Peering through the PSMA PET Lens: The Role of the European Association of Urology Biochemical Recurrence Risk Groups after Radical Prostatectomy

Cancers (Basel). 2023 May 26;15(11):2926. doi: 10.3390/cancers15112926.


(1) Background: The European Association of Urology (EAU) biochemical recurrence (BCR) risk grouping relies on data from historical cohorts that used conventional imaging techniques. In the era of PSMA PET/CT, we compared the patterns of positivity in the two risk groups and provided insight into positivity predictive factors. (2) Methods: Data from 1185 patients who underwent 68Ga-PSMA-11PET/CT for BCR was analyzed, out of which 435 patients treated initially treated by radical prostatectomy were included in the final analysis. (3) Results: A significantly higher rate of positivity in the BCR high-risk group was observed (59% vs. 36%, p < 0.001). BCR low-risk group demonstrated more local (26% vs. 6%, p < 0.001) and oligometastatic (100% vs. 81%, p < 0.001) recurrences. The BCR risk group and PSA level at the time of PSMA PET/CT were independent predictive factors of positivity. (4) Conclusions: This study confirms that the EAU BCR risk groups have different rates of PSMA PET/CT positivity. Even with a lower rate in the BCR low-risk group, oligometastatic disease was 100% in those with distant metastases. Given the presence of discordant positivity and risk classification, integrating PSMA PET/CT positivity predictors into risk calculators for BCR might improve patient classification for subsequent treatment options. Future prospective studies are still needed to validate the above findings and assumptions.

Keywords: EAU risk group; PSMA; biochemical recurrence; oligometastasis; prostate cancer.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.