Using prostate-specific membrane antigen positron-emission tomography to guide prostate biopsies and stage men at high-risk of prostate cancer

BJU Int. 2023 Dec;132(6):705-712. doi: 10.1111/bju.16167. Epub 2023 Sep 13.


Objective: To assess whether a diagnostic pathway in which prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron-emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) is used as a single imaging modality is feasible to guide targeted biopsy and to detect clinically significant prostate cancer (csPCa) in biopsy-naïve men at high-risk of disease.

Patients and methods: A total of 60 men with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of 20-50 ng/mL underwent 18 F-PSMA(DCFPyL)-PET/CT prior to prostate biopsies in this prospective, non-randomised cohort study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was not performed. Using a 12-segment mapping model of the prostate, PSMA-guided targeted biopsy was performed along with systematic biopsies. The detection rate of PCa and csPCa was assessed for combined systematic and targeted biopsy, and for targeted biopsy only. csPCa was defined as a prostate biopsy with an International Society of Uropathology (ISUP) Grade Group ≥2.

Results: Lesions suspicious for PCa in the prostate gland were observed on all PSMA-PET/CTs. A total of 27/60 men (45%) already had metastatic disease on staging 18 F-PSMA(DCFPyL)-PET/CT. Combined PSMA-guided targeted and systematic biopsies detected PCa in 56/60 (93.3%) patients, with 52 of them (92.9%) having csPCa. PSMA-guided targeted biopsy, if performed as a single biopsy modality, identified PCa in 52/60 men (86.7%) and in 27/27 men (100%) men with metastases.

Conclusions: Using the PSMA-driven single imaging modality pathway in biopsy-naïve men at high-risk of PCa, a substantial number of diagnostic MRI scans could be avoided while at the same time obtaining adequate targeting, staging, and detection of csPCa.

Keywords: PSMA; detection; diagnosis; prostate cancer; target biopsy.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Cohort Studies
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostate* / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Gallium Radioisotopes