About this Procedure

ProstaScint scans are done to evaluate patients who have newly diagnosed prostate cancer that was confirmed with a biopsy. Because of their clinical “profile,” these patients are also at high risk for:
  • Metastasis through the lymph nodes. Metastasis is the development of secondary cancers that are spread through the lymph system.
  • Rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein in the blood found in high levels in men with prostate cancer.
  • Occult disease, a disease that can be found only by advanced medical tests.
  • Residual disease, a disease that remains after procedures have been done to remove it.
ProstaScint is a murine monoclonal antibody that is connected to a radioactive isotope called Indium-111. ProstaScint attaches to prostate cancer cells and allows us to take images of where those prostate cancer cells are located.
The ProstaScint scan is done in 2 steps, 2 days in a row.
ProstaScint (PDF)

How Does It Work?

You will be given a small amount of a murine monoclonal antibody that is connected to a radioactive isotope called Indium-111 through an intravenous (IV) line. This compound attaches to the prostate cancer cells and gives off gamma rays. The gamma camera detects the rays and then produces pictures of where the prostate cancer cells are located.

How do I prepare for the scan?

  • You must be screened for allergies to foreign proteins, including murine antibodies.
  • You will be asked to bring results of any scans you have had done in other clinics in the last 12 months.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and during the 2 days of the scan.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Follow the instructions for taking the mild laxative and using the enema that you will receive on day 1 of the scan.
  • Eat your regular foods during the 2 days of the scan.

Day 1 – Preparing for the Scan

  • The nuclear medicine technologist will explain the test to you and review your medical history.
  • A small IV (intravenous line, a thin tube used to give you medicine and fluids) will be placed in your arm. The technologist will inject the ProstaScint radiaoactive tracer through the IV.
  • You must stay in the department for 30 minutes after your ProstaScint injection. Then you may leave.
  • Use the mild laxative you received the evening of day 1.

Day 2 – The Scan

  • Use the enema the morning of the scan before you come to the clinic.
  • At the clinic, images of your whole body will be taken with a nuclear medicine gamma camera. This camera detects radioactivity.
  • Other 3-dimensional (3D) nuclear medicine images and a low energy CT (CAT scan) will also be taken to provide fused 3D nuclear medicine and CT information for your doctors.
  • You will need to lie on your back when the images are taken. You may also need to keep your arms up above your head.

What will I feel before and during the scan?

You may feel a slight discomfort when the IV is injected on day 1. Lying on your back when the images are taken and keeping your arms above your head may be uncomfortable for some patients.

There is a small chance of an allergic reaction when receiving the ProstaScint. Patients who are sensitive to foreign proteins, including murine antibodies, should not receive ProstaScint. You will be screened for these allergies before we do the scan.

Note: ProstaScint may induce HAMA (human anti-mouse antibodies). Ask your doctor if you have questions about this.

Your Results

ProstaScint scans are read by a radiologist or nuclear medicine doctor. This doctor will also review the other scan results you may have brought with you. Your doctor who referred you for the scan will give you your ProstaScint results. Your doctor should receive the results from the radiologist or nuclear medicine doctor within 3 days.