Tag Archive for: Article of the Month

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Video: TRP channel modulators as pharmacological treatments for LUTS – myth or reality?

Transient receptor potential channel modulators as pharmacological treatments for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS): myth or reality?

Yves Deruyver*‡¶, Thomas Voets†¶, Dirk De Ridder*‡¶and Wouter Everaerts*§¶

 

*Laboratory of Experimental Urology, Department of Development and Regeneration,† Laboratory for Ion Channel Research, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, KU Leuven, University Hospitals Leuven, TRP Research Platform Leuven (TRPLe), Leuven, Belgium, and §Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

 

Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels belong to the most intensely pursued drug targets of the last decade. These ion channels are considered promising targets for the treatment of pain, hypersensitivity disorders and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The aim of the present review is to discuss to what extent TRP channels have adhered to their promise as new pharmacological targets in the lower urinary tract (LUT) and to outline the challenges that lie ahead.

  • TRP vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) agonists have proven their efficacy in the treatment of neurogenic detrusor overactivity (DO), albeit at the expense of prolonged adverse effects as pelvic ‘burning’ pain, sensory urgency and haematuria.
  • TRPV1 antagonists have been very successful in preclinical studies to treat pain and DO. However, clinical trials with the first generation TRPV1 antagonists were terminated early due to hyperthermia, a serious, on-target, side-effect.
  • TRP vanilloid 4 (TRPV4), TRP ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) and TRP melastatin 8 (TRPM8) have important sensory functions in the LUT. Antagonists of these channels have shown their potential in pre-clinical studies of LUT dysfunction and are awaiting clinical validation.

Article of the Month: The PROMEtheuS Project: Bringing PHI to prostate Cancer

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

Finally, the third post under the Article of the Week heading on the homepage will consist of additional material or media. This week we feature a video from Dr. Alberto Abrate, discussing his paper. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Clinical performance of Prostate Health Index (PHI) for prediction of prostate cancer in obese men: data from a multicenter European prospective study, PROMEtheuS project

Alberto Abrate, Massimo Lazzeri, Giovanni Lughezzani, Nicolòmaria Buffi, Vittorio Bini*,Alexander Haese†, Alexandre de la Taille‡, Thomas McNicholas§, Joan Palou Redorta¶,Giulio M. Gadda, Giuliana Lista, Ella Kinzikeeva, Nicola Fossati, Alessandro Larcher,Paolo Dell’Oglio, Francesco Mistretta, Massimo Freschi** and Giorgio Guazzoni

Division of Oncology, Unit of Urology, URI, **Department of Pathology, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, UniversitàVita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, *Department of Internal Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy,†Martini-ClinicProstate Cancer Center, University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany,‡Department of Urology, APHPMondor Hospital, Créteil, France,§South Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Urological Cancer Centre, Lister Hospital,Stevenage, UK, and¶Urologic Oncology Section of the Department of Urology and Radiology Department, FundaciòPuigvert, Barcelona, Spain

OBJECTIVES

To test serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) isoform [-2]proPSA (p2PSA), p2PSA/free PSA (%p2PSA) and Prostate Health Index (PHI) accuracy in predicting prostate cancer in obese men and to test whether PHI is more accurate than PSA in predicting prostate cancer in obese patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

The analysis consisted of a nested case-control study from the pro-PSA Multicentric European Study (PROMEtheuS) project. The study is registered at https://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN04707454. The primary outcome was to test sensitivity, specificity and accuracy (clinical validity) of serum p2PSA, %p2PSA and PHI, in determining prostate cancer at prostate biopsy in obese men [body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2], compared with total PSA (tPSA), free PSA (fPSA) and fPSA/tPSA ratio (%fPSA). The number of avoidable prostate biopsies (clinical utility) was also assessed. Multivariable logistic regression models were complemented by predictive accuracy analysis and decision-curve analysis.

