Current tests to initially detect prostate cancer rely on biopsies. Scans such as bone and CT scans, and choline-11 and acetate-11 PET scans are used to identify sites of cancer metastases. Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University have now developed a new imaging technique to detect prostate cancer cells and malignant lesions. Their technique is both highly accurate and more effective than current detection methods. Details of their imaging technique (see link) entitled “VPAC1 Targeted 64Cu-TP3805 Positron Emission Tomography (PET), were recently published in the journal Urology. The novel copper-peptide (small protein) imaging agent 64Cu-TP3805 attaches itself to VPAC1 receptors on the surface of cancer cells. The TP3805 peptide portion of the agent hooks on to the cell receptors and the copper-64 radiation-emitting peptide allows their detection by PET-CT scanning. The technique was tested on 25 prostate cancer patients undergoing radical prostatectomies. Compared to conventional biopsies, this technique found 105 out of 107 cancerous lesions in the removed prostates as well as nine lesions not found by conventional pathology. Positive and negative lymph nodes, cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and cysts were also identified. Larger studies are planned.