Tag Archive for: biochemical recurrence

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Editorial: Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy

In their commentary in the current issue of BJUI, Stonier et al. [1] examine the potential technical pitfalls and published results of the Retzius‐sparing technique of robotic radical prostatectomy. The authors reviewed three studies from three different groups [2,3], including a study by our group [4], and raised three specific concerns: the oncological efficacy of the procedure; the long learning curve; and the generalizability of the technique to challenging surgical scenarios. We offer a few clarifications and comments.

The first study on Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy came from the Bocciardi group [2]. This was a prospective, single‐arm study of 200 patients. The authors reported a 14‐day continence rate of 90–92%, a 1‐year potency rate of 71–81% (in preoperatively potent patients undergoing bilateral intrafascial nerve‐sparing) and a positive surgical margin rate of 25.5%. The positive surgical margin rate improved in patients with pT2 disease, from 22% to 9% (P = 0.04) over the course of the study (initial 100 vs subsequent 100 patients), while in patients with pT3 disease, it remained stable at ~45%. Lim et al. [3] also noted an improvement in their overall positive surgical margin rate from 20% to 8% when comparing the initial 25 patients with the subsequent 25 patients. In that study, a standard robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy comparator arm was included and there were no differences in overall positive surgical margin rates (14% in both arms), while continence was better with the Retzius‐sparing approach.

Recognizing the potentially technically challenging nature of the Bocciardi approach, we performed a randomized controlled trial to objectively evaluate the technique. Randomized controlled trials are typically designed to answer a single question. Our trial was designed to determine whether there were differences in the rate of return of urinary continence, the primary benefit that previous non‐controlled studies had reported. This our study clearly showed [4].

Once the trial was completed, post hoc analysis of secondary outcomes was performed [5]. One of these outcomes was the positive surgical margin rate. In our trial, we noted an overall positive surgical margin rate of 25% in the Retzius‐sparing arm vs 13% in the control arm, a difference that did not achieve statistical significance (P = 0.11). Stonier et al. [1] suggested that if the sample size of our trial were doubled, then the positive surgical margin rate in each group would be doubled as well, leading to significance. This conclusion is problematic. The likelihood that doubling the sample size would result in the exact doubling of numbers in all four cells of a 2 × 2 contingency table is estimated at <5% using Fisher’s exact test (this calculation is different from the P value). Furthermore, the surgical margins depend as much on the pathological stage as on surgical approach. In our trial, patients were matched preoperatively for risk in the best manner possible for a pragmatic randomized trial. However, it is impossible to predict and control for the final pathological characteristics. Pathological analysis showed that patients undergoing Retzius‐sparing surgery did have significantly more aggressive disease: ≥pT3 disease in 45% vs 23.3% of patients (P = 0.04) [4, 5]. This, by itself, could account for a substantial difference in surgical margin rates.

In writing our paper, we made no judgements as to whether the Bocciardi or posterior technique is fundamentally superior to an anterior or Menon approach, whether it is easier to perform, how generalizable it is [6], or what the learning curve may be. That is best left to the individual surgeon’s training and judgement. We do suggest, however, that surgical margins be interpreted as a function of pathological variables, and not in isolation, and that it is simplistic to assume that identical results will be obtained by doubling sample size. We suggest that such conclusions are hypothesis‐generating, and should best be explored through a separate, purpose‐designed randomized trial.

Authors: Akshay Sood, Firas Abdollah and Mani Menon

References

  1. Stonier T, Simson N, Davis J, Challacombe B. Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RS‐RARP) vs standard RARP: it’s time for critical appraisal. BJU Int 2019; 123: 5–10
  2. Galfano A, Di Trapani D, Sozzi F et al. Beyond the learning curve of the Retzius‐sparing approach for robot‐assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: oncologic and functional results of the first 200 patients with >/= 1 year of follow‐up. Eur Urol 2013; 64: 974–80
  3. Lim SK, Kim KH, Shin TY et al. Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: combining the best of retropubic and perineal approaches. BJU Int 2014; 114: 236–44
  4. Dalela D, Jeong W, Prasad MA et al. A pragmatic randomized controlled trial examining the impact of the Retzius‐sparing approach on early urinary continence recovery after robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy. Eur Urol 2017; 72: 677–85
  5. Menon M, Dalela D, Jamil M et al. Functional recovery, oncologic outcomes and postoperative complications after robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy: an evidence‐based analysis comparing the Retzius sparing and standard approaches. J Urol 2018; 199: 1210–7
  6. Galfano A, Secco S, Bocciardi AM. Will Retzius‐sparing prostatectomy be the future of prostate cancer surgery? Eur Urol 2017; 72: 686–8