RESULTS

Of the 965 patients, 383 (39.7%) were normal weight (BMI <25 kg/m2), 440 (45.6%) were overweight (BMI 25–29.9 kg/m2) and 142 (14.7%) were obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). Among obese patients, prostate cancer was found in 65 patients (45.8%), with a higher percentage of Gleason score ≥7 diseases (67.7%). PSA, p2PSA, %p2PSA and PHI were significantly higher, and %fPSA significantly lower in patients with prostate cancer (P < 0.001). In multivariable logistic regression models, PHI significantly increased accuracy of the base multivariable model by 8.8% (P = 0.007). At a PHI threshold of 35.7, 46 (32.4%) biopsies could have been avoided.

CONCLUSION

In obese patients, PHI is significantly more accurate than current tests in predicting prostate cancer.

Editorial: Time to replace PSA with the PHI?

Yet more evidence that the PHI consistently outperforms PSA across diverse populations

The Prostate Health Index (PHI) has regulatory approval in >50 countries worldwide and is now being incorporated into prostate cancer guidelines; for example, the 2014 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines for early prostate cancer detection discuss the PHI as a means to improve specificity, using a threshold score of 35 [1]. The PHI is also discussed in the Melbourne Consensus Statement [2], and it has been incorporated into the multivariable Rotterdam risk calculator smartphone app for use in point-of-care decisions [3].

As the use of this test continues to expand, more data on its performance in specific at-risk populations are of great interest. The investigators from the PROMEtheus multicentre European trial have previously validated the use of the PHI in men with a positive family history of prostate cancer [4]. The new study by Abrate et al. in this issue of BJUI instead addresses another high-risk population – obese men – who have previously been shown to have a greater risk of aggressive prostate cancer [5].

Among the 965 participants in the PROMEtheus study, 14.7% were considered obese based on a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2. In this group, 45.8% were diagnosed with prostate cancer from a ≥12-core biopsy, and 67.7% had a Gleason score ≥7. Overall, the PHI significantly outperformed PSA for prostate cancer detection in men with a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 (area under the curve 0.839 vs 0.694; P < 0.001). At 90% sensitivity, the threshold for PHI in obese men was 35.7, with a specificity of 52.3%. The PHI also had the best performance for the detection of Gleason ≥7 disease, with an area under the curve of 0.89.

These findings add to the highly consistent body of evidence supporting the use of the PHI in early prostate cancer detection and risk stratification. In fact, all published studies to date have shown that the PHI outperforms PSA for detection of overall and high-grade prostate cancer detection on biopsy [6]. Numerous studies have also shown a role for the PHI in patient selection and monitoring during active surveillance [7, 8]. Expanded use of this test is warranted to reduce unnecessary biopsies and better identify cancers with life-threatening potential.

Stacy Loeb
Department of Urology and Population Health, New York University, New York, NY, USA

 

References

1 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. Prostate Cancer Early Detection Version 2014. https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/prostate_detection.pdf.Accessed May 26, 2014

2 Murphy DG, Ahlering T, Catalona WJ et al. The melbourne consensus statement on the early detection of prostate cancer. BJU Int 2014; 113:186–8

3 Roobol M, Salman J, Azevedo N. Abstract 857: The Rotterdam Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator: Improved Prediction with More Relevant Pre-Biopsy Information, Now in the Palm of Your Hand. Stockholm: European Association of Urology, 2014

4 Lazzeri M, Haese A, Abrate A et al. Clinical performance of serum prostate-specific antigen isoform [-2]pr oPSA (p2PS A) and its derivatives, %p2PSA and the prostate health index (PHI), in men with a family history of prostate cancer: results from a multicentre European study, the PROMEtheuS project. BJU Int 2013; 112:313–21

5 Freedland SJ, Banez LL, Sun LL, Fitzsimons NJ, Moul JW. Obese men have higher-grade and larger tumors: an analysis of the duke prostate center database. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2009; 12: 259–63

6 Filella X, Gimenez N. Evaluation of [-2] proPSA and Prostate Health Index (phi) for the detection of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Chem Lab Med 2013; 51: 729–39

7 Tosoian JJ, Loeb S, Feng Z et al. Association of [-2]proPSA with Biopsy Reclassification During Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer. J Urol2012; 188: 1131–6

8 Hirama H, Sugimoto M, Ito K, Shiraishi T, Kakehi Y. The impact of baseline [-2]proPSA-related indices on the prediction of pathological reclassification at 1 year during active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer: the Japanese multicenter study cohort. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol2014; 140: 257–63

