Document Type: Review article
Department of Radiology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
Prostate cancer remains a major public health problem worldwide. Imaging plays an important role in the assessment of disease at all its clinical phases, including staging, restaging after definitive therapy, evaluation of therapy response, and prognostication. Positron emission tomography with a number of biologically targeted radiotracers has been demonstrated to have potential diagnostic and prognostic utility in the various clinical phases of this prevalent disease. Given the remarkable biological heterogeneity of prostate cancer, one major unmet clinical need that remains is the non-invasive imaging-based characterization of prostate tumors. Accurate tumor characterization allows for image-targeted biopsy and focal therapy as well as facilitates objective assessment of therapy effect. PET in conjunction with radiotracers that track the thymidine salvage pathway of DNA synthesis may be helpful to fulfill this necessity. We review briefly the preclinical and pilot clinical experience with the two major cellular proliferation radiotracers, [18F]-3’-deoxy-3’-fluorothymidine and [18F]-2’-fluoro-5-methyl-1-beta-D-arabinofuranosyluracil in prostate cancer.