Imaging primary prostate cancer with 11C-Choline PET/CT: relation to tumour stage, Gleason score and biomarkers of biologic aggressiveness
Background. As a significant overlap of 11C-Choline standardized uptake value (SUV) between prostate cancer and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) tissue, controversy exists regarding the clinical value of 11C-Choline PET/CT scan in primary prostate cancer. In this study, the SUVmax of the prostate lesions and the pelvic muscles were measured and their ratios (SUVmax-P/M ratio) were calculated. Then we evaluated whether the tracer 11C-Choline uptake, quantified as SUVmax-P/M ratio, correlated with tumour stage, Gleason score, and expression levels of several biomarkers of aggressiveness.
Methods. Twenty-six patients with primary prostate cancer underwent 11C-Choline PET/CT. Tumour specimens from these patients were graded histopathologically, and immunnohistochemistry for Ki-67, CD31, androgen receptor (AR), Her-2/neu, Bcl-2, and PTEN were performed.
Results. Both SUVmax and SUVmax-P/M ratio showed no significant difference between patients with tumour stage II and III, but significantly elevated in patients with tumour stage IV. SUVmax-P/M ratio was also significantly higher in lesions with Gleason score of 4+3 or higher versus less than or equal to 3+4. SUVmax-P/M ratio was found significantly correlated with expression levels of Ki-67 and CD31. In addition, a higher SUVmax-P/M ratio was demonstrated in Her-2/neu positive subgroup than negative subgroup. At the same time, Gleason score and expression levels of these biomarkers showed no significant association with SUVmax.
Conclusions. Using the parameter SUVmax-P/M ratio, 11C-Choline PET/CT may be a valuable non-invasive imaging technology in the diagnosis of primary prostate cancer.