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30th March 2022 Latest News

Bone Scans Help Determine Prostate Cancer Spread

Bone scans

New research has helped to gain an insight into whether all men need a bone scan when first diagnosed with prostate cancer to determine how far advanced their cancer is.

Nuclear medicine bone scans and computer tomography (CT) scans are commonly used to determine the stage of a prostate cancer at diagnosis.

However, their use for all newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients has been questioned given that fewer than five per cent of men with prostate cancer have disease spread beyond the prostate at diagnosis.

Researcher Dr Mrunal Hiwase has analysed numerous strategies to identify which patients are most likely to need a bone scan to determine “staging”, and which patients can be safely excluded from it.

“Our project compared various staging strategies and the prediction models underpinning them, to help identify the best strategy for bone scan staging of newly diagnosed men with prostate cancer,” Dr Hiwase said.

“We actually discovered that no single strategy was best. Instead, the choice of strategy came down to local conservativism – such as the preference to avoid missing a positive scan – and the patient’s tolerance to scanning.

“As prostate cancer technology evolves and data increases, we also hope to extend this research to identify the optimum staging approach for prostate cancer patients with new technologies like the PSMA-PET.”

This research was made possible through the South Australian Prostate Cancer Clinical Outcome Collaborative (SA-PCCOC) – a database of 18,000 men which helps to inform research and monitor patient outcomes.

As a charity of The Hospital Research Foundation Group, Australian Prostate Cancer is proud to support the SA-PCCOC registry. To donate to the registry or learn more about the projects it supports, visit: https://registry.