Dr. Declan G. Murphy describes the background of PSMA PET/CT in prostate cancer


Murphy shares the backstory of how PSMA PET/CT imaging has emerged as a major advancement in the prostate cancer armamentarium.

Declan G. Murphy, MB BCh, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victoria, Australia, discusses the development of PSMA PET/CT in prostate cancer. Murphy says PSMA as a molecule has been of interest for many years, as it is overexpressed in aggressive cancers, particularly in castration-resistant prostate cancer.

In the past 5 to 6 years, imaging agents have been developed that identify this overexpression of PSMA. Murphy says the “major breakthrough” was the development by German research groups of a “small ligand that can be used in a PET scanner to identify PSMA in a quite strikingly sensitive and specific manner.”

The FDA approved Gallium (Ga) 68 PSMA-1 in December 2020 as the first drug for PET imaging of PSMA-positive lesions in men with prostate cancer. Murphy was the senior author of the phase 3 proPSMA study, which examined Ga 68 PSMA-1 in patients with high-risk prostate cancer before curative-intent surgery. The study demonstrated that Ga 68 PSMA-1 had better accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity than convention imaging.

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