 

Video: Clinical performance of PHI for prediction of prostate cancer: data from the PROMEtheuS project

Clinical performance of Prostate Health Index (PHI) for prediction of prostate cancer in obese men: data from a multicenter European prospective study, PROMEtheuS project

Alberto Abrate, Massimo Lazzeri, Giovanni Lughezzani, Nicolòmaria Buffi, Vittorio Bini*,Alexander Haese†, Alexandre de la Taille‡, Thomas McNicholas§, Joan Palou Redorta¶,Giulio M. Gadda, Giuliana Lista, Ella Kinzikeeva, Nicola Fossati, Alessandro Larcher,Paolo Dell’Oglio, Francesco Mistretta, Massimo Freschi** and Giorgio Guazzoni

Division of Oncology, Unit of Urology, URI, **Department of Pathology, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, UniversitàVita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, *Department of Internal Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy,†Martini-ClinicProstate Cancer Center, University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany,‡Department of Urology, APHPMondor Hospital, Créteil, France,§South Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Urological Cancer Centre, Lister Hospital,Stevenage, UK, and¶Urologic Oncology Section of the Department of Urology and Radiology Department, FundaciòPuigvert, Barcelona, Spain

OBJECTIVES

To test serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) isoform [-2]proPSA (p2PSA), p2PSA/free PSA (%p2PSA) and Prostate Health Index (PHI) accuracy in predicting prostate cancer in obese men and to test whether PHI is more accurate than PSA in predicting prostate cancer in obese patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

The analysis consisted of a nested case-control study from the pro-PSA Multicentric European Study (PROMEtheuS) project. The study is registered at https://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN04707454. The primary outcome was to test sensitivity, specificity and accuracy (clinical validity) of serum p2PSA, %p2PSA and PHI, in determining prostate cancer at prostate biopsy in obese men [body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2], compared with total PSA (tPSA), free PSA (fPSA) and fPSA/tPSA ratio (%fPSA). The number of avoidable prostate biopsies (clinical utility) was also assessed. Multivariable logistic regression models were complemented by predictive accuracy analysis and decision-curve analysis.

RESULTS

Of the 965 patients, 383 (39.7%) were normal weight (BMI <25 kg/m2), 440 (45.6%) were overweight (BMI 25–29.9 kg/m2) and 142 (14.7%) were obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). Among obese patients, prostate cancer was found in 65 patients (45.8%), with a higher percentage of Gleason score ≥7 diseases (67.7%). PSA, p2PSA, %p2PSA and PHI were significantly higher, and %fPSA significantly lower in patients with prostate cancer (P < 0.001). In multivariable logistic regression models, PHI significantly increased accuracy of the base multivariable model by 8.8% (P = 0.007). At a PHI threshold of 35.7, 46 (32.4%) biopsies could have been avoided.

CONCLUSION

In obese patients, PHI is significantly more accurate than current tests in predicting prostate cancer.

Article of the Month: Is there an anti-androgen withdrawal syndrome with enzalutamide?

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Is there an anti-androgen withdrawal syndrome with enzalutamide?

Alejo Rodriguez-Vida1, Diletta Bianchini2, Mieke Van Hemelrijck3, Simon Hughes1, Zafar Malik4, Thomas Powles5, Amit Bahl6, Sarah Rudman1, Heather Payne7, Johann de Bono2 and Simon Chowdhury1,*

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Great Maze Pond, London, UK, 2 Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK, 3 King’s College London, Division of Cancer Studies, Cancer Epidemiology Group, London, UK, 4 Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Bebington, UK, 5 St. Bartholomew’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, 6 University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK, 7 University College Hospital, London, UK

OBJECTIVE

To examine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels after enzalutamide discontinuation to assess whether an antiandrogen withdrawal syndrome (AAWS) exists with enzalutamide.

