Dr. Leapman discusses the "rapid" adoption of PSMA PET


"What we found is that there was rapid adoption and uptake of PSMA PET almost immediately after these agents were first approved in the United States," says Michael S. Leapman, MD, MHS.

In this video, Michael S. Leapman, MD, MHS, shares the background and key findings from the study, “Temporal and regional patterns of prostate cancer positron emission tomography imaging among commercial insurance beneficiaries in the United States,” which he presented at the 2024 ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, California. Leapman is an associate professor of urology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Video Transcript:

Could you describe the background for this work?

I think this is an exciting study. It's looking at national adoption and utilization of PSMA PET imaging. PSMA PET is really changing the game in prostate cancer imaging. It's a highly specific and sensitive imaging tool, and it's really changing so much of our practice. So, the motivation for the study is to understand how it's being used nationally. What we did is we looked at national data claims from Blue Cross Blue Shield. These are healthcare beneficiaries with commercial Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. We looked at claims for PSMA PET imaging over time.

What were the key findings from this study?

What we found is that there was rapid adoption and uptake of PSMA PET almost immediately after these agents were first approved in the United States. It rapidly became the dominant radiotracer. There were other PET imaging tracers before, of course, agents like fluciclovine, but when PSMA PET was approved, it overnight became the dominant radiotracer. Another striking finding from the study is that there was marked regional variation. Looking at hospital referral regions, which are small geographic units within the United States, some areas had essentially 0 use of PSMA PET, some areas had rapid adoption. So, it does begin to call attention to the possibility that there are regional gaps in access. Patients living in certain areas might not live near a center where they do have molecular imaging. We also found that there were some differences in area level socioeconomic measures, in terms of areas with higher income, higher education measures had more rapid adoption of PSMA PET.

This transcription has been edited for clarity.

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