[11C]Choline PET/CT predicts survival in hormone-naive prostate cancer patients with biochemical failure after radical prostatectomy

Giampiero Giovacchini, Elena Incerti, Paola Mapelli, Margarita Kirienko, Alberto Briganti, Giorgio Gandaglia, Francesco Montorsi, Luigi Gianolli, Maria Picchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Over the last decade, PET/CT with radiolabelled choline has been shown to be useful for restaging patients with prostate cancer (PCa) who develop biochemical failure. The limitations of most clinical studies have been poor validation of [11C]choline PET/CT-positive findings and lack of survival analysis. The aim of this study was to assess whether [11C]choline PET/CT can predict survival in hormone-naive PCa patients with biochemical failure. Methods: This retrospective study included 302 hormone-naive PCa patients treated with radical prostatectomy who underwent [11C]choline PET/CT from 1 December 2004 to 31 July 2007 because of biochemical failure (prostate-specific antigen, PSA, >0.2 ng/mL). Median PSA was 1.02 ng/mL. PCa-specific survival was estimated using Kaplan-Meier curves. Cox regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between clinicopathological variables and PCa-specific survival. The coefficients of the covariates included in the Cox regression analysis were used to develop a novel nomogram. Results: Median follow-up was 7.2 years (1.4 – 18.9 years). [11C]Choline PET/CT was positive in 101 of 302 patients (33 %). Median PCa-specific survival after prostatectomy was 14.9 years (95 % CI 9.7 – 20.1 years) in patients with positive [11C]choline PET/CT. Median survival was not achieved in patients with negative [11C]choline PET/CT. The 15-year PCa-specific survival probability was 42.4 % (95 % CI 31.7 – 53.1 %) in patients with positive [11C]choline PET/CT and 95.5 % (95 % CI 93.5 – 97.5 %) in patients with negative [11C]choline PET/CT. In multivariate analysis, [11C]choline PET/CT (hazard ratio 6.36, 95 % CI 2.14 – 18.94, P <0.001) and Gleason score >7 (hazard ratio 3.11, 95 % CI 1.11 – 8.66, P = 0.030) predicted PCa-specific survival. An internally validated nomogram predicted 15-year PCa-specific survival probability with an accuracy of 80 %. Conclusion: Positive [11C]choline PET/CT after biochemical failure predicts PCa-specific survival in hormone-naive PCa patients. Prospective studies are warranted to confirm our results before more extensive use of [11C]choline PET/CT for prognostic stratification of PCa patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-884
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 20 2015


  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate cancer-specific survival
  • [C]Choline PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Medicine(all)


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