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While radical prostatectomy remains the mainstay of prostate cancer (PCa) treatment, 20 to 40% of patients develop postsurgical biochemical recurrence (BCR). A particularly challenging clinical cohort includes patients with intermediate-risk disease whose risk stratification would benefit from advanced approaches that complement standard-of-care diagnostic tools. Here, we show that imaging tumor lactate using hyperpolarized 13C MRI and spatial metabolomics identifies BCR-positive patients in two prospective intermediate-risk surgical cohorts. Supported by spatially resolved tissue analysis of established glycolytic biomarkers, this study provides the rationale for multicenter trials of tumor metabolic imaging as an auxiliary tool to support PCa treatment decision-making.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





MRI, cancer metabolism, prostate cancer, Male, Humans, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Lactic Acid, Prospective Studies, Prostatic Neoplasms, Prostate, Prostatectomy, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Retrospective Studies