Tag Archive for: biopsy

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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

 

Video: Gleason Grading in the Spotlight

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.

Article of the Week: Using The PHI to improve Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment

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 from Mr. Robert Foley, discussing his paper.

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

Improving Multivariable Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Using The Prostate Health Index

Robert W. Foley*, Laura Gorman*, Neda Shari, Keefe Murphy§, Helen MooreAlexandra V. Tuzova**, Antoinette S. Perry**, T. Brendan Murphy§, Dara J. Lundon*†† and R. William G. Watson*

 

*Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Department of Biochemistry, Beaumont Hospital, §UCD School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, University College Dublin, **Prostate Molecular Oncology, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, and ††Department of Urology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

 

Objectives

To analyse the clinical utility of a prediction model incorporating both clinical information and a novel biomarker, p2PSA, in order to inform the decision for prostate biopsy in an Irish cohort of men referred for prostate cancer assessment.

Patients and Methods

Serum isolated from 250 men from three tertiary referral centres with pre-biopsy blood draws was analysed for total prostate-specific antigen (PSA), free PSA (fPSA) and p2PSA. From this, the Prostate Health Index (PHI) score was calculated (PHI = (p2PSA/fPSA)*√tPSA). The men’s clinical information was used to derive their risk according to the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) risk model. Two clinical prediction models were created via multivariable regression consisting of age, family history, abnormality on digital rectal examination, previous negative biopsy and either PSA or PHI score, respectively. Calibration plots, receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves and decision curves were generated to assess the performance of the three models.

AOTWMAR£

Results

The PSA model and PHI model were both well calibrated in this cohort, with the PHI model showing the best correlation between predicted probabilities and actual outcome. The areas under the ROC curve for the PHI model, PSA model and PCPT model were 0.77, 0.71 and 0.69, respectively, for the prediction of prostate cancer (PCa) and 0.79, 0.72 and 0.72, respectively, for the prediction of high grade PCa. Decision-curve analysis showed a superior net benefit of the PHI model over both the PSA model and the PCPT risk model in the diagnosis of PCa and high grade PCa over the entire range of risk probabilities.

Conclusion

A logical and standardized approach to the use of clinical risk factors can allow more accurate risk stratification of men under investigation for PCa. The measurement of p2PSA and the integration of this biomarker into a clinical prediction model can further increase the accuracy of risk stratification, helping to better inform the decision for prostate biopsy in a referral population.

Editorial: Prostate biopsy decisions: one-size-fits-all approach with total PSA is out and a multivariable approach with the PHI is in

The days of using one PSA threshold to trigger a biopsy for all men are over, and the field has moved toward a more individualized approach to prostate biopsy decisions, taking into account each patient’s specific set of risk factors. Foley et al. [1] provide compelling evidence supporting the use of the Prostate Health Index (PHI) as part of this multivariable approach to prostate biopsy decisions.

There is now a large body of evidence showing that the PHI is more specific for prostate cancer than total PSA and percent free PSA, as was concluded in a 2014 systematic review [2]. Moreover, several recent studies have confirmed the superiority of the PHI over its individual components [3, 4] and compared with other markers such as PCA3 [5], for predicting clinically significant prostate cancer.

The present new study by Foley et al. [1] builds on this literature by providing clinically useful data on the role of the PHI in prostate biopsy decisions. Specifically, they examined 250 men with elevated age-specific PSA and/or abnormal DRE who were referred for ≥12-core prostate biopsy as part of the Irish Rapid Access Clinic. The median PHI was 48.6 in men with prostate cancer, vs 33.4 in men without prostate cancer on biopsy. On receiver-operating characteristic analysis, the PHI had a higher area under the curve (AUC) for overall prostate cancer compared with total and percent free PSA (AUCs 0.71, 0.62 and 0.64, respectively), as well as for high grade prostate cancer (AUC 0.78, 0.70 and 0.67, respectively). Compared with the PHI, even the combination of total and percent free PSA had a lower AUC of 0.67 for overall prostate cancer and 0.75 for high grade prostate cancer.

