The effects of monosodium glutamate on PSMA radiotracer uptake in men with recurrent prostate cancer: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intra-individual imaging study

Bladder Cancer

Harsini S, et al. J Nucl Med 2020.


The prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is an excellent target for theranostic applications in prostate cancer (PCa). However, PSMA-targeted radioligand therapy can cause undesirable effects due to high accumulation of PSMA radiotracers in salivary glands and kidneys. This study assessed orally administered monosodium glutamate (MSG) as a potential means of reducing kidney and salivary gland radiation exposure using a PSMA targeting radiotracer. Methods: This prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled 10 biochemically recurrent PCa patients. Each subject served as his own control. [18F]DCFPyl PET/CT imaging sessions were performed 3 - 7 days apart, following oral administration of either 12.7 g of MSG or placebo. Data from the two sets of images were analyzed by placing regions of interest on lacrimal, parotid and submandibular glands, left ventricle, liver, spleen, kidneys, bowel, urinary bladder, gluteus muscle and malignant lesions. The results from MSG and placebo scans were compared by paired analysis of the ROI data. Results: A total of 142 pathological lesions along with normal tissues were analyzed. As hypothesized a priori, there was a significant decrease in maximal standardized uptake values corrected for lean body mass (SULmax) on images obtained following MSG administration in the parotids (24 ± 14%, P = 0.001), submandibular glands (35 ± 11%, P<0.001) and kidneys (23 ± 26%, P = 0.014). Significant decreases were also observed in lacrimal glands (49 ± 13%, P<0.001), liver (15 ± 6%, P<0.001), spleen (28 ± 13%, P = 0.001) and bowel (44 ± 13%, P<0.001). Mildly lower blood pool SULmean was observed after MSG administration (decrease of 11 ± 13%, P = 0.021). However, significantly lower radiotracer uptake in terms of SULmean, SULpeak, and SULmax was observed in malignant lesions on scans performed after MSG administration compared to the placebo studies (SULmax median decrease 33%, range -1 to 75%, P<0.001). No significant adverse events occurred and vital signs were stable following placebo or MSG administration. Conclusion: Orally administered MSG significantly decreased salivary gland, kidney and other normal organ PSMA radiotracer uptake in human subjects, using [18F]DCFPyL as an exemplar. However, MSG caused a corresponding reduction in tumor uptake, which may limit the benefits of this approach for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.