LONDON, Ont. -- Wayne Smith was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, but not before a number of tests first came back negative.

“A couple biopsies showed nothing and there was a urine test you could do and send it to Montreal and it showed very little chance of cancer.”

But a final biopsy confirmed that Smith did in fact have prostate cancer. He had his prostate removed, bu his cancer did reoccur.

“I had hormone shots, which there was not much to it, and I was lucky I had no aftereffects. Then I had the radiation and finished that on September 18th.”

Smith credits new imaging technology used to find his reoccurring cancer - called a PSMA tracer - for his successful treatment.

This new method, which also uses PET scans, is part of a study focusing on early detection for recurrent prostate cancer.

Dr. Glenn Bauman, s Lawson Health Research Institute scientist and radiation oncologist says, "What the PSMA PET scan can do is tell us, okay, is there recurrence isolated to the site of the original surgery? Is there recurrence in the lymph nodes, in the pelvis? Is there recurrence in other sites of the pelvic area?”

Bauman says all those questions can now be answered accurately and quickly by using this new imaging method which far exceeds standard testing.

“We’ve been limited in the past by using conventional tests using bone scans and CAT scans because it only picks up prostate cancer when it’s relatively advanced.”

Smith is one of approximately 1,500 men across Ontario who will be taking part in this study which spans across five centres and will take two to three years to complete.

Once the study is complete Bauman and his team hope this new imaging method will become standard practice and make huge difference for prostate cancer patients.