Black Patients Have Less Access to Prostate Cancer Imaging, Study Finds

Black patients have considerably less access to investigational PET imaging for prostate cancer, according to the results of a study published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

The researchers wrote, 18F-fluciclovine and 68Ga-prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) are novel PET imaging radiotracers used to characterize disease burden in biochemical recurrent prostate cancer. 18F-fluciclovine was FDA-approved in 2016 and is reimbursed through public and private payers, while 68Ga-PSMA-11 is considered investigational and accessed through clinical trials.”

In this study, the researchers sought to evaluate demographical differences between patients receiving 18F-fluciclovine and 68Ga-PSMA-11 at a single U.S. tertiary medical center.

They assessed 1,756 patients, of which 1,502 received 68Ga-PSMA-11 and 254 patients received 18F-fluciclovine. Data on age, race/ethnicity, primary language, body mass index, insurance type, and home address were obtained through the electronic medical record database. Home addresses were geocoded to Census Block Group and assigned to neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES) using a previously described composite measure. A logistic regression model was used to evaluate the association between each of the predictor variables and the type of PET imaging received.

According to the results, Black patients had increased odds of receiving imaging with 18F-fluciclovine instead of 68Ga-PSMA-11 compared to non-Hispanic white patients. (OR=3.88, 95% CI 1.90 to 7.91,). The researchers observed no statistically significant differences in other patient demographics between the two groups.


The researchers wrote of the results, “access to 68Ga-PSMA-11 for Black patients was limited, compared to non-Hispanic white patients, by a factor of nearly four.”