 

Editorial: Reply: RS-RARP vs standard RARP

Since the introduction of robotic surgery in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer (PCa), different surgical innovations have been implemented in order to preserve postoperative functional outcomes while maintaining oncological safety. Sparing the Retzius space during robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) was introduced early this decade by Galfano et al [1]. Interestingly, 90% and 96% of patients treated with Retzius‐sparing RARP (RS‐RARP) were continent (no pad/safety pad) at 1 week and 1 year, respectively. Similarly, our group reported a 70% continence rate (no pad) at 1 month after RS‐RARP [2].

The fast urinary continence recovery after RS‐RARP is related to several anatomical factors: the anterior Retzius space is kept intact; the urinary bladder is not dropped; the endopelvic fascia and puboprostatic ligaments are preserved; and there is minimal distortion of the supporting urethral tissues. A recent study reported [3] that less bladder neck descent was observed during postoperative cystogram in patients treated with RS‐RARP than in those treated with standard RARP.

In a recent randomized controlled study, the postoperative continence rate at 1 week was 48% in standard RARP compared with 71% in RS‐RARP (P = 0.01), and this difference was maintained at 3 months (86% standard RARP vs 95% RS‐RARP; P = 0.02). At 1 year, however, the effect on urinary continence difference was muted (93.3% standard RARP vs 98.3% RS‐RARP; P = 0.09) [4]. Similarly, Chang et al. [3] found that the higher continence rate at 1 week (73.3% RS‐RARP vs 26.7% standard RARP; P = 0.000) had vanished at 1 year (100% vs 93.3%; P = 0.15). By contrast, a large recent prospective series showed that the superiority of RS‐RARP in terms of higher early urinary continence was maintained at 1 year (97.5% RS‐RARP vs 68.5% standard RARP) [5].

In addition to a higher early continence rate, RS‐RARP has a lower incidence of postoperative inguinal hernia occurrence compared with standard RARP [6]. Theoretically, RS‐RARP may provide several other potential advantages. It may be advantageous if patients require future surgery necessitating access to the Retzius space and dropping of the bladder, such as an artificial urinary sphincter implantation, an inflatable penile prosthesis insertion, or kidney transplantation. In addition, in patients with previous inguinal hernia repair using mesh, it enables the avoidance of anterior adhesions by accessing the prostate directly from the Douglas pouch. Notably, large‐size glands and/or middle‐lobe, advanced/high‐risk PCa, and patients with previous prostatic surgeries can be managed safely with RS‐RARP in experienced hands.

Undoubtedly, oncological safety is our main concern in treating cancer. To determine the effectiveness of new treatment methods, long‐term follow‐up is warranted. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) is widely used as a primary oncological outcome to assess PCa treatment success. To our knowledge, after radical prostatectomy, ~35% of patients are at risk of developing BCR in the next 10 years. Currently, there are insufficient data regarding the oncological outcomes of RS‐RARP. Only four articles have compared early oncological outcomes between RS‐RARP and standard RARP, and there was no significant difference (Table 1).

More recently, we reported on the mid‐term oncological outcomes of 359 patients who underwent RS‐RARP. The median follow‐up was 26 months. Although this period is not long enough to reach a meaningful conclusion on the oncological safety of RS‐RARP, it is the longest follow‐up period reported in literature. Overall, the positive surgical margin (PSM) rate was 30.6% (14.6% in pT2 and 40.8% in pT3a disease) and the BCR rate was 14.8%. In terms of functional outcomes, the urinary continence rate at 1 year was 93.9% [7]. Interestingly, 164 patients (45.7%) of our cohort had high‐risk PCa. In these patients, the PSM rate was 41.2%, the BCR rate was 22%, and the 3‐year BCR‐free survival (BCRFS) rate was 72%. We compared our results with those in patients with high‐risk PCa treated with standard RARP in the literature. In studies that used the D’Amico criteria the median follow‐up ranged from 12.5 to 37.3 months, the PSM rates were 20.5% to 53.3%, the BCR rates were 17.4% to 31% and the 3‐year BCRFS rates were 41.4% to 86%. In studies that used the National Comprehensive Cancer Network criteria, the median follow‐up ranged from 23.6 to 27 months, the PSM rates were 29% to 38%, the BCR rates were 9.4% to 33%, and the 3‐year BCRFS rates were 55% to 66% [7].

