This diagnostic scan, called capromab pendetide immunoscintigraphy, trade name ProstaScint, is a monoclonal antibody scan that can detect recurrent disease if it is localized to the area of prior prostate surgery or has spread to other parts of the body. This knowledge can help doctors better decide which type of treatment would work best for each patient with recurrent prostate cancer. The study appears in the Feb. 15, 2002 issue of the journal Cancer.
Surgical removal of the prostate and surrounding lymph nodes called radical prostatectomy is an effective way to treat localized prostate cancer and stop the cancer's spread to other organs. If a man is cured with surgery, then his prostate specific antigen (PSA) level should be undetectable. However, according to the American Cancer Society, 40 percent of men have local recurrence of the disease after surgery, and 11 percent are at high-risk of the recurrent disease spreading to other organs. Often, the first sign of recurrent prostate cancer after surgery is an elevated PSA level. The recurrent disease may remain in the local area of the excised prostate (localized recurrence), or may spread into distant lymph nodes or other tissues (distant recurrence).
"When we see a rise of the PSA level in a man who has already had his prostate removed, the first question for the physician is, Where is the recurrent cancer? Has the disease remained localized or has it spread to other parts of the body?' Identifying the location of recurrent disease is important because it can guide clinical management," said Dr. Ganesh Raj, of Duke's division of urology and lead author of the study. Localized recurrence may be treated with radiation therapy
Contact: Amy Austell
Duke University Medical Center