Advancement in Identifying and Treating Prostate Cancer

Golombos David Golombos, MD
Urologic Oncology Surgeon
Department of Urology
Franceschi Dinko Franceschi, MD
Chief, Nuclear Medicine
Director, Clinical PET 
Department of Radiology

Stony Brook University Cancer Center remains dedicated to offering patients with prostate cancer ongoing, expert care. Backed by state-of-the-art technology at our Stony Brook Advanced Imaging centers, a new FDA-approved imaging agent, called PYLARIFY®, can now help doctors better visualize cancer in the prostate for treatment purposes. Here, our experts explain the benefits of imaging modalities and advanced technology for cancer treatments.

How prevalent is prostate cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes. Approximately 245,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2021. 

What is the new procedure for diagnosing prostate cancer?
Getting a clearer look at the prostate is critical in diagnosing cancer. A new imaging agent was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is a Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen — PSMA for short — that is given to a patient who then has a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan. If the cancer has spread from the prostate, the agent is able to highlight the presence of cancer in the lymph nodes, bone and/or soft tissue. Or, it can help us see if there has been a recurrence of cancer in the prostate.

Why is this type of scan so important?
The ability to see exactly where a tumor is in a patient is vital in helping our medical team determine the best approach to a care plan, from various therapies to alternate treatment options. Until now, conventional imaging has not been able to identify the location and extent of the disease in the majority of cases of men with a suspected cancer recurrence.

Who is eligible for these scans?
Patients with suspected metastasis who are candidates for initial definitive therapy or those with suspected recurrence based on elevated serum PSA levels are eligible to receive the scan. The scans are not intended for diagnostic or preventative care. Currently, PSMA scans are available at two Stony Brook Imaging Centers, in Riverhead and Stony Brook. We expect to add additional locations in the near future.

What are the benefits of having various departments collaborate on a patient’s care?
Stony Brook Cancer Center uses a multidisciplinary approach to care. Our colleagues, such as medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and oncology nurses, are all on the team to offer our patients a thorough diagnosis and an optimal treatment plan. In addition to this team, we have access to all medical specialties across Stony Brook Medicine, which gives patients assurance that they are receiving the best possible care every step of the way.

What is Stony Brook Advanced Imaging?
Stony Brook Advanced Imaging is a collective group of centers that offer x-rays, sonography, ultrasounds, CT and PET/CT scans, CT/CAT scans, MRI, breast imaging and DEXA-bone density. Each center is staffed by the same specialty-trained radiologists who work at Stony Brook University Hospital, along with highly-skilled and experienced technologists.

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About the Genitourinary Oncology Team

Stony Brook Cancer Center’s Genitourinary Oncology Team provides comprehensive care for cancer of any organ of the urinary system and the male reproductive system. These include cancers of the bladder, kidney, ureter, prostate, penis and testis. Care ranges from screening at-risk individuals to treating those with advanced disease and providing access to clinical trials.

For more information, visit or call (631) SB-CANCER (722-2623).