In summary, RS‐RARP is a novel surgical approach which is associated with better urinary continence recovery in the first few months compared with standard RARP [2,3,4,5]. This superiority might be maintained [5] or equalized at 1 year [3,4]. A few studies have compared the early oncological results between RS‐RARP and standard RARP and no significant difference was found [2,3,4,5]. Recently, our group reported the mid‐term oncological outcomes of patients with high‐risk PCa treated with RS‐RARP and these were similar to those of large studies of conventional RARP. This confirms effective and safe mid‐term BCR control after RS‐RARP, while the long‐term oncological results are awaited [7]. Currently, >4 000 cases of RS‐RARP are performed worldwide and more centres are beginning to use and converting to Retzius‐sparing surgery. All centres are experiencing faster recovery of continence. Thanks are due to Drs Galfano and Bocciardi for exploring and sharing this surgical frontier.

 

References

  1. Galfano A, Di Trapani D, Sozzi F, et al. Beyond the learning curve of the Retzius‐sparing approach for robotassisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: oncologic and functional results of the first 200 patients with ? 1 year of follow‐up. Eur Urol 2013; 64: 974‐80
  2. Lim SK, Kim KH, Shin TY et al. Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: combining the best of retropubic and perineal approaches. BJU Int 2014; 114: 236–44
  3. Chang LW, Hung SC, Hu JC et al. Retzius‐sparing robotic‐assisted radical prostatectomy associated with less bladder neck descent and better early continence outcome. Anticancer Res 2018; 38: 345–51
  4. Menon M, Dalela D, Jamil M et al. Functional recovery, oncologic outcomes and postoperative complications after robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy: an evidence‐based analysis comparing the Retzius sparing and standard approaches. J Urol 2018; 199: 1210–7
  5. Sayyid RK, Simpson WG, Lu C et al. Retzius sparing robotic assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: a safe surgical technique with superior continence outcomes. J Endourol 2017; 31: 1244–50
  6. Chang KD, Abdel Raheem A, Santok GDR et al. Anatomical Retzius‐space preservation is associated with lower incidence of postoperative inguinal hernia development after robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy. Hernia 2017; 21: 555–61
  7. Abdel Raheem A, Kidon C, Alenzi M et al. Predictors of biochemical recurrence after retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy: analysis of 359 cases with a median follow‐up of 26 months. Int J Urol 2018; 25: 1006–14

 

Resident’s podcast: Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy

Maria Uloko is a Urology Resident at the University of Minnesota Hospital. In this podcast she discusses the following BJUI Article of the Week:

Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RS‐RARP) vs standard RARP: it’s time for critical appraisal

Thomas Stonier*, Nick Simson*, John Davisand Ben Challacombe

 

*Department of Urology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, Urology Centre, Guy s Hospital, London, UK and Department of Urology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

 

Abstract

Since robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) started to be regularly performed in 2001, the procedure has typically followed the original retropubic approach, with incremental technical improvements in an attempt to improve outcomes. These include the running Van‐Velthoven anastomosis, posterior reconstruction or ‘Rocco stitch’, and cold ligation of the Santorini plexus/dorsal vein to maximise urethral length. In 2010, Bocciardi’s team in Milan proposed a novel posterior or ‘Retzius‐sparing’ RARP (RS‐RARP), mirroring the classic open perineal approach. This allows avoidance of supporting structures, such as the puboprostatic ligaments, endopelvic fascia, and Santorini plexus, preserving the normal anatomy as much as possible and limiting damage that may contribute to improved postoperative continence and erectile function. There has been much heralding of the excellent functional outcomes in both the medical and the lay press, but as yet no focus or real mention of any potential downsides of this new technique.

 

BJUI Podcasts now available on iTunes, subscribe here https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/bju-international/id1309570262

 

Article of the Month: Use of machine learning to predict early biochemical recurrence after robot‐assisted prostatectomy

Every month, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Month 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.

