A Prospective Study on 18 F-DCFPyL PSMA PET/CT Imaging in Biochemical Recurrence of Prostate Cancer

J Nucl Med. 2019 Nov;60(11):1587-1593. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.119.226381. Epub 2019 Apr 12.


18F-DCFPyL (2-(3-{1-carboxy-5-[(6-18F-fluoro-pyridine-3-carbonyl)-amino]-pentyl}-ureido)-pentanedioic acid), a prostate-specific membrane antigen-targeting radiotracer, has shown promise as a prostate cancer imaging radiotracer. We evaluated the safety, sensitivity, and impact on patient management of 18F-DCFPyL in the setting of biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer. Methods: Subjects with prostate cancer and biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy or curative-intent radiotherapy were included in this prospective study. The subjects underwent 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT imaging. The localization and number of lesions were recorded. The uptake characteristics of the 5 most active lesions were measured. A pre- and posttest questionnaire was sent to treating physicians to assess the impact on management. Results: One hundred thirty subjects were evaluated. 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT localized recurrent prostate cancer in 60% of cases with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of ≥0.4 to <0.5, 78% with a level of ≥0.5 to <1.0, 72% with a level of ≥1.0 to <2.0, and 92% with a level of ≥2.0. Many subjects had few lesions (1 lesion in 40.8%, 2 in 8.5%, and 3 in 4.6%). The number of lesions was significantly related to PSA by ANOVA, but there was a large overlap in the PSA values for number of lesion categories. Total lesion uptake was also significantly related to PSA level. A change in treatment intent occurred in 65.5% of subjects, disease stage changed in 65.5%, and management plans changed in 87.3%. Twenty-two subjects reported mild adverse events after the scan; all resolved completely. Conclusion: 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT is safe and sensitive for the localization of biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer. This test improved decision making for referring oncologists and changed management for most subjects.

Keywords: biochemical recurrence; prostate cancer; prostate specific membrane antigen.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antigens, Surface / chemistry*
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Lysine / chemistry
  • Male
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Recurrence
  • Urea / analogs & derivatives*
  • Urea / chemistry


  • 2-(3-(1-carboxy-5-((6-fluoropyridine-3-carbonyl)amino)pentyl)ureido)pentanedioic acid
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Urea
  • FOLH1 protein, human
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II
  • Lysine