By Gary D. Marano, MD

Approximately 14 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime.

In 2012, 2.7 million American men were living with prostate cancer. For about 200,000 of the men who have prostate cancer, the first treatment attempt will fail.

Dr. Gary Marano

Until recently, imaging has not been terribly effective at detecting prostate cancer recurrences. Typically, healthcare providers use a bone scan, CT scan, or MRI to locate recurrent prostate cancer. The limitation of these, though, is that they don’t normally pinpoint prostate cancer recurrences until the disease is in a more advanced stage.

WVU Medicine Ruby Memorial Hospital is now offering Choline C-11, state-of-the-art imaging that helps to combat some of the challenges healthcare providers encounter when treating recurrent prostate cancer. We are one of a few sites nationally to offer Choline C-11 Imaging.

Choline C-11 imaging allows doctors to pinpoint the location of prostate cancer recurrences much sooner than traditionally used technologies. It is especially helpful in detecting recurrences in lymph nodes and in the prostate bed.

During the procedure, a small amount of radioactive vitamin Choline is injected into the patient. Prostate cancer cells absorb the tracer, and the PET/CT scanner detects deposits of the tracer within the patient’s body. Referring physicians may want a biopsy to confirm the presence of prostate cancer in these areas.

The Choline C-11 technology can allow patients to receive treatment earlier in the disease process and may also help the healthcare team implement a more targeted treatment plan than previously available.

The entire scanning process takes about 30 minutes, and the patient can return to normal activity upon completion.

For more information, contact the PET/CT Center at 304-293-1884.