Use of machine learning to predict early biochemical recurrence after robot‐assisted prostatectomy

Nathan C. Wong , Cameron Lam, Lisa Patterson and Bobby Shayegan
Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Visual abstract created Rebecca Fisher @beckybeckyfish

Abstract

Objectives

To train and compare machine‐learning algorithms with traditional regression analysis for the prediction of early biochemical recurrence after robot‐assisted prostatectomy.

Patients and Methods

A prospectively collected dataset of 338 patients who underwent robot‐assisted prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer was examined. We used three supervised machine‐learning algorithms and 19 different training variables (demographic, clinical, imaging and operative data) in a hypothesis‐free manner to build models that could predict patients with biochemical recurrence at 1 year. We also performed traditional Cox regression analysis for comparison.

= 0.686) and with a univariate regression model (AUC = 0.865).

Results

K‐nearest neighbour, logistic regression and random forest classifier were used as machine‐learning models. Classic Cox regression analysis had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.865 for the prediction of biochemical recurrence. All three of our machine‐learning models (K‐nearest neighbour (AUC 0.903), random forest tree (AUC 0.924) and logistic regression (AUC 0.940) outperformed the conventional statistical regression model. Accuracy prediction scores for K‐nearest neighbour, random forest tree and logistic regression were 0.976, 0.953 and 0.976, respectively.

Conclusions

Machine‐learning techniques can produce accurate disease predictability better that traditional statistical regression. These tools may prove clinically useful for the automated prediction of patients who develop early biochemical recurrence after robot‐assisted prostatectomy. For these patients, appropriate individualized treatment options can improve outcomes and quality of life.

Article of the Week: Value of 111In-PSMA-RGS for salvage lymphadenectomy in recurrent PCa

Every Week the Editor-in-Chief selects an 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 discussing the paper.

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

Value of 111In-prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-radioguided surgery for salvage lymphadenectomy in recurrent prostate cancer: correlation with histopathology and clinical follow-up

Isabel Rauscher*, Charlotte Duwel, Martina Wirtz, Margret SchotteliusHans-Jurgen Wester, Kristina Schwamborn§, Bernhard Haller, Markus Schwaiger*, Jurgen E. Gschwend, Matthias Eiber* and Tobias Maurer

 

*Departments of Nuclear Medicine, Urology, Technical University of Munich, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Institute of Pharmaceutical Radiochemistry, Technical University of Munich, Garching, §Department of Pathology, and Institute of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Technical University of Munich, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany

 

How to Cite

Rauscher, I., Düwel, C., Wirtz, M., Schottelius, M., Wester, H.-J., Schwamborn, K., Haller, B., Schwaiger, M., Gschwend, J. E., Eiber, M. and Maurer, T. (2017), Value of 111In-prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-radioguided surgery for salvage lymphadenectomy in recurrent prostate cancer: correlation with histopathology and clinical follow-up. BJU International, 120: 40–47. doi: 10.1111/bju.13713

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the use of 111In-labelled prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-I&T-based radioguided surgery (111In-PSMA-RGS) for salvage surgery in recurrent prostate cancer (PCa) using comparison of intra-operative gamma probe measurements with histopathological results of dissected specimens. In addition, to determine the success of 111In-PSMA-RGS with regard to postoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) responses, PCa-specific treatment-free survival rates and postoperative complication rates.

Patients and Methods

A total of 31 consecutive patients with localized recurrent PCa undergoing salvage surgery with PSMA-targeted radioguided surgery using a 111In-labelled PSMA ligand between April 2014 and July 2015 were retrospectively included in this study. The preoperative (interquartile range; range) median PSA level was 1.3 (0.57–2.53 ng/mL; 0.2–13.9 ng/mL). Results of ex vivo radioactivity rating (positive vs negative) of resected tissue specimens were compared with findings of postoperative histological analysis. Best PSA response without additional treatment was determined after 111In-PSMA-RGS, and salvage-surgery-related postoperative complications and PCa-specific additional treatments were recorded.

aotw-jul-2017-3-results

Results

In 30/31 patients, 111In-PSMA-RGS allowed intra-operative identification of metastatic lesions. In total, 145 surgical specimens were removed and 51 showed metastatic involvement at histological analysis. According to 111In-PSMA-RGS ex vivo measurements, 48 specimens were correctly classified as metastatic and 87 as cancer-free, four were false-negative and six were false-positive compared with histological evaluation. Follow-up information was available for 30/31 patients. PSA declines of >50% and >90% were observed in 23/30 patients and in 16/30 patients, respectively. In 18/30 patients, a PSA decline to <0.2 ng/mL was observed. In 10/30 patients further PCa-specific treatment was given after a median (range) of 125 (48–454) days post-111In-PSMA-RGS. The remaining 20 patients remained treatment-free at a median (range) follow-up of 337 (81–591) days. Of 30 patients, 10 presented with surgery-related complications (Clavien–Dindo grade 1, n = 6, Clavien–Dindo grade 3b, n = 4).

