The aim of the study was to assess the diagnostic performance of fluciclovine positron emission tomography (PET)/computerized tomography (CT) in post-radical prostatectomy prostate cancer patients with rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ≤0.5 ng/mL, and identify the associated predictive factors of positive studies.
Patients and methods
From 30 June 2017 to 9 August 2019, patients with post-radical prostatectomy prostate cancer who underwent F-18 fluciclovine PET/CT and had PSA level within 2-week interval (PSAPET) ≤0.5 ng/mL were enrolled into this single-institution retrospective study. Data on tumor characteristics, including Gleason scores, extra-prostatic extension, seminal vesicle invasion, surgical margin and nodal metastasis, PSA after radical prostatectomy, previous hormonal therapy, PSA doubling time (PSADT), scanner type, PSAPET and site of recurrence were collected. Comparison of these factors between groups of positive and negative fluciclovine PET/CT was done by using Mann–Whitney U-test and Fisher’s exact test.
Of 94 eligible patients with post-radical prostatectomy prostate cancer, 10 patients had positive studies (10.6%). Detection rate at PSAPET 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 ng/mL were 0% (0/11), 0% (0/15), 20% (6/30), 4% (1/25) and 23.1% (3/13), respectively. Upon multivariate analysis of clinical factors, only a PSADT <3 months (P = 0.023) was shown to have a statistically significant correlation with a positive study.
In post-radical prostatectomy prostate cancer patients with rising PSA 0.1–0.5 ng/mL, the sensitivity of F-18 fluciclovine PET/CT for identifying tumor recurrence/metastases is poor with an overall detection rate of 10.6%. Larger prospective studies are required to validate these findings.