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Blackrock Clinic CEO Blog Blackrock Clinic introduces Fluorine-18 Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (F-18 PSMA) PET/CT, the latest and most advanced scan to evaluate prostate cancer.

Blackrock Clinic introduces Fluorine-18 Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (F-18 PSMA) PET/CT, the latest and most advanced scan to evaluate prostate cancer.

22nd Oct 2021

Blackrock Clinic is delighted to introduce F-18 PSMA PET/CT which is the latest advancement in scanning technology for new or recurring prostate cancer.

 ‘This is very good news for men with prostate cancer. This simple and effective scan will help to quickly and accurately evaluate prostate cancer, which in turn will lead to better precision in treatment and improvements in outcome.’ Prof Stephen Connolly, Consultant Urologist at Blackrock Clinic.

Mr James O’Donoghue, CEO Blackrock Clinic

PSMA PET/CT is already established internationally, yet in Ireland has only been performed in one public hospital so far, leaving Irish patients waiting for limited access, or to make the difficult decision to travel abroad. Blackrock Clinic is the first private hospital to make the F-18 PSMA PET/CT available, thereby allowing patients to forgo time delay, or the stress and fatigue incurred by international travel during their cancer diagnosis process. 


Blackrock Clinic first introduced PET/CT scanning to Ireland in 2000, a significant addition to our diagnostic scanning facilities at that time. Combining radiology & nuclear medicine systems, the PET/CT process uses a ‘radioactive tracer’ and ‘CT scan’ to detect disease spread. A highly detailed image is produced for medical analysis. PET/CT scanning plays a prominent role in cancer diagnosis, and its use in the diagnosis of other diseases, disorders and malignancies is also increasing as the technology advances.

Image of CT Scanning Machine

The F-18 PSMA PET/CT scan replaces the traditional ‘CT & Bone scan’ during the staging of prostate cancer. It utilises the detection of PSMA, a protein found on the surface of normal prostate cells and in higher amounts on cancer cells. The isotope imaging element (tracer) ‘Fluorine-18’ targets these cells in a unique way, offering the radiology team better visibility for longer periods than other currently available tracers.

The accuracy of the image generated enables doctors to observe prostate cancer earlier, and in smaller amounts. The high sensitivity of the technology can aid both initial detection, and subsequent management decision making.

By Referral

The scan is available by consultant referral and may involve pre-approval by some of the health insurers. VHI has presently agreed cover for patients with returning cancer under some of its plans, however PET/CT scans are not always covered by a patient’s private health insurance. We consider it important that patients are advised of all costs prior to an appointment, so please call 01 206 4373 for details. Self-funding is an available option.

Improving Options and Outcomes

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men worldwide, and presents with a challenging spectrum of biological behaviours. Our consultant specialists are able to offer patients an increasing number of therapeutic options due largely to improvements in accuracy during the cancer staging process.

Blackrock Clinic’s introduction of the PSMA PET/CT scan using the Fluorine-18 radioisotope brings the latest technology and the most advanced care specifically to our male patients, looking out for their health and future wellbeing.