Next, the authors developed a multivariable prediction model incorporating age, family history, DRE and previous biopsy history, along with either PSA or the PHI. Using the PHI in this model rather than total PSA resulted in greater predictive accuracy for the detection of overall and Gleason ≥7 disease. The PHI-based model also showed superior net benefit to the PSA-based multivariable models on decision curve analysis.

These findings are exactly what we would expect, as studies have consistently shown that the PHI outperforms PSA [2, 6]. Other groups from the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) have also integrated the PHI into multivariable risk prediction through the development of a user-friendly smartphone app called the Rotterdam Risk Calculator [7]. Because our goal is to provide each patient with the best information from which to make decisions about biopsy, it only makes sense to use the best possible combination of markers that we have.

Stacy Loeb
Department of Urology, Population Health and Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York University and Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New York, NYUSA

 

References

 

1 Foley RW, Gorman L, Shari N et al. Improving multivariable prostate cancer risk assessment using the prostate health index. BJU Int 2016; 117:40917

 

 

3 Loeb S, Sanda MG, Broyles DL et al. The prostate health index selectively identies clinically signicant prostate cancer. J Urol 2015; 193: 11639

 

 

 

 

7 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

 

Video: Improving Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Using The PHI

Improving Multivariable Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Using The Prostate Health Index

Robert W. Foley*, Laura Gorman*, Neda Shari, Keefe Murphy§, Helen MooreAlexandra V. Tuzova**, Antoinette S. Perry**, T. Brendan Murphy§, Dara J. Lundon*†† and R. William G. Watson*

 

*Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Department of Biochemistry, Beaumont Hospital, §UCD School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, University College Dublin, **Prostate Molecular Oncology, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, and ††Department of Urology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

 

Objectives

To analyse the clinical utility of a prediction model incorporating both clinical information and a novel biomarker, p2PSA, in order to inform the decision for prostate biopsy in an Irish cohort of men referred for prostate cancer assessment.

Patients and Methods

Serum isolated from 250 men from three tertiary referral centres with pre-biopsy blood draws was analysed for total prostate-specific antigen (PSA), free PSA (fPSA) and p2PSA. From this, the Prostate Health Index (PHI) score was calculated (PHI = (p2PSA/fPSA)*√tPSA). The men’s clinical information was used to derive their risk according to the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) risk model. Two clinical prediction models were created via multivariable regression consisting of age, family history, abnormality on digital rectal examination, previous negative biopsy and either PSA or PHI score, respectively. Calibration plots, receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves and decision curves were generated to assess the performance of the three models.

AOTWMAR£

Results

The PSA model and PHI model were both well calibrated in this cohort, with the PHI model showing the best correlation between predicted probabilities and actual outcome. The areas under the ROC curve for the PHI model, PSA model and PCPT model were 0.77, 0.71 and 0.69, respectively, for the prediction of prostate cancer (PCa) and 0.79, 0.72 and 0.72, respectively, for the prediction of high grade PCa. Decision-curve analysis showed a superior net benefit of the PHI model over both the PSA model and the PCPT risk model in the diagnosis of PCa and high grade PCa over the entire range of risk probabilities.

Conclusion

A logical and standardized approach to the use of clinical risk factors can allow more accurate risk stratification of men under investigation for PCa. The measurement of p2PSA and the integration of this biomarker into a clinical prediction model can further increase the accuracy of risk stratification, helping to better inform the decision for prostate biopsy in a referral population.

Article of the Month: ERSPC and PCPT risk calculators in prostate cancer risk prediction

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.