Conclusion

111In-PSMA-RGS proved to be of high value for intra-operative detection of even small metastatic lesions in patients with PCa scheduled for salvage lymphadenectomy. It allows the exact localization and resection of metastatic tissue during 111In-PSMA-RGS and is therefore anticipated to have a beneficial influence on further disease progression; however, identification of suitable patients on the basis of PSMA-positron-emission tomography imaging as well as clinical variables is essential for satisfactory results to be obtained.

Editorial: PSMA-RS – a promising utility

There is no doubt that, in the field of prostate cancer, few recent topics have been the subject of as much captivation and discussion as prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging. The body of literature on this imaging technique, the majority on the use of 68Ga-PSMA-HBED-CC as a radiotracer, is growing unceasingly [1], and includes data to support the superior accuracy of PSMA PET/CT for lymph node staging in prostate cancer [2] and in identifying patients unlikely to benefit from radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy [3].

In the present paper, Rauscher et al. [4] present their data on the use of an 111In-PSMA-I&T tracer during salvage lymphadenectomy for recurrent prostate cancer. In a previous study by the same research group, 111In-PSMA-I&T has already proven to be a high-affinity radiotracer, with enhanced internalization efficiency compared with other molecules and significant accumulation in prostate cancer tissue [5].

In the present pilot study, salvage lymphadenectomy was performed in 31 patients with recurrent prostate cancer after primary treatment. Using intra-operative γ-probe measurements and comparing these with the histopathological results of the specimens, the authors found that these correlated well, resulting in a sensitivity of 92.3%, a specificity of 93.5% and an accuracy of 93.1%, with a positive predictive value of 88.9% and a negative predictive value of 95.6%.

These findings also translated well into PSA response after surgery. Postoperative PSA reductions of >50% were observed in 76.7% of patients and of >90% in 53.3% of patients. Further cancer-specific treatment was given to 33% of patients at a median of 125 days after surgery. The remaining patients remained free of treatment at a median follow-up of 337 days.

The study sample was relatively small and the analysis was conducted retrospectively. These are obvious drawbacks; nonetheless the intra- and postoperative results presented are promising. However, as the authors of the present paper point out, careful patient selection is important, and the follow-up period for these patients is still quite short. We will need to wait several years to compare the outcomes of this series with those reported in the literature with regard to salvage lymphadenectomy without prior PSMA PET CT. These data were recently published in a review by Heidenreich et al. [6]. They reported 5-year biochemical recurrence-free survival of 19–25% after salvage lymphadenectomy without the use of PSMA PET, and a median time to systemic treatment of 20–30 months [6].

As physicians, of course, our primary goal is to do the best for our patients. Certainly, we would like to believe that aggressively treating every single lesion made visible with this new imaging technique would be to the patient’s benefit. It is certainly tempting to chase these colourful lesions now demonstrated so nicely by PSMA PET/CT, but we owe it to ourselves as scientists to gather the facts and the evidence to determine whether or not our current course of action makes sense. PSMA PET radio-guided surgery is no exception to the rule, and only the evidence will tell what exact role this new technology is to have in the treatment of prostate cancer. A number of questions need to be addressed. Can we justify putting patients through surgical procedures with the morbidity associated with them? Do we not need to define oligometastatic disease in the molecular imaging era? Should we then start using PSMA PET in primary staging of prostate cancer patients? What of those tumours that do not express PSMA? Can this approach be offered laparoscopically or robotically?

It seems the introduction of PSMA PET has, instead of giving us all the answers, given rise to even more questions.

