Using radioactive drugs could lead to better imaging of prostate cancer


Peter Choyke, M.D., F.A.C.R.

Medical imaging (x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT, PET scan) is a noninvasive way to view the internal structures of the body. However, these tools are not ideal for detecting cancer that has spread, or metastasized, because the precise location of these cancer cells is unknown. Peter Choyke, M.D., of the Molecular Imaging Program is leading a study comparing two radioactive drugs that are designed to be taken up by prostate cancer cells.  This will enable physicians to identify and monitor sites of prostate cancer throughout the body. Both 18F-DCFPyL and 18F-NaF-PET are radiolabeled small molecules that bind sites that harbor prostate cancer. The radioactive portion of the molecule acts like a beacon that can be detected by a positron emission tomography (PET) camera, providing vital information on the location and size of metastases. Using these tracers in PET imaging improves doctors’ ability to diagnose and treat prostate cancer that has spread. This study’s goal is to determine whether 18F-DCFPyL can provide better images of prostate cancer bone metastases than 18F-NaF-PET can. For more information about this trial, visit:  https://ccr.cancer.gov/molecular-imaging-program/peter-l-choyke.

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Summary Posted: 06/2017