FDA approves new diagnostic imaging agent to detect recurrent prostate cancer.

May 27, 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Axumin, a radioactive diagnostic agent for injection. Axumin is indicated for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in men with suspected prostate cancer recurrence based on elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels following prior treatment.

[18F]Fluciclovine is a synthetic amino acid that is actively transported into prostate cancer cells by amino acid transporters (AATs).

It is not metabolized, nor is it incorporated into newly synthesized proteins. Imaging studies have demonstrated that [18F]fluciclovine is preferentially taken up into prostate cancer compared with surrounding normal tissue and visualization is not obscured by bladder uptake.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in U.S. men. In patients with suspected cancer recurrence after primary treatment, accurate staging is an important objective in improving management and outcomes.

Two studies evaluated the safety and efficacy of Axumin for imaging prostate cancer in patients with recurrent disease. The first compared 105 Axumin scans in men with suspected recurrence of prostate cancer to the histopathology (the study of tissue changes caused by disease) obtained by prostate biopsy and by biopsies of suspicious imaged lesions. Radiologists onsite read the scans initially; subsequently, three independent radiologists read the same scans in a blinded study.

The second study evaluated the agreement between 96 Axumin and C11 choline (an approved PET scan imaging test) scans in patients with median PSA values of 1.44 ng/mL. Radiologists on-site read the scans, and the same three independent radiologists who read the scans in the first study read the Axumin scans in this second blinded study. The results of the independent scan readings were generally consistent with one another, and confirmed the results of the onsite scan readings. Both studies supported the safety and efficacy of Axumin for imaging prostate cancer in men with elevated PSA levels following prior treatment.

Axumin is a radioactive drug and should be handled with appropriate safety measures to minimize radiation exposure to patients and healthcare providers during administration. Image interpretation errors can occur with Axumin PET imaging. A negative image does not rule out the presence of recurrent prostate cancer and a positive image does not confirm the presence of recurrent prostate cancer. Clinical correlation, which may include histopathological evaluation of the suspected recurrence site, is recommended.

The most commonly reported adverse reactions in patients are injection site pain, redness, and a metallic taste in the mouth.

Axumin is marketed by Blue Earth Diagnostics, Ltd., Oxford, United Kingdom.

Reference:

  • 1. Nanni C, Schiavina R, Brunocilla E, Boschi S, Borghesi M, Zanoni L, Pettinato C, Martorana G, Fanti S. 18 F-Fluciclovine PET/CT for the Detection of Prostate Cancer Relapse.
  • 2. FDA News