Nicolas Geurts,*Alastair D. Lamb,*† Nathan Lawrentschuk*†‡ and Declan G. Murphy*§¶

 

*Division of Cancer Surgery, University of Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Department of Surgery, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Heidelberg§ Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, Epworth Healthcare, and
Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia

 

How to Cite

Geurts, N., Lamb, A. D., Lawrentschuk, N. and Murphy, D. G. (2017), Prostate-specific membrane antigen radioguided surgery: a promising utility. BJU International, 120: 5–6. doi: 10.1111/bju.13838

References

 

 

Video: Value of 111In-PSMA-RGS for salvage lymphadenectomy in recurrent PCa

Value of 111In-prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-radioguided surgery for salvage lymphadenectomy in recurrent prostate cancer: correlation with histopathology and clinical follow-up

 

 

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the use of 111In-labelled prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-I&T-based radioguided surgery (111In-PSMA-RGS) for salvage surgery in recurrent prostate cancer (PCa) using comparison of intra-operative gamma probe measurements with histopathological results of dissected specimens. In addition, to determine the success of 111In-PSMA-RGS with regard to postoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) responses, PCa-specific treatment-free survival rates and postoperative complication rates.

Patients and Methods

A total of 31 consecutive patients with localized recurrent PCa undergoing salvage surgery with PSMA-targeted radioguided surgery using a 111In-labelled PSMA ligand between April 2014 and July 2015 were retrospectively included in this study. The preoperative (interquartile range; range) median PSA level was 1.3 (0.57–2.53 ng/mL; 0.2–13.9 ng/mL). Results of ex vivo radioactivity rating (positive vs negative) of resected tissue specimens were compared with findings of postoperative histological analysis. Best PSA response without additional treatment was determined after 111In-PSMA-RGS, and salvage-surgery-related postoperative complications and PCa-specific additional treatments were recorded.

Results

In 30/31 patients, 111In-PSMA-RGS allowed intra-operative identification of metastatic lesions. In total, 145 surgical specimens were removed and 51 showed metastatic involvement at histological analysis. According to 111In-PSMA-RGS ex vivo measurements, 48 specimens were correctly classified as metastatic and 87 as cancer-free, four were false-negative and six were false-positive compared with histological evaluation. Follow-up information was available for 30/31 patients. PSA declines of >50% and >90% were observed in 23/30 patients and in 16/30 patients, respectively. In 18/30 patients, a PSA decline to <0.2 ng/mL was observed. In 10/30 patients further PCa-specific treatment was given after a median (range) of 125 (48–454) days post-111In-PSMA-RGS. The remaining 20 patients remained treatment-free at a median (range) follow-up of 337 (81–591) days. Of 30 patients, 10 presented with surgery-related complications (Clavien–Dindo grade 1, n = 6, Clavien–Dindo grade 3b, n = 4).

Conclusion

111In-PSMA-RGS proved to be of high value for intra-operative detection of even small metastatic lesions in patients with PCa scheduled for salvage lymphadenectomy. It allows the exact localization and resection of metastatic tissue during 111In-PSMA-RGS and is therefore anticipated to have a beneficial influence on further disease progression; however, identification of suitable patients on the basis of PSMA-positron-emission tomography imaging as well as clinical variables is essential for satisfactory results to be obtained.

March 2017 #urojc summary: Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection with Radical Prostatectomy – Is there enough evidence for and against?

The twitter-based international urology journal club @iurojc #urojc is back with a splash after a brief hiatus. For the March 2017 #urojc, a lively discussion takes the theme of pelvic node dissection (PLND) on radical prostatectomy (RP) reviewing a timely article by Nicola Fossati et al. The paper was made available open access courtesy of European Urology @EUplatinum.

A systematic review of the literature was performed including all comparative studies of both randomized and non randomized studies, with at least one experimental and one control arm. This summarised 66 studies including more than 250.000 patients with particular focus on different extents of pelvic lymphadenectomy as proposed by the European Association of Urology. Outcome measures studied included oncological features of biochemical recurrence, development of metastases, cancer-specific survival, and overall survival. Adverse events were covered under secondary outcomes, both intra- and postoperatively observed. Finally, quality of PLND was addressed in terms of total number of nodes and total number of positive nodes. Risk of bias was assessed for all studies judging on basis of specific confounders.

The journal club ran for 48 hours from Sunday 5th march. The central question addressed is balance of benefits and drawbacks of lymph node dissection. The corresponding author of the manuscript, Steven Joniau from the University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium highlighted the role of lymph nodes in prostate cancer recurrence.