METHODS

We retrospectively identified 30 consecutive patients with metastatic prostate cancer who were treated with enzalutamide after docetaxel. Post-discontinuation PSA results were available for all patients and were determined at 2-weekly intervals until starting further anticancer systemic therapy. PSA withdrawal response was defined as a PSA decline by ≥50% from the last on-treatment PSA, with a confirmed decrease ≥3 weeks later. Patient characteristics were evaluated in relation to the AAWS using univariate logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS

The median (range) patient age was 70.5 (56–86) years and the median (range) follow-up was 9.0 (0.5–16) months. The most common metastatic sites were the bone (86.7%) and lymph nodes (66.7%). Most patients (70%) had previously received abiraterone and 12 patients (40%) had also received cabazitaxel. The median (range) treatment duration with enzalutamide was 3.68 (1.12–21.39) months. PSA levels after enzalutamide withdrawal were monitored for a median (range) time of 35 (10–120) days. Only one patient (3.3%) had a confirmed PSA response ≥50% after enzalutamide discontinuation. One patient (3.3%) had a confirmed PSA response of between 30 and 50% and another patient (3.3%) had an unconfirmed PSA response of between 30 and 50%. The median overall survival was 15.5 months (95% CI 8.1–24.7). None of the factors analysed in the univariate analysis were significant predictors of PSA decline after enzalutamide discontinuation.

CONCLUSIONS

This retrospective study provides the first evidence that enzalutamide may have an AAWS in a minority of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Further studies are needed to confirm the existence of an enzalutamide AAWS and to assess its relevance in prostate cancer management.

Editorial: Enzalutamide withdrawal syndrome: is there a rationale?

Enzalutamide is a second generation non-steroidal antiandrogen (AA), which significantly improved overall  survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) after docetaxel (AFFIRM study), and OS and radiographic PFS before chemotherapy (PREVAIL study) in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) [1].

Being a potent androgen receptor (AR) antagonist, an enzalutamide withdrawal syndrome (EWS) appeared unlikely [2,3]. In contrast with this position, and considering the well-known AR structural alterations in CRPC, very recent preclinical and clinical data support the possibility of the existence of an EWS after the discontinuation of this drug, in a castration-resistant setting.

In patients with mCRPC progressing on androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), the AAWS, due to the interruption of first generation AAs (flutamide, bicalutamide, nilutamide, cyproterone acetate and megestrol acetate), often pursues as a further hormonal manipulation, although no level one studies supported its efficacy. AAWS leads to a PSA reduction in 15–30% of patients, with concomitant symptomatic relief and radiographic responses in some cases, without impacting on survival [1]. The molecular mechanisms of the AAWS are still unclear. One of the possible mechanisms responsible for the AAWS is the mutation of the AR. In vitro models showed that bicalutamide may switch from antagonist to agonist in LNCaP-cxD cell lines, due to an additional AR mutation in codon 741 during bicalutamide treatment [4]. Similarly, preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that initially enzalutamide exerts its AR antagonist activity, but during the treatment enzalutamide potently induces an AR mutation, leading to the mutant ARF876L, which confers agonism to enzalutamide, and resistance to enzalutamide therapy [1]. In the clinical setting, the first evidence of possible EWS has begun to appear. Phillips [5] observed EWS in one patient, 40 days after enzalutamide discontinuation. Rodriguez-Vida et al. [1] showed EWS in three of 30 (10%) patients with mCRPC after the drug cessation, although none of the 17 factors examined were statistically significant predictors of PSA decline after enzalutamide interruption. Considering the clinical characteristics of the three patients showing EWS, interestingly all of them were aged <70 years, had Gleason score ≥7, had bone and/or lymph node metastases without visceral sites of disease, and had had previous treatments with bicalutamide and docetaxel. In all three patients, EWS seems to have no correlation with: prostate cancer staging at diagnosis (M0 vs M1), PSA value before enzalutamide, PSA decline on enzalutamide treatment, LHRH analogues and enzalutamide therapy duration. Similarly to bicalutamide WS, in all three patients no symptomatic improvement was recorded during EWS.
Focusing on patient 1, interestingly he displayed initially a PSA response during enzalutamide and later a further PSA decline plus radiological response after enzalutamide interruption (i.e. EWS), showing a sensitivity either to initial enzalutamide antagonism and to subsequent agonism, and exhibiting an EWS not preceded by a bicalutamide WS. This supports previous data concerning different AR mutations for the two different AAs, without subsequent clinical correlations between the two different AAWSs. A LHRH analogue duration treatment (5 months) shorter than a subsequent enzalutamide duration therapy (21.4 months) suggests different tumoral cells sensitivity to different ADTs, in different stages (hormone naïve and castration-resistant prostate cancer), likely related to several AR structural alterations collected along the disease. Intriguingly, patient 3 discontinued enzalutamide after only 1.2 months, maybe due to primary resistance [6]; nevertheless, he showed a PSA
response after enzalutamide interruption, suggesting that EWS, characterised by the switch from enzalutamide antagonism to agonism, could occur even in prostate cancer patients primary resistant to this drug. Limitations of the two first clinical reports related to EWS include a restricted sample size, a reduced number of EWS events and a short duration of follow-up after enzalutamide discontinuation. Furthermore, preclinical studies on EWS and published data concerning AAWS described more frequently early stage mCRPC, while the two papers considered heavily pretreated patients with mCRPC, in whom EWS incidence could be reduced due to several previous treatments, which probably produced various AR alterations.

