Researchers map patterns of prostate cancer recurrence

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2017

Summary

New finding may help optimize treatment of patients whose prostate cancer returns after surgery.

Photograph of R. Jeffrey Karnes, M.D.

R. Jeffrey Karnes, M.D.

For the first time, a team of Mayo Clinic researchers has successfully mapped patterns of prostate cancer recurrence after surgery.

Using C-11 choline PET imaging and multiparametric MRI, researchers found an anatomically diverse pattern of recurrence, which may help optimize treatment of patients whose prostate cancer returns after surgery.

The research findings were published in the January 2017 issue of The Journal of Urology.

"This research has important implications for men who have a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, also known as biochemical recurrence, after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer," said R. Jeffrey Karnes, M.D., a urological surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "In men with biochemical recurrence, determining where the disease has recurred is quite challenging, especially when the PSA level is low," Dr. Karnes said.

About 30 percent of U.S. patients who had an initial prostate cancer surgically excised will have a recurrence and seek treatment, Dr. Karnes said. "Current imaging tests like conventional bone and CT scans are not sensitive enough to identify sites of recurrence, especially when the PSA value is lower than 10," he said.

Dr. Karnes and his team also were able to describe patterns of recurrence of prostate cancer. The team found that nearly two-thirds of men in the study had recurrence limited to the pelvis, which potentially can be targeted for radiation therapy.