Staging and restaging of prostate cancer is crucial for treatment planning and prognosis. Accurate localization is of high relevance for a tailor-made therapy and an early detection of unknown metastatic spread can lead to a survival benefit. Evidence based guidelines that are currently in use were established using data from conventional imaging (such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and bone scintigraphy). Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography (PET) is rapidly evolving with promising results. However, up to now there is little consensus about the usefulness of this method, especially since different guidelines are “biased” depending on the association that shapes them. Firstly, little data exists on the staging of low risk tumors and probably PSMA PET/CT should be avoided in this setup for most patients. On the other hand, it has been recently proven that PSMA PET/CT can replace CT and bone scintigraphy (combined) in staging of advanced prostate cancer. Furthermore, the examination gained general acceptance through its excellent performance in biochemical recurrence, both for castration naïve and castration resistant tumors, and should be implemented where available. It is undisputed that PSMA PET/CT provides a more accurate picture of prostate cancer patients and can lead to both upstaging and downstaging, thus affecting therapeutic management. Though it is not clear yet if the more accurate staging will lead to better therapeutic decisions and improve patient outcomes, PSMA PET/CT appears as the next imaging standard for prostate cancer for the years to come.

References

PubMed