In conclusion, the preclinical models have demonstrated one possible plausible mechanism responsible for EWS and enzalutamide resistance. First clinical reports suggest the possibility of EWS in a minority of patients after enzalutamide discontinuation in mCRPC. Further studies are needed to confirm and detail the EWS, before translating these data into clinical practice.

Alessandra Mosca
Medical Oncology, ‘Maggiore della Carità’ University Hospital, Novara, Italy

References

1 Rodriguez-Vida A, Bianchini D, Van Hemelrijck M et al. Is there an antiandrogen withdrawal syndrome with enzalutamide? BJU Int 2015; 115: 373–80

2 von Klot CA, Kramer MW, Böker A et al. Is there an anti-androgen withdrawal syndrome for Enzalutamide? World J Urol 2014; 32: 1171–6

3 von Klot CA, Kuczyk MA, Merseburger AS. No androgen withdrawal syndrome for enzalutamide: a report of disease dynamics in the postchemotherapy setting. Eur Urol 2014; 65: 258–9

4 Hara T, Miyazaki J, Araki H, Yamaoka M, Kanzaki N, Kusaka M. Novel mutations of androgen receptor: a possible mechanism of bicalutamide withdrawal syndrome. Cancer Res 2003; 63: 149–53

5 Phillips R. An enzalutamide antiandrogen withdrawal syndrome. Nat Rev Urol 2014; 11: 366

6 Efstathiou E, Titus M, Wen S et al. Molecular characterization of Enzalutamide-treated bone metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Eur Urol 2015; 67: 53–60

 

Article of the Month: Indications for Intervention During Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

Finally, the third post under the Article of the Week heading on the homepage will consist of additional material or media. This week we feature a video from Dr. Max Kates discussing his paper. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Indications for Intervention During Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer: A Comparison of the Johns Hopkins and PRIAS Protocols

Max Kates, Jeffrey J. Tosoian, Bruce J. Trock, Zhaoyong Feng, H. Ballentine Carter and Alan W. Partin
James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA
OBJECTIVE

To analyse how patients enrolled in our biopsy based surveillance programme would fare under the Prostate Cancer Research International Active Surveillance (PRIAS) protocol, which uses PSA kinetics.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Since 1995, 1125 men with very-low-risk prostate cancer have enrolled in the AS programme at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH), which is based on monitoring with annual biopsy. The PRIAS protocol uses a combination of periodic biopsies (in years 1, 4, and 7) and prostate-specific antigen doubling time (PSADT) to trigger intervention. Patients enrolled in the JHH AS programme were retrospectively reviewed to evaluate how the use of the PRIAS protocol would alter the timing and use of curative intervention.

RESULTS

Over a median of 2.1 years of follow up, 38% of men in the JHH AS programme had biopsy reclassification. Of those, 62% were detected at biopsy intervals corresponding to the PRIAS criteria, while 16% were detected between scheduled PRIAS biopsies, resulting in a median delay in detection of 1.9 years. Of the 202 men with >5 years of follow-up, 11% in the JHH programme were found to have biopsy reclassification after it would have been identified in the PRIAS protocol, resulting in a median delay of 4.7 years to reclassification. In all, 12% of patients who would have undergone immediate intervention under PRIAS due to abnormal PSA kinetics would never have undergone reclassification on the JHH protocol and thus would not have undergone definitive intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

There are clear differences between PSA kinetics-based AS programmes and biopsy based programmes. Further studies should address whether and how the differences in timing of intervention impact subsequent disease progression and prostate cancer mortality.

