PET/CT Summary History – Theranostics
When I conceived this site I did not have “history” on my mind. I just desired to calm those men who were facing diagnosis and treatment. But PET/CT Scanning is one of the most promising of the “new” technologies being utilised in the diagnosis and treatment of Prostate Cancer. It has been around for about 5-6 years and it is only “now” that at least one significant study is demonstrating how it can be brought into the “best” armoury for Prostate Cancer.
It was formally announced jointly by the German Cancer Research Centre and Heidelberg University Hospital in June 2015. Heidelberg had discovered that a small molecule PSMA-617 in their research programme was capable of attaching very specifically to Prostate Cancer cells within the body.
Further, it can be labelled with various radioactive “nuclides”, particularly Gallium-68, Lutetium-177 and Actinium-225. The first provides a strong platform for mapping the places in the body that contain Prostate Cancer cells, and the others provide a strong platform for attaching to those cells and killing them. Hence we can detect metastatic spread AND we can treat metastatic spread.
The Wesley Hospital, in Brisbane Australia, was one of the first cancer centres to acquire a PET/CT Scanner and embark on a systematic diagnostic research programme that involved over 2,500 patients and 5 years of data collection. This hospital has recently published their results (April 11, 2019 – The Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology) and shown not only that the PET/CT Gallium-68 technique can map extra-prostatic spread very accurately but also that the number of Nuclear Bone Scans taken for Prostate Cancer has dropped to practically zero, due to the accuracy of the PET/CT scans.
This hospital, as well as using the PET/CT technology in the initial diagnostic process, now uses it to pinpoint new or growing metastases in the patient, following previous primary treatment, making it a very useful tool.
The Wesley is now extending the use of this technique to treatments by means of PSMA Lutetium-177. Of interest is that the Lutetium-177 gives off more than one type of radiation and once in place, not only will the cancer cells be killed off but also a Gamma Camera can be used to detect the second type of radiation and show oncologists that the Lutetium-177 is targeting the correct places in the body – that have been identified on a PET/CT scan.
I present below a very informative video published by the PCRI. I also show this video on the PET/CT PSMA page.