Regional West Introduces PSMA PET/CT Exams
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., ― Regional West’s Imaging Services is proud to offer prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/Computed Tomography (CT) exams, a new test that more precisely detects prostate cancer.
PSMA PET/CT exams combine PET and CT scans to provide a more in-depth look into the body’s anatomy and function. This exam uses a radioactive tracer that targets prostate-specific membrane antigens, or proteins that are found in prostate cancer. The amount of radiation in these tracers is small, meaning the risk of negative radiation effects is low. Typically, these exams are used with existing patients who may have a high risk of their cancer spreading, or who may be dealing with a recurrence.
When it comes to PET imaging, prostate cancer doesn’t behave like most cancers. PET exams usually use a radioactive tracer attached to a sugar, which accumulates in cancer cells. However, prostate cancer is not as receptive to sugar, so a regular PET/CT exam may not detect smaller lesions where cancer has spread. Because PSMA PET/CT exams use a prostate-specific membrane antigen as a tracer instead of a sugar, it’s easier to find cancer spots that would otherwise go undetected.
Radiation oncologist Mark Hartman, MD, said the addition of PSMA PET/CT exams can make a tremendous difference in treating the region’s prostate cancer patients.
“PSMA PET/CT scans have become an important part of cancer care,” he said. “The technology associated with these scans is quite specific for prostate cancer, and it’s especially helpful in obtaining an accurate stage of a patient’s disease. Staging these cancers accurately allows us as physicians to recommend the best treatment options with more confidence.”
Director of Imaging Services Josh Lively, MHA, BSRT(R)(VI), said Regional West is proud to offer cutting-edge technology close to home.
“We are excited whenever patients can get their complete care here at Regional West,” he said. “PSMA PET/CT is an important part of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment planning. This imaging can help with earlier detection and better outcomes for our patients. When patients can get this service close to home, it helps our providers give excellent care.”
For more information on PSMA PET/CT exams, patients should visit with their oncology provider, or visit RWHS.org. To learn more about Regional West’s Cancer Services, visit RWHS.org/services/cancer/cancer-services.
About Regional West
Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Nebraska is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2024 and the only Level II Trauma Center in Nebraska west of Kearney. As the region’s sole tertiary medical center, Regional West features an expansive array of medical specialties and numerous physician clinics. Regional West offers comprehensive and innovative healthcare services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.