Role of imaging and biopsy to assess local recurrence after definitive treatment for prostate carcinoma (surgery, radiotherapy, cryotherapy, HIFU)

Pasquale Martino, Vincenzo Scattoni, Andrea B. Galosi, Paolo Consonni, Carlo Trombetta, Silvano Palazzo, Carmen Maccagnano, Giovanni Liguori, Massimo Valentino, Michele Battaglia, Libero Barozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Defining the site of recurrent disease early after definitive treatment for a localized prostate cancer is a critical issue as it may greatly influence the subsequent therapeutic strategy or patient management. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed by searching Medline from January 1995 up to January 2011. Electronic searches were limited to the English language, and the keywords prostate cancer, radiotherapy [RT], high intensity focused ultrasound [HIFU], cryotherapy [CRIO], transrectal ultrasound [TRUS], magnetic resonance [MRI], PET/TC, and prostate biopsy were used. Results: Despite the fact that diagnosis of a local recurrence is based on PSA values and kinetics, imaging by means of different techniques may be a prerequisite for effective disease management. Unfortunately, prostate cancer local recurrences are very difficult to detect by TRUS and conventional imaging that have shown limited accuracy at least at early stages. On the contrary, functional and molecular imaging such as dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI), and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), offers the possibility of imaging molecular or cellular processes of individual tumors. Recently, PET/CT, using 11C-choline, 18F-fluorocholine or 11C-acetate has been successfully proposed in detecting local recurrences as well as distant metastases. Nevertheless, in controversial cases, it is necessary to perform a biopsy of the prostatic fossa or a biopsy of the prostate to assess the presence of a local recurrence under guidance of MRI or TRUS findings. Conclusion: It is likely that imaging will be extensively used in the future to detect and localize prostate cancer local recurrences before salvage treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-605
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Cryotherapy [CT]
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound [HIFU]
  • Imaging
  • Prostate cancer recurrence
  • Radical prostatectomy [RP]
  • Radiotherapy [RT]

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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