New imaging option available for men with prostate cancer


TROY – Premier Health is now offering men with prostate cancer targeted Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging that could help improve early detection and enhance treatment planning.

PET imaging with PYLARIFY is a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) imaging agent approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to identify suspected metastasis or recurrence of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer affecting men in the United States. An estimated one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 3 million American men count themselves as prostate cancer survivors. The organization also estimates that this year nearly 268,500 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, and roughly 34,500 men will die of this disease.

Of those men with localized prostate cancer who undergo initial curative management, up to 50% may experience recurrence of their disease within 10 years of treatment. Recurrent disease is often detected by a rise in PSA levels, however, conventional imaging, especially at lower PSA levels, is not able to identify the location and extent of the disease in the majority of cases.

PYLARIFY (pilflufolastat F 18) is a fluorinated small molecule PSMA-targeted PET imaging agent that enables visualization of lymph nodes, bone, and soft tissue metastasis to determine the presence or absence of recurrent and/or metastatic prostate cancer. PYLARIFY was developed to target PSMA, a protein that is over expressed on the surface of more than 90 percent of primary and metastatic prostate cancer cells.

“The availability of PET/CT imaging with piflufoastat [Pylarify] is a game changer for patients with prostate cancer,” said Robert M. Kohut, MD, of Premier Health urology in a press release.

“It will be most beneficial in patients with newly diagnosed intermediate to high-risk prostate cancer and for those with a previous diagnosis of prostate cancer in whom recurrence and/or metastasis is suspected.

In the past, a regular CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis and a nuclear bone scan were used, Kohut said. These scans are helpful but are more likely to miss the spread of cancer at earlier stages.

For patients with a new diagnosis of prostate cancer the PET/CT will determine if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, bone, or other tissue. If the scan is negative for abnormal findings, then the patient is typically a candidate for a curative procedure with either surgery or radiation, Dr. Kohut said.

“If spread is detected then we typically recommend other forms of treatment and get an oncologist involved. The new scan is also beneficial in those patients who have previously been treated and a recurrence is suspected based on a rising PSA level in the blood,” he said.

For more information on the Pylarify PET/CT scan, visit or call Jacqui Rose, director of medical imaging at Upper Valley Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital North, at 937-440-4803.

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