Hedvig Hricak, MD, PhD ; Peter L. Choyke, MD ; Steven C. Eberhardt, MD ; Steven A. Leibel, MD ; Peter T. Scardino, MD
1 From the Departments of Radiology (H.H.) and Urology (P.T.S.), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, C-278, New York, NY 10021; Molecular Imaging Program, National Cancer Institutes Center for Cancer Research, Bethesda, Md (P.L.C.); Department of Radiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM (S.C.E.); and Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif (S.A.L.). Received April 11, 2003; revision requested May 29; revision received June 19, 2006; final version accepted August 9; final review and update by H.H. August 25.
The major goal for prostate cancer imaging in the next decade is more accurate disease characterization through the synthesis of anatomic, functional, and molecular imaging information. No consensus exists regarding the use of imaging for evaluating primary prostate cancers. Ultrasonography is mainly used for biopsy guidance and brachytherapy seed placement. Endorectal magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is helpful for evaluating local tumor extent, and MR spectroscopic imaging can improve this evaluation while providing information about tumor aggressiveness. MR imaging with superparamagnetic nanoparticles has high sensitivity and specificity in depicting lymph node metastases, but guidelines have not yet been developed for its use, which remains restricted to the research setting. Computed tomography (CT) is reserved for the evaluation of advanced disease. The use of combined positron emission tomography/CT is limited in the assessment of primary disease but is gaining acceptance in prostate cancer treatment follow-up. Evidence-based guidelines for the use of imaging in assessing the risk of distant spread of prostate cancer are available. Radionuclide bone scanning and CT supplement clinical and biochemical evaluation (prostate-specific antigen [PSA], prostatic acid phosphate) for suspected metastasis to bones and lymph nodes. Guidelines for the use of bone scanning (in patients with PSA level > 10 ng/mL) and CT (in patients with PSA level > 20 ng/mL) have been published and are in clinical use. Nevertheless, changes in practice patterns have been slow. This review presents a multidisciplinary perspective on the optimal role of modern imaging in prostate cancer detection, staging, treatment planning, and follow-up.