Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common non-skin malignancy of men in developed countries. In spite of treatment with curative intent up to 30-40% of patients have disease recurrence after treatment, resulting from any combination of lymphatic, hematogenous, or contiguous local spread.
The concept of early detection of PCa offer benefits in terms of reduced mortality, but at the cost of over-diagnosis and overtreatment of indolent disease. This is largely due to the random nature of conventional biopsies, with a risk of missing significant cancer and randomly hitting indolent disease.
In the present thesis, diagnostic performance of MRI DWI and 11C Acetate PET/CT lymph node staging of intermediate and high risk PCa, was investigated, and additionally, predictive factors of regional lymph node metastases were evaluated. Further, additional value of targeted biopsies to conventional biopsies, for detection of clinically significant PCa, was investigated.
In paper one and two, 53 and 40 patients with predominantly high risk PCa underwent 11C Acetate PET/CT and 3T MRI DWI, respectively, for lymph node staging, before extended pelvic lymph node dissection (ePLND). The sensitivity and specificity for PET/CT was 38% and 96% respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for MRI DWI was 55% and 90% respectively.
In paper three, 53 patients with newly diagnosed PCa were included. All patients underwent multi-parametric MRI, followed by two cognitive targeted biopsies. Five more clinically significant cancers were detected by adding targeted biopsies to conventional biopsies.
In paper four the value of quantitative and qualitative MRI DWI and 11C Acetate PET/CT parameters, alone and in combination, in predicting regional lymph node metastases were examined. ADCmean in lymph nodes and T-stage on MRI were independent predictors of lymph node metastases in multiple logistic regression analysis.
In conclusion the specificity of diffusion weighted MRI and 11C Acetate PET/CT for lymph node staging was high, although the sensitivity was low. Predictive factors of regional lymph node metastases could be retrieved from diffusion weighted MRI and 11C Acetate PET/CT. By combining targeted biopsies with conventional biopsies the detection rate of clinically significant PCa could be increased.