However despite this idea, the benefit of PLND is heavily scrutinized from the start. Long term data from a single centre  suggested limited benefit.

 

However PLND has since earlier times been employed as a diagnostic tool, where an optimal template (presacral in addition to extended LND) may be optimal for staging and removal of lymph nodes.

Despite the current state of evidence, PLND is frequently mentioned in the various guidelines available for prostate cancer. However the exact situations when to employ them is questioned by some participants.

The various therapeutic options for lymph node metastases also coloured the discussion.

The discussion further continued to the important issue of morbidity, and the associated question of performing an extended PLND (ePLND).

Despite the current state of evidence, PLND is frequently mentioned in the various guidelines available for prostate cancer. However the exact situations when to employ them is questioned by some participants.

The

The discussion further continued to the important issue of morbidity, and the associated question of performing an extended PLND (ePLND).

The increasing use of PSMA PET/CT provided other spread pattern data to be considered. And finally temporal changes in PSA testing is observed to affect the need for LND.

 

From the poll which ran during the discussion, about half responders would perform extended PLND for staging, while the rest were divided almost equally between therapeutic benefit and adherence to guideline recommendations.

Probably all participants of the discussion agrees for the need of a proper randomised study addressing role of PLND.

At the end of a busy 48 hours, the discussion had been joined by top experts in the field of prostate cancer, generated more than 200 tweets and reached more than 700 thousand impressions the world over.

Yodi Soebadi (@yodisoebadi) is an Indonesian urologist, trained at Universitas Airlangga, currently pursuing doctoral research at KU Leuven in Belgium.

 

Article of the Month: Gleason Grading in the Spotlight

Every Month the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Month 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 Klaus Brasso, discussing his paper.

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

The impact of the 2005 International Society of Urological Pathology consensus guidelines on Gleason grading – a matched pair analysis

Kasper D. Berg*, Frederik B. Thomsen*, Camilla Nerstrøm*, Martin A. Røder*, Peter
Iversen*, Birgitte G. Toft, Ben Vainer† and Klaus Brasso*

 

*Department of Urology, Copenhagen Prostate Cancer Center and Department of Pathology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Objectives

To investigate whether the International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) 2005 revision of the Gleason grading system has influenced the risk of biochemical recurrence (BCR) after radical prostatectomy (RP), as the new guideline implies that some prostate cancers previously graded as Gleason score 6 (3 + 3) are now considered as 7 (3 + 4).

Patients and methods

A matched-pair analysis was conducted. In all, 215 patients with Gleason score 6 or 7 (3 + 4) prostate cancer on biopsy who underwent RP before 31 December 2005 (pre-ISUP group), were matched 1:1 by biopsy Gleason score, clinical tumour category, PSA level, and margin status to patients undergoing RP between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2011 (post-ISUP group). Patients were followed until BCR defined as a PSA level of ≥0.2 ng/mL. Risk of BCR was analysed in a competing-risk model.

JunAOTMResults

Results

The median follow-up was 9.5 years in the pre-ISUP group and 4.8 years in the post-ISUP group. The 5-year cumulative incidences of BCR were 34.0% and 13.9% in the pre-ISUP and post-ISUP groups, respectively (P < 0.001). The difference in cumulative incidence applied to both patients with Gleason score 6 (P < 0.001) and 7 (3 + 4) (P = 0.004). There was no difference in the 5-year cumulative incidence of BCR between patients with pre-ISUP Gleason score 6 and post-ISUP Gleason score 7 (3 + 4) (P = 0.34). In a multiple Cox-proportional hazard regression model, ISUP 2005 grading was a strong prognostic factor for BCR within 5 years of RP (hazard ratio 0.34; 95% confidence interval 0.22–0.54; P < 0.001).

Conclusion

The revision of the Gleason grading system has reduced the risk of BCR after RP in patients with biopsy Gleason score 6 and 7 (3 + 4). This may have consequences when comparing outcomes across studies and historical periods and may affect future treatment recommendations.

Editorial: Current Gleason score 3 + 4 = 7: has it lost its significance compared with its historical counterpart?

