Response assessment using 68Ga-PSMA ligand PET in patients undergoing 177Lu-PSMA radioligand therapy for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Bernhard Grubmüller, Daniela Senn, Gero Kramer, Pascal Baltzer, David D'Andrea, Karl Hermann Grubmüller, Markus Mitterhauser, Harald Eidherr, Alexander R Haug, Wolfgang Wadsak, Sarah Pfaff, Shahrokh F Shariat, Marcus Hacker, Markus Hartenbach

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

105 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The first aim of this study was to evaluate 68Ga-PSMAHBED-CC conjugate 11 positron emission tomography (PSMA PET) parameters for assessment of response to 177Lu-PSMA-617 radioligand therapy (RLT) in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The second aim was to investigate factors associated with overall survival (OS).

METHODS: We retrospectively assessed mean standardized uptake values (SUVmean) and total tumor volumes (TTV) on PSMA PET in 38 of 55 mCRPC patients before and after RLT. PSA testing and PSMA PET/CT(MRI) imaging were performed during the 8 weeks before and the 6 weeks after RLT. PSMA PET and CT(MRI) images were reviewed separately according to the modified PET Response Criteria in Solid Tumors (mPERCIST) and RECIST1.1. The results were compared with PSA responses. Associations between OS and the RECIST evaluation and changes in SUVmean, TTV, and PSA, CRP, LDH, hemoglobin and ALP levels were determined in a univariable survival analysis.

RESULTS: The median PSA level at the time of pretherapy PSMA PET/CT(MRI) was 60.8 ng/ml (IQR 15.4, 264.2 ng/ml). After RLT the median PSA level decreased by 44%, TTV by 45.1%, SUVmean by 25.8% and RECIST by 11.3%. A PSA response was seen in 18 patients (47.4%), stable disease in 12 (31.6%) and progressive disease in 8 (21.1%). Contrary to the changes in SUVmean and the RECIST evaluation, the change in TTV was significantly associated with PSA response (p = 0.15, p = 0.58, and p < 0.001, respectively). After a median follow-up of 17 months (IQR 8.0, 24.2 months), 11 patients (28.9%) had died of their prostate cancer. The changes in both TTV and PSA levels were associated with OS (HR 1.001, 95% CI 1-1.003, p = 0.04, and HR 1.004, 95% CI 1.001-1.008, p = 0.01, respectively), while the changes in SUVmean and the RECIST evaluation were not. The pre-therapy CRP level was also associated with OS (HR 1.07, 95% CI 1.009-1.14, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: TTV on PSMA PET seems to be a reliable parameter for response assessment in mCRPC patients undergoing RLT and might overcome the limitations of RECIST in prostate cancer. Furthermore, the change in TTV was significantly associated with OS in our cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1072
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2019


  • Aged
  • Dipeptides/therapeutic use
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gallium Isotopes
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 1-Ring/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Lutetium
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen/metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant/diagnostic imaging
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Hybrid imaging
  • Metastatic prostate cancer
  • PSMA ligand
  • PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Response assessment using 68Ga-PSMA ligand PET in patients undergoing 177Lu-PSMA radioligand therapy for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this