Impact of 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET staging on clinical decision-making in patients with intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2020 Mar;47(3):652-664. doi: 10.1007/s00259-019-04568-1. Epub 2019 Dec 4.


Background: Accurate staging is of major importance to determine the optimal treatment modality for patients with prostate cancer. Positron emission tomography (PET) with prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a promising technique that outperformed conventional imaging in the detection of nodal and distant metastases in previous studies. However, it is still unclear whether the superior sensitivity and specificity also translate into improved patient management. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET for staging of intermediate and high-risk prostate cancer and its potential impact on disease management.

Methods: In this retrospective analysis, 116 patients who underwent 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT or MRI scans for staging of their intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer between April 2016 and May 2018 were included. The potential impact of 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET staging on patient management was assessed within a simulated multidisciplinary tumour board where hypothetical treatment decisions based on clinical information and conventional imaging alone was determined. This treatment decision was compared with the treatment recommendation based on clinical information and 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET imaging.

Results: The primary tumour was positive on 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET in 113 patients (97%). Nodal metastases were detected in 28 patients (24%) and bone metastases in 14 patients (12%). Compared with clinical staging and conventional imaging, 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET resulted in new information in 42 of 116 patients (36%). In 32 of 116 patients (27%), this information would most likely have changed the management into a different therapy modality (15 patients, 13%) or adjusted treatment details (e.g. modification of radiotherapy field or lymph node dissection template; 17 patients, 14%).

Conclusion: Information from 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET staging has the potential to change the management in more than a fourth of the patients who underwent PET staging for their intermediate to high-risk prostate cancer. Whether these more personalized 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET-based treatment decisions will improve patient outcome needs further investigation.

Keywords: Change in management; Detection rate; PSMA; Prostate cancer; Staging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Edetic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Gallium Isotopes
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oligopeptides
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Gallium Isotopes
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Oligopeptides
  • gallium 68 PSMA-11
  • Edetic Acid