Shaare Zedek Medical Center began performing a unique test for early detection of tiny malignancies in the prostate.
A new PET/CT test, combined with the radioactive substance Gallium68-PSMA, allows detecting tiny malignancies in the prostate that other imaging tests can't identify. The new test was made part of the Israeli healthcare basket on February for prostate cancer patients at high risk during the initial diagnosis and for prostate cancer patients suspected of recurrence. The Department of Nuclear Medicine at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, directed by Dr. Rachel Bar-Shalom, is the first in Jerusalem to perform this test.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in Israel, and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death for the male population, after lung cancer, colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer. The occurrence rates of prostate cancer rise drastically after the age of 50 and most patients are 65 years or older.
According to Dr. Bar-Shalom, "a PET/CT test using the radioactive substance F18-FDG is the common method for identifying malignancies of different kinds of cancer, however this test is not the optimal option for prostate cancer patients. an early identification of the disease sites and an accurate estimate of the size of the tumor are vital for planning the treatment. In the new test, using Ga68-PSMA, the radioactive substance is injected intravenously after the patient has been fasting for five hours, with no special side-effects. An innovative treatment using this substance is in its first stages of clinical testing abroad, and the initial results, including pain relief and improvement in quality of life and life expectancy, appear promising."