“Ga-PSMA Positron Emission Tomography/Computerized Tomography for Primary Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer in Men with Contraindications to or Negative Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Prospective Observational Study”: this is the title of the study that was published on the homepage of the site of the Journal of Urology, a prestigious magazine of the American Urological Association, the American association of urologists.

It is a prospective observational study, the result of multidisciplinary work by Humanitas that involved the Operating Unit of Urology, directed by Professor Giorgio Guazzoni, the Operating Unit of Radiology, directed by Dr. Luca Balzarini, the Operating Unit of PET and Nuclear Medicine, directed by Professor Arturo Chiti and that of Pathological Anatomy, directed by Prof. Massimo Roncalli.


The study

The work, coordinated by Dr. Egesta Lopci, of Nuclear Medicine, and by Dr. Massimo Lazzeri, of the Department of Urology, investigated, using sophisticated imaging techniques, the possibility of diagnosis in patients with clinical suspicion of prostate cancer presenting a negative biopsy or a negative magnetic resonance, or in those who should have undergone an MRI but the examination was not possible, e.g. because the patients were claustrophobic or in case of contraindications such as pacemakers.

The specialists of Humanitas then subjected patients to PET/CT using PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen) as radiotracers, a specific antigen expressed by the prostatic membrane of neoplastic cells. It was found that a primary diagnosis of prostate cancer could thus be made with a fusion biopsy aimed at the region of interest. The study therefore demonstrated that this technique is feasible, effective and safe for the patient and the combination of PET and CT with PSMA may be the most promising imaging method to diagnose and classify the risk of prostate cancer in patients with MRI contraindications or in whom the examination – despite a clinical suspicion – has given negative results.


Why is this study so meaningful?

This work has attracted considerable interest in the scientific community, so much so that it appeared on the homepage of the Journal of Urology, because it responds to a very strong need regarding prostate cancer: the correct diagnosis; In fact, today we are working towards being able to select exactly patients with significant prostate cancer.

This study also represents a great novelty in the research panorama in the field of primary diagnosis because it offers a clinical and not only scientific response.

Finally, the study shows how fundamental and effective work is in Humanitas: work that is the result of a multidisciplinary and translational approach, which brings together the various specialist skills and is able to transfer into clinical practice what is studied and observed in the laboratory.