1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Candiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCS, 10060 Turin, Italy.
2Division of Nuclear Medicine, Università Degli Studi di Brescia and ASST Spedali Civili di Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy.
3Unità di Medicina Nucleare, TracerGLab, Dipartimento di Diagnostica per Immagini, Radioterapia Oncologica ed Ematologia, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, IRCCS, 00168 Rome, Italy.
4Clinic of Nuclear Medicine, Imaging Institute of Southern Switzerland, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, 6501 Bellinzona, Switzerland.
5Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.
6Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Università Della Svizzera Italiana, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland.
Background: Several studies proposed the use of positron emission tomography (PET) with Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA)-targeting radiopharmaceuticals in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our aim is to calculate the detection rate (DR) of this examination in HCC with a meta-analysis.
Methods: A comprehensive literature search of studies on the DR of PET/CT or PET/MRI with PSMA-targeting radiopharmaceuticals in HCC was performed. Original articles evaluating these imaging examinations both in newly diagnosed HCC patients and HCC patients with disease relapse were included. Pooled DR including 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) was calculated. Statistical heterogeneity was also assessed using the I2 test.
Results: The meta-analysis of six selected studies (126 patients) provided a DR of 85.9% for PET imaging with PSMA-targeting radiopharmaceuticals in the diagnosis of HCC. Moderate statistical heterogeneity among the included studies was found (I2 = 56%).
Conclusions: The quantitative data provided demonstrate the high DR of PET/CT or PET/MRI with PSMA-targeting radiopharmaceuticals for HCC lesion detection. However, more studies are needed to confirm the promising role of PSMA-targeted PET in HCC.