patients eligible for inclusion are those with newly diagnosed PCa with select high-risk features, defined as International Society of Urological Pathology grade group ≥3 (primary Gleason grade 4, or any Gleason grade 5), prostate-specific antigen level ≥20 ng/mL or clinical stage ≥T3. Patients with negative, equivocal or oligometastatic disease on first line-imaging will cross over to receive the other imaging arm. The primary objective is to compare the accuracy of PSMA-PET/CT with that of conventional imaging for detecting nodal or distant metastatic disease. Histopathological, imaging and clinical follow-up at 6 months will define the primary endpoint according to a predefined scoring system. Secondary objectives include comparing management impact, the number of equivocal studies, the incremental value of second-line imaging in patients who cross over, the cost of each imaging strategy, radiation exposure, inter-observer agreement and safety of PSMA-PET/CT. Longer-term follow-up will also assess the prognostic value of a negative PSMA-PET/CT.

Outcome and significance: This trial will provide data to establish whether PSMA-PET/CT should replace conventional imaging in the primary staging of select high-risk localized PCa, or whether it should be used to provide incremental diagnostic information in selected cases.

Keywords: PSMA PET; decision impact; prostate cancer; randomized study; staging.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface / analysis
  • Antigens, Surface / metabolism*
  • Contrast Media / chemistry
  • Contrast Media / therapeutic use*
  • Gallium Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II / analysis
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemistry
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use*


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Contrast Media
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Gallium-68
  • FOLH1 protein, human
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II