Researchers tested Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) in 10 high-risk prostate cancer patients, and they detected a residual tumor. The researchers were from the University Medical Center Essen in Germany.
CLI can now be used for identifying cancerous cells during prostate cancer surgery. When surgeons miss cancerous cells during surgery, it increases the chances of reoccurrence of prostate cancer. Christopher Darr, Ph.D., a resident at the university (department of urology), said that although prostatectomy is the primary treatment for prostate cancer, CLI will help eliminate cases where surgeons miss cancerous cellsduring surgery.
The study participants underwent a 68Ga-PSMA-PET scan after radical prostatectomy. The researchers conducted CL imaging on the prostate that was removed during the surgery. The tumor-to-background rations and signal intensity determined the regions of interest. Twenty-five out of thirty-five CLI had tumorsignaling, which was confirmed by standard histopathology. Two had CLI scan out of the participants displaying high signal level while 3 had positive surgical margins.
Darr explained, “Intraoperative radioguidance with CLI may help surgeons in the detection of extracapsular extension, positive surgical margins, and lymph node metastases with the aim of increasing surgical precision.” He added, “The intraoperative use of CLI would allow the examination of the entire prostate surface and provide the surgeon with real-time feedback on the resection margins.”
Boris A. Hadaschik, Ph.D., director of the Clinic of Urology at University of Medical Center Essen, added, “Radical prostatectomy could achieve significantly higher accuracy and oncological safety, especially in patients with high-risk prostate cancer, through the intraoperative use of radioligands that specifically detect prostate cancer cells.” He was confident as he said, “In the future, a targeted resection of lymph node metastases could also be performed in this way.”
Cerenkov luminescence takes place as molecular imaging agents release optical photons captured during PET scanning. The researchers wanted to determine if CLI could function the same as PSMA(prostate-specific membrane antigen) ligand-PET in diagnosing prostate cancer.