3 minutes Adam Gaines

NHS Scotland to introduce new PSMA scanner service to help detect advanced prostate Cancer

Scottish Government announces that NHS Scotland is to introduce a new PSMA scanner service to help detect advanced prostate Cancer.

An announcement by the Scottish Government on 12 June  2019 sets out that new PSMA gallium scanning technology for prostate cancer will be funded by NHS Scotland, and provided at four centres across Scotland. The technique allows for more accurate diagnosis of possible prostate cancer relapse, where cancers spread after initial treatment. It allows clinicians to identify where any follow-up tumours are located, allowing for appropriate treatment.

The scanning systems will be located in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Tayside, NHS Lothian and NHS Grampian. Initial investment of £2 million will be made and the service is expected to be operational around spring 2020.

Making the announcement, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP said: “Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in Scotland, so it’s vital that we ensure that the best treatment is available. This equipment will allow clinicians to get quick and accurate information about whether advanced prostate cancer has spread to another part of the body. If there is no spread, the patient can be reassured, and if there are additional tumours, the medical team can put the right treatment in place.”

Dr Roger Staff, PET/CT lead for the Scottish Clinical Imaging Network, said: “The introduction of this service represents a marked service development that will significantly improve the management of prostate and neuroendocrine cancer in Scotland’.

Prostate Scotland welcomed the announcement:
‘This is very welcome and encouraging news – the availability of PSMA scanning in Scotland for men with prostate cancer is a very helpful development and will be a step forward in helping determine whether prostate cancer has spread or re-occurred’.

1. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men in Scotland, with a lifetime chance of one in ten men developing it[i]. There were over 33,258 new registrations of men with prostate cancer between 2005 and 2015 and 9,316 deaths of men in Scotland from prostate cancer during that period.[ii].
2. PSMA scanning is an imaging test for determining if prostate cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. It is based on locating Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) cells in the body.
i) See Cancer in Scotland: ISD, NHS National Services Scotland April 2018 pp9
[ii] See Scottish Cancer Registry May 2017 and Cancer in Scotland, Information Services Division NHS National Services Scotland April 2017