Berg et al. [1] report that patients classified as Gleason score 7 (3 + 4) according to the revised grading system published in 2005 are to some extent similar to patients with pre-2005 Gleason score 6, at least in terms of risk of biochemical recurrence. The logical but not necessarily correct conclusion is that current patients with Gleason score 7 on biopsy are appropriate candidates for active surveillance.

What must be kept in mind is that, using the post-2005 revised grading system, approximately 25% of men with Gleason score 3 + 4 = 7 on biopsy have either 3 + 4 = 7 with tertiary pattern 5 or >4 + 3 = 7 in the corresponding radical prostatectomy [1]. With the exception of men with a limited life expectancy, these men need definitive therapy for their potentially life-threatening cancer. Numerous studies have shown that extended biopsies, whether they are >10- or 12-core, are associated with less upgrading than sextant biopsies [2]. In the report by Berg et al. [1], the median number of cores sampled before 2005 was 6 with an interquartile range (IQR) of 6–6 compared with a median (IQR) of 10 (10–12) cores after 2005. Consequently, in their cohorts, the pre-2005 group of men with Gleason score 3 + 3 = 6 were more likely to have unsampled higher grade cancer and a correspondingly worse prognosis more closely approximating post-2005 better-sampled Gleason score 3 + 4 = 7 cancers.

Berg et al. [1] further claim that the prognostic and clinical value of Gleason score 7 has been weakened since the 2005 modifications. In fact, the revised grading system more accurately reflects prostate cancer biology than the pre-2005 Gleason system. The major consequence of the modification, as Berg et al. [3] illustrate, has been the better prognosis associated with post-2005 Gleason score 6 cancer because patterns associated with more aggressive behaviour have been shifted to Gleason score 7. Historically, a diagnosis of Gleason score 6 cancer, even at radical prostatectomy, was not as predictive of ‘good’ behaviour, and had a higher rate of progression with some men even dying from prostate cancer [4]. Currently, Gleason score 6 cancer at radical prostatectomy has a 96% cure rate at 5 years, even including cases with extraprostatic extension and positive margins [3]. Several studies have shown that post-2005 pure Gleason score 6 cancers at radical prostatectomy are incapable of metastasizing to lymph nodes [4]. Berg et al. are correct, however, that men with a post-2005 grade of Gleason Score 3 + 4 = 7 have a better prognosis than those graded prior to 2005. As a consequence, it has been recommended that pathologists should record the percent pattern 4 in cases with Gleason score 7 on biopsy for men being considered for active surveillance [5]. For the appropriate patient, depending on age, comorbidity, extent of cancer, MRI findings, patient desire, etc., could be a candidate for active surveillance with Gleason score 3 + 4 = 7 if the pattern 4 is limited. Currently, this information is not transparent in most pathology reports.

A new grading system, first proposed in BJUI by this author, and verified in a large multi-institutional study, resulted in a simplified five-grade group system that more accurately reflects the biology of prostate cancer than the pre-2005 grading system [3, 6]. Men with Gleason score 6 cancers need to be reassured that their cancer is the lowest grade that is currently assigned, despite Gleason scores ranging from 2 to 10. In addition, I have talked to some patients with Gleason score 3 + 4 = 7 who think that they are going to die in the near future because their score of 7 was closer to highest grade of 10 than the lowest grade of 2. With the new grading system, patients can be reassured that they have a Grade group 1 (3 + 3 = 6) out of 5, which is the lowest grade, or a Grade group 2 (Gleason score 3 + 4 = 7) out of 5, which is still a relatively low grade.

Jonathan I. Epstein
Departments of Pathology, Urology and Oncology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA

 

References

 

 

 

3 Epstein JI, Zelefsky MJ, Sjoberg DD et al. A contemporary prostate cancer grading system: a validated alternative to Gleason score. Eur Urol 2016; 69: 42835

 

4 RossHM, Kryvenko ON, Cowan JE, Simko JP, Wheeler TM, Epstein JI. Dadenocarcinomas of the prostate with Gleason score (GS) 6have thpotential to metastasize to lymph nodes? Am J Surg Pathol 2012; 36: 134652

 

5 Kryvenko ON, Epstein JI. Prostate cancer grading: a decade after the 2005 modied Gleason grading system. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2016; [Epub ahead of print]

 

6 Pierorazio PM, Walsh PW, Partin AW, Epstein JI. Prognostic Gleason grade grouping: data based on the modied Gleason scoring system. BJU Int 2013; 111: 75360

 

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