Prostate cancer risk prediction using the novel versions of the European Randomised Study for Screening of Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) and Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) risk calculators: independent validation and comparison in a contemporary European cohort

Cedric Poyet, Daan Nieboer*, Bimal Bhindi, Girish S. Kulkarni, Caroline WiederkehrMarian S. Wettstein, Remo Largo, Peter Wild, Tullio Sulser and Thomas Hermanns 

 

Department of Urology, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, *Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, and Institute of Surgical Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

 

Objectives

To externally validate and compare the two novel versions of the European Randomised Study for Screening of Prostate Cancer (ERSPC)-prostate cancer risk calculator (RC) and Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT)-RC.

Patients and Methods

All men who underwent a transrectal prostate biopsy in a European tertiary care centre between 2004 and 2012 were retrospectively identified. The probability of detecting prostate cancer and significant cancer (Gleason score ≥7) was calculated for each man using the novel versions of the ERSPC-RC (DRE-based version 3/4) and the PCPT-RC (version 2.0) and compared with biopsy results. Calibration and discrimination were assessed using the calibration slope method and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), respectively. Additionally, decision curve analyses were performed.

MarchATOM1

Results

Of 1 996 men, 483 (24%) were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 226 (11%) with significant prostate cancer. Calibration of the two RCs was comparable, although the PCPT-RC was slightly superior in the higher risk prediction range for any and significant prostate cancer. Discrimination of the ERSPC- and PCPT-RC was comparable for any prostate cancer (AUCs 0.65 vs 0.66), while the ERSPC-RC was somewhat better for significant prostate cancer (AUCs 0.73 vs 0.70). Decision curve analyses revealed a comparable net benefit for any prostate cancer and a slightly greater net benefit for significant prostate cancer using the ERSPC-RC.

Conclusions

In our independent external validation, both updated RCs showed less optimistic performance compared with their original reports, particularly for the prediction of any prostate cancer. Risk prediction of significant prostate cancer, which is important to avoid unnecessary biopsies and reduce over-diagnosis and overtreatment, was better for both RCs and slightly superior using the ERSPC-RC.

Editorial: Prostate cancer risk prediction and the persistence of uncertainty

Poyet et al. [1] have performed the largest external validation of the European Randomised Study for Screening of Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) and Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) v2.0 risk calculators (RCs) to date, having retrospectively identified 1996 men undergoing prostate biopsy in a Swiss tertiary care facility.

Asides from the validatory nature of this paper [1], there are several other findings though less novel, which are further important additions to the urological literature.

This study confirms the superior discriminative performance of multi-factorial RCs over PSA alone in the assessment of prostate cancer: where the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for the prediction of significant prostate cancer for PSA alone was 0.65, comparing less favourably than 0.73 and 0.70 for the ERSPC and PCPT v2.0 RCs, respectively.

The authors performed sensitivity analysis showing higher detection rates for prostate cancer (29.4% vs 18.1%) and significant prostate cancer (15.9% vs 5.9%) in patients receiving a 12-core biopsy than in those receiving a 6–8 core biopsy.

Supplementary analysis by the authors evaluated the performance of previous versions of the PCPT-RC, specifically v1.0 and PCPT-RC v1.0 with prostate volume. The inclusion of prostate volume demonstrated an improved predictive ability of this RC. The AUC for the prediction of significant prostate cancer using the PCPT-RC v1.0 with prostate volume was 0.74. This contrasts with the ERSPC risk tool: AUC of 0.73 (which includes a trichotomised estimation of prostate volume), and the novel PCPT-RC v2.0; AUC of 0.70 (which does not include prostate volume as a factor).

The authors conclude that the prediction of significant prostate cancer was superior using the ERSPC-RC compared with the PCPT-RC v2.0, in risk thresholds of 8–35%. Their data also shows that the PCPT-RC v2.0 offers a superior net benefit to the ERPSC-RC to a large number of men outside of this range of threshold probabilities. Their findings suggest that the older PCPT-RC v1.0 with prostate volume may offer benefits superior to both the ERSPC and PCPT v2.0 RCs.