 

Editorial: How active should active surveillance be?

 Many investigators, including those from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the Prostate cancer Research International: Active Surveillance project (PRIAS), have provided meaningful data to strongly support the increasing use of active surveillance (AS) across the world. There are a multitude of strategies to minimise excessive rates of prostate cancer over detection and overtreatment. After the diagnosis of prostate cancer, the single best is AS for appropriately selected men.

 For decades, the concept of not treating a prostate cancer in otherwise healthy men, even if low-grade and low-volume was typically considered nihilistic and heretical, particularly in the USA. Thankfully, data have largely made this line of thinking anachronistic. The era of sensibly applied AS is upon us, and single-institution series with intermediate-term follow-up are excellent, with exceedingly low rates of metastasis or cancer-related death. However, we await longer-term (>10 years) outcomes from the contemporary PSA screening era.

 The ‘success’ of AS is largely dependent on the entry criteria, follow-up strategies, and indications for curative intervention. Highly restrictive inclusion criteria, rigorous biopsy based follow-up and strict definitions of reclassification triggering treatment have produced superb outcomes. Critics appropriately argue these criteria exclude a significant proportion of men with a low rate of requiring treatment or having metastases, if allowed on AS. Conversely, other programmes with looser entry criteria, more lax follow-up, and relaxed indications for intervention will be more inclusive and have lower rates of immediate or delayed intervention but must be counterbalanced against the expected higher rate of metastases or death.

 The current study [1] evaluates two different AS follow-up strategies from JHU and PRIAS. In general, JHU uses annual biopsies with progression defined as a new PSA density >0.15 ng/mL/mL or increasing tumour volume or grade beyond a certain threshold, while PRIAS recommends less frequent biopsies (years 1, 4, and 7) while relying on serological (PSA doubling time, PSADT) alongside histological indicators for defining progression and recommending treatment.

 Not surprisingly, different strategies lead to varying expected outcomes. Among the JHU patients, 38% were reclassified at a median of 2.1 years. Nearly two-thirds of the reclassified would have been identified at the PRIAS year 1 or triennial biopsies with 16% identified between PRIAS biopsies at a median delay of 1.9 years. The unanswerable but incredibly important question is whether this delay is essentially a non-issue, perhaps a favourable attribute (more AS time without compromising cure rates), or clinically disastrous (patients no longer curable).

 PRIAS relies heavily on PSA kinetics, which can be a double-edged sword. Among men in the JHU programme with >5 years follow-up, 11% would have delayed reclassification compared with PRIAS at a median time of 4.7 years. Additionally, 12% would have undergone intervention due to PRIAS-defined PSADT but not progressed based on the JHU protocol. It is convenient and perhaps intuitive that PSA kinetics should predict progression and meaningful clinical events for men on AS; however, the data from multiple studies have simply not supported this concept [2, 3].

 The JHU programme has restrictive entry rules compared with most other programmes, a rigorous biopsy based follow-up protocol, and strict criteria to treat, which is exactly why no metastasis or death have been reported among 769 men, some with up to 15 years follow-up[4]. Guidelines are needed but should not be overly prescriptive or rigid. For example, a surveillance biopsy showing a single core of Gleason 6 encompassing 60% of the total core or three cores of Gleason 6 with total cancer length of 3 mm would lead to a recommendation of treatment according to published JHU criteria. Many of us would not be phased with these biopsy reports and comfortably recommend ongoing AS.

 Data from AS series are very encouraging but it is highly likely we can do even better. For example, 10-year cancer-specific survival is 97% in the Sunnybrook AS experience and all five cancer-related deaths occurred in patients that would not meet most contemporary AS entry criteria [5, 6]. I am hopeful and confident that emerging data incorporating MRI imaging, serum biomarkers (e.g. prostate health index), or tissue-based biomarkers (e.g. Prolaris, Oncotype Dx) will provide us with a more comprehensive understanding of these men’s cancer such that tailored, evidence-based recommendations can be even more accurate.

