Imaging modalities in synchronous oligometastatic prostate cancer

World J Urol. 2019 Dec;37(12):2573-2583. doi: 10.1007/s00345-018-2416-2. Epub 2018 Aug 1.


Purpose: Along with a number of other malignancies, the term "oligometastatic" prostate cancer has recently emerged. It represents an attempt to define a subtype of cancer with a limited metastatic load that might perform more favorably than a distinctly disseminated disease, or even one that may be managed in a potentially curative way. Since there is currently a knowledge gap of what imaging modalities should be utilized to classify patients as having this type of tumor, we aimed to shed light on the role of conventional and marker-based imaging in the setting of synchronous oligometastatic prostate cancer as well as summarize the available evidence for its clinical application.

Methods: A literature search on December 15th 2017 was conducted using the Pubmed database.

Results: Functional imaging techniques like 68Ga PSMA. 68Ga PSMA PET-CT has currently been shown the best detection rates for the assessment of nodal, bone and visceral metastases, especially for smaller lesions at low PSA levels.

Conclusions: Functional imaging helps detect low-burden disease metastatic patients. However, these imaging modalities are not available in every center and thus clinicians may be prone to prescribe systemic treatment rather than referring patients for cytoreductive treatments. We hope that the ongoing prospective trials will help guide clinicians in making a more personalized management of synchronous metastatic patients.

Keywords: Imaging; MRI; Oligometastatic; PET-CT; PSMA; Prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*