Detection of prostate cancer and its recurrence is challenging as it is a heterogeneous disease and methods such as PET imaging and measurement of biochemical response using prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) shows poor specificity and sensitivity. PSMA is a transmembrane protein having 750 amino acids.
In normal prostate tissue, PSMA is in the apical epithelium of secretory ducts, while in malignant tissues, PSMA moves to the luminal surface of the ducts and is also overexpressed 100 to 1000-fold, which is not seen in benign prostate disease. Hence, PSMA is a great agent for targeted imaging and therapy planning.
A modern diagnostic procedure, gallium Ga 68-labeled PSMA-11 positron emission tomography/computer tomography (Ga68-PSMA-PET/CT) imaging has become a gold standard in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Ga-68 PSMA binds to prostate tumor cells and can be then be imaged using the PET technique. This technique also helps monitor prostate cancer metastasis and recurrence even at low levels of PSA.
Read more about the study here.