 There is much yet to be learned about AS and this study [1] adds to our knowledge. Surveillance for prostate cancer is definitely active, but it is also dynamic and evolving.

Scott Eggener
Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

 

References

 

 

Video: Indications for Intervention During Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer: A Comparison of the Johns Hopkins and PRIAS Protocols

Indications for Intervention During Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer: A Comparison of the Johns Hopkins and PRIAS Protocols

Max Kates, Jeffrey J. Tosoian, Bruce J. Trock, Zhaoyong Feng, H. Ballentine Carter and Alan W. Partin
James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA
OBJECTIVE

To analyse how patients enrolled in our biopsy based surveillance programme would fare under the Prostate Cancer Research International Active Surveillance (PRIAS) protocol, which uses PSA kinetics.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Since 1995, 1125 men with very-low-risk prostate cancer have enrolled in the AS programme at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH), which is based on monitoring with annual biopsy. The PRIAS protocol uses a combination of periodic biopsies (in years 1, 4, and 7) and prostate-specific antigen doubling time (PSADT) to trigger intervention. Patients enrolled in the JHH AS programme were retrospectively reviewed to evaluate how the use of the PRIAS protocol would alter the timing and use of curative intervention.

RESULTS

Over a median of 2.1 years of follow up, 38% of men in the JHH AS programme had biopsy reclassification. Of those, 62% were detected at biopsy intervals corresponding to the PRIAS criteria, while 16% were detected between scheduled PRIAS biopsies, resulting in a median delay in detection of 1.9 years. Of the 202 men with >5 years of follow-up, 11% in the JHH programme were found to have biopsy reclassification after it would have been identified in the PRIAS protocol, resulting in a median delay of 4.7 years to reclassification. In all, 12% of patients who would have undergone immediate intervention under PRIAS due to abnormal PSA kinetics would never have undergone reclassification on the JHH protocol and thus would not have undergone definitive intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

There are clear differences between PSA kinetics-based AS programmes and biopsy based programmes. Further studies should address whether and how the differences in timing of intervention impact subsequent disease progression and prostate cancer mortality.

Article of the Month: Progression and treatment of incident lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among men in the California Men’s Health Study

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

This week we feature a video from Dr. Steven Jacobsen discussing his paper. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Progression and treatment of incident lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among men in the California Men’s Health Study

Lauren P. Wallner, Jeff M. Slezak*, Ronald K. Loo†, Virginia P. Quinn*, Stephen K. Van Den Eeden‡ and Steven J. Jacobsen*

Department of Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, *Department of Research and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, †Department of Urology, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Pasadena, CA, and ‡Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, USA

OBJECTIVES

To characterise the progression and treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among men aged 45–69 years in the California Men’s Health Study.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

A total of 39 222 men, aged 45–69 years, enrolled in the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Health Plan were surveyed in 2002–2003 and again in 2006–2007. Those men who completed both surveys who did not have a diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and were not on medication for LUTS at baseline were included in the study (N = 19 505). Among the men with no or mild symptoms at baseline, the incidence of moderate/severe LUTS (American Urological Association Symptom Index [AUASI] score ≥8) and odds of progression to severe LUTS (AUASI score ≥20) was estimated during 4 years of follow-up.

RESULTS

Of the 9640 men who reported no/mild LUTS at baseline, 3993 (41%) reported moderate/severe symptoms at follow-up and experienced a 4-point change in AUASI score on average. Of these men, 351 (8.8%) had received a pharmacological treatment, eight (0.2%) had undergone a minimally invasive or surgical procedure and 3634 (91.0%) had no treatment recorded. Men who progressed to severe symptoms (AUASI score ≥20; n = 165) were more likely to be on medication for BPH (odds ratio [OR] 8.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] 5.77–11.35), have a BPH diagnosis (OR 4.74, 95% CI 3.40–6.61) or have seen a urologist (OR 2.49, 95% CI 1.81–3.43) when compared with men who did not progress to severe symptoms (AUASI score <20).

CONCLUSION

These data show that the majority of men who experienced progression did not have pharmacological or surgical therapy for their symptoms and, therefore, may prove to be good candidates for a self-management plan.

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