for males ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Rahul Aggarwal
Headshot of Rahul Aggarwal
Rahul Aggarwal



This pilot clinical trial studies how well magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) with hyperpolarized carbon 13 (13C) pyruvate alone or in combination with 13C 15N2 Urea works in finding prostate cancer that exhibits poorly differentiated or undifferentiated cells (high-grade) and that is restricted to the site of origin, without evidence of spread (localized) in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Diagnostic procedures, such as MRSI with hyperpolarized carbon (13C) pyruvate, may aid in the diagnosis of prostate cancer and in discriminating high-grade from low-grade prostate cancer and benign adjacent prostate tissue

Official Title

A Pilot Study of Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging With Hyperpolarized Pyruvate (13C) to Detect High Grade Localized Prostate Cancer



  1. To investigate the association between hyperpolarized (HP) pyruvate-to-lactate conversion (kPL) and HP urea perfusion with histologic grade of prostate cancer, including benign prostate tissue, low grade disease (primary Gleason score < 4), and high grade (primary Gleason score >= 4) prostate cancer.


  1. Safety.

II. To determine the optimal cut-off value of peak lactate to pyruvate ratio (lac/pyr), lac/pyr area under the curve (AUC), 13C pyruvate to lactate (kPL) rate, urea AUC, and urea transfer constant (ktrans) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that accurately detects primary Gleason 4 component cancer.

III. To determine the reproducibility of peak lac/pyr, lac/pyr AUC and kPL, urea AUC and urea transfer constant (ktrans) with same-day repeated dose studies. with same-day repeated dose studies.

IV. To compare peak lac/pyr, lac/pyr AUC and kPL, urea AUC, urea transfer constant (ktrans) on MRI with Prostate Imaging-Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) assessment of multiparametric MRI in predicting regions of cancer versus benign tissue.


  1. To correlate histologic markers, including lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) expression and activity level, along with Ki-67, MYC, and MCT 1 and 4 expression, with peak intra-tumoral lac/pyr ratio, lactate AUC, and kPL detected using anatomically aligned magnetic resonance (MR) cross-sectional images of the prostate gland.

II. To test for an association between mean intra-tumoral lac/pyr signal and lactate AUC, kPL, urea AUC, and urea transfer constant (ktrans) with adverse clinical and pathologic characteristics including extracapsular extension, positive nodal involvement, and failure to achieve undetectable prostate specific antigen (PSA) nadir following prostatectomy.


Participants receive either hyperpolarized carbon pyruvate (13C) or co-polarized 13C pyruvate and 13C, 15N2urea intravenously (IV) and undergo MRSI within 12 weeks before undergoing non-investigational radical prostatectomy. Participants may receive optional second hyperpolarized 13C injection and dynamic 13C MRI scan may be performed within 15 to 60 minutes following completion of first scan.

After completion of study, participants are followed up at 24 hours.


Prostate Cancer, Prostatic Neoplasms, Carbamide Peroxide, Hyperpolarized 13C-Pyruvate, Hyperpolarized 13C,15N2-urea, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging


You can join if…

Open to males ages 18 years and up

  • Biopsy-proven adenocarcinoma of the prostate; biopsy may be performed outside of University of California San Francisco (UCSF), if detailed results of sextant biopsy are available; a minimum of 20 patients out of a planned enrollment of 50 patients must have high-risk disease as defined by primary Gleason score of 4 or 5 on prior prostate biopsy
  • Planned radical prostatectomy at UCSF within 12 weeks following protocol MRI/MRSI
  • The subject is able and willing to comply with study procedures and provide signed and dated informed consent
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1
  • Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >= 1500 cells/microliter (uL)
  • Hemoglobin >= 9.0 mg/dL
  • Platelets >= 75,000 cells/uL
  • Estimated creatinine clearance >= 50 mL/min (by the Cockcroft Gault equation)
  • Bilirubin < 1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) (unless Gilbert's is suspected)
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) < 1.5 x ULN

You CAN'T join if...

  • Patients who because of general medical or psychiatric condition or physiologic status cannot give valid informed consent
  • Patients unwilling or unable to undergo MR imaging, including patients with contra-indications to MRI, such as cardiac pacemakers or non-compatible intracranial vascular clips
  • Patients who cannot tolerate or have contra-indications to endorectal coil insertion; for example, patients with a prior abdominoperineal resection of the rectum or latex allergy
  • Patients with contra-indications to injection of gadolinium contrast; for example patients with prior documented allergy or those with inadequate renal function
  • Metallic hip implant or any other metallic implant or device that distorts local magnetic field and compromises the quality of MR imaging
  • Cryosurgery, surgery for prostate cancer, prostatic or pelvic radiotherapy prior to study enrollment; no limit on number of prior prostate biopsies; prior transurethral prostatic resection (TURP) is not allowed
  • Current or prior androgen deprivation therapy; a history of use of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor is allowed, provided it was discontinued at least one month prior to study entry
  • Poorly controlled hypertension, with blood pressure at study entry > 160/100; the addition of anti-hypertensives to control blood pressure is allowed for eligibility determination
  • Congestive heart failure or New York Heart Association (NYHA) status >= 2
  • A history of clinically significant electrocardiography (EKG) abnormalities, including QT prolongation, a family history of prolonged QT interval syndrome, or myocardial infarction (MI) within 6 months of study entry; patients with rate-controlled atrial fibrillation/flutter will be allowed on study


  • UCSF accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94143 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Rahul Aggarwal
    I am a Medical Oncologist within the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California San Francisco. My clinical practice focuses on patients with advanced solid tumor malignancies with a particular emphasis on genitourinary malignancies including prostate, kidney, bladder, and testicular cancer.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Ivan de Kouchkovsky, MD
Phase 1 Prostate Cancer Research Study
Study Type
Expecting 50 study participants
Last Updated