Purpose of review
The present review describes the current role of metabolic imaging techniques such as multiparametric MRI (mpMRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), hyperpolarized MRSI, and positron emission tomography (PET) in the diagnosis of primary prostate cancer, surveillance of low-grade disease, detection of metastases, and evaluation of biochemical recurrence after therapy.
The natural history of prostate cancer ranges from indolent disease that is optimally monitored by active surveillance, to highly aggressive disease that can be lethal. Current diagnostic methods remain imperfect in noninvasively distinguishing between silent versus aggressive tumors. Hence, there is a high demand for noninvasive imaging techniques that offer insight into biological behavior of prostate cancer cells. Characterization of prostate cancer metabolism is a promising area to provide such insights.
Metabolic imaging may allow for greater detection and ultimately characterization of tumor based on aggressiveness and spread. Hence, it has the potential to monitor tumor activity, predict prognostic outcomes, and guide individualized therapies.