Performance of 111In-labelled PSMA ligand in patients with nodal metastatic prostate cancer: correlation between tracer uptake and histopathology from lymphadenectomy

  • Michael MixEmail author
  • Kathrin Reichel
  • Christian Stoykow
  • Mark Bartholomä
  • Vanessa Drendel
  • Eleni Gourni
  • Ulrich Wetterauer
  • Wolfgang Schultze-Seemann
  • Philipp T. Meyer
  • Cordula A. Jilg
Original Article



Intraoperative identification of lymph node (LN) metastases (LNM) detected on preoperative PSMA PET/CT may be facilitated by PSMA radioguided surgery with the use of a gamma probe. We evaluated the uptake of 111In-labelled PSMA ligand DKFZ-617 (referred to as 111In-PSMA-617) in unaffected LN and LNM at the level of single LN.


Six patients with prostate cancer (PCa) with suspicion of LNM on preoperative PSMA PET/CT underwent 111In-PSMA-617-guided lymphadenectomy (LA; four salvage LA and two primary LA). 111In-PSMA-617 (109 ± 5 MBq). was injected Intravenously 48 h prior to surgery Template LAs were performed in small subregions: common, external, obturator and internal iliac vessels, and presacral and retroperitoneal subregions (n = 4). Samples from each subregion were isolated aiming at the level of single LN. Uptake was measured ex situ using a germanium detector. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed based on 111In-PSMA-617 uptake expressed as standardized uptake values normalized to lean body mass (SUL).


Overall 310 LN (mean 52 ± 19.7) were removed from 74 subregions (mean 12 ± 3.7). Of the 310 LN, 35 turned out to be LNM on histopathology. Separation of the samples from all subregions resulted in 318 single specimens: 182 PCa-negative LN samples with 275 LN, 35 single LNM samples, 3 non-nodal PCa tissue samples and 98 fibrofatty tissue samples. The median SULs of nonaffected LN (0.16) and affected LN (13.2) were significantly different (p < 0.0001). Based on 38 tumour-containing and 182 tumour-free specimens, ROC analysis revealed an area under the curve of 0.976 (95% CI 0.95–1.00, p < 0.0001). Using a SUL cut-off value of 1.136, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy in discriminating affected from nonaffected LN were 92.1% (35/38), 98.9% (180/182), 94.6% (35/37), 98.4% (180/183) and 97.7% (215/220), respectively.


Ex situ analysis at the level of single LN showed that 111In-PSMA-617 had excellent ability to discriminate between affected and nonaffected LN in our patients with PCa. This tracer characteristic is a prerequisite for in vivo real-time measurements during surgery.


Radioguided surgery 111In-PSMA Lymphadenectomy Lymph node metastases 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the principles of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Mix
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kathrin Reichel
    • 3
  • Christian Stoykow
    • 1
  • Mark Bartholomä
    • 1
  • Vanessa Drendel
    • 4
  • Eleni Gourni
    • 1
    • 5
  • Ulrich Wetterauer
    • 3
  • Wolfgang Schultze-Seemann
    • 3
  • Philipp T. Meyer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cordula A. Jilg
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineMedical Center – University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Partner Site Freiburg, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)FreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of UrologyMedical Center – University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Pathology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  5. 5.Department of Nuclear MedicineInselspital, Bern University HospitalBernSwitzerland

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