Findings from a new study on the efficacy of the advanced radioactive tracer Fluciclovine in radiation treatment have revealed that it significantly improves the chance of patient survival without the reoccurrence of cancer. This conclusion came after 75.5 percent of patients who had recurrent prostate cancer and were imaged with the radiotracer survived for three years without a trace of the disease. This contrasted to only 63 percent who used conventional scans to determine treatment after prostate cancer reoccurrence.
Professor Ashesh B. Jani, M.D, one of the lead researchers, said that the advanced imaging technique allowed them to make better decisions in selecting patients for radiation, guiding the treatment, planning, and controlling cancer in patients.
The surgical removal commonly treats prostate cancer ora part of the entire prostate, but it may reoccur in 20 to 40 percent of the patients. Dr. Jani notes that the recurrent cancer is likely to be more aggressive.
PET scans have proven to be more accurate in detecting recurrent tumors than conventional imaging tests. This is because a slightly radioactive drug is used in the test, indicating the areas in the body with cancerous cells. In this study, Fluciclovine was used in the scan, and it contained synthetic amino acid. The amino acid s then gather around cancer cells, which use them more than other cells, making tracing them easy and efficient.
The study, which involved a sample of 165 patients who had undergone prostatectomies and had indications of the cancer returning, was named EMPIRE-1 trial.It gave convincing results for fluciclovine PET scans after a higher disease-free survival rate was recorded for the patients whose treatment was mapped using the advanced scan.
New studies are currently undergoing further investigation if PSMA, an even more recent test, would be comparatively more sensitive in detecting cancer reoccurrence than fluciclovine and control it better in EMPIRE-2 trial.