The authors assessment of novel risk tools confirms the rationale for guidelines and consensus statements that PSA testing should not be considered on its own, but rather as part of a multivariate approach [2, 3]. This current work suggests that although calibration of risk tools is still not optimal, they offer superior discriminative ability and superior net benefit in identifying patients with significant prostate cancer. This work affirms the role for variables such as DRE, and the importance of prostate volume in addition to PSA in prostate cancer assessment.

Although further refinement of risk tools is necessary, this work encourages confidence in and should garner further traction for the routine use of such tools in the assessment and counselling of patients before prostate biopsy.

Dara J. Lundon*
*Conway Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science, University College Dublin School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin, Beleld, and Department of Urology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

 

References

 

 

Article of the week: A protocol for transperineal sector biopsies of the prostate

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 prominent members 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.

Indications, results and safety profile of transperineal sector biopsies (TPSB) of the prostate: a single centre experience of 634 cases

Lona Vyas, Peter Acher, Janette Kinsella, Ben Challacombe, Richard T.M. Chang, Paul Sturch, Declan Cahill, Ashish Chandra and Richard Popert

The Urology Centre, Guy’s Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

OBJECTIVE

• To describe a protocol for transperineal sector biopsies (TPSB) of the prostate and present the clinical experience of this technique in a UK population.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

• A retrospective review of a single-centre experience of TPSB approach was undertaken that preferentially, but not exclusively, targeted the peripheral zone of the prostate with 24–38 cores using a ‘sector plan’. Procedures were carried out under general anaesthetic in most patients.

• Between January 2007 and August 2011, 634 consecutive patients underwent TPSB for the following indications: prior negative transrectal biopsy (TRB; 174 men); primary biopsy in men at risk of sepsis (153); further evaluation after low-risk disease diagnosed based on a 12-core TRB (307).

RESULTS

• Prostate cancer was found in 36% of men after a negative TRB; 17% of these had disease solely in anterior sectors.

• As a primary diagnostic strategy, prostate cancer was diagnosed in 54% of men (median PSA level was 7.4 ng/mL).

• Of men with Gleason 3+3 disease on TRB, 29% were upgraded and went on to have radical treatment.

• Postoperative urinary retention occurred in 11 (1.7%) men, two secondary to clots. Per-urethral bleeding requiring hospital stay occurred in two men. There were no cases of urosepsis.

CONCLUSIONS

• TPSB of the prostate has a role in defining disease previously missed or under-diagnosed by TRB. The procedure has low morbidity.

 

Editorial: Is zero sepsis alone enough to justify transperineal prostate biopsy?

The landscape of infectious complications after TRUS-guided biopsy of the prostate has changed dramatically. While sepsis after TRUS-guided prostate biopsy has always been a concern for urologists performing this very common procedure, in the past couple of years a number of factors have added to these pre-existing concerns for urologists and patients alike.

First, key papers have reported the true incidence of sepsis and hospital re-admission after TRUS biopsy and have shown that these rates are increasing. Loeb et al. [1] reported that the 30-day re-admission rate in a Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare population was 6.9% and that this rate is increasing. Nam et al. [2] similarly reported a 3.5-fold increase in hospital admissions after prostate biopsy in the previous 10 years, principally attributable to infection-related complications. These reports have been replicated around the world and there is consensus that this is a growing problem.

Second, there are increasing concerns about the emergence of resistant organisms, in particular, extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL), in regions where antibiotic use has contributed to the emergence of these strains [3]. Media attention has focused on this issue and has led to increased concerns among urologists and patients alike. It has also led to a requirement for extra precautions when assessing patients for prostate biopsy such that in some regions, rectal swabs are being taken to identify ESBL-carriers ahead of time. In a contemporary series, Taylor et al. [4] report that 19% of men undergoing transrectal prostate biopsy in Canada carry ciprofloxacin-resistant coliforms in rectal swabs. The thought of passing a needle through this flora into the prostate is somewhat disturbing; rectal swabs may become mandatory when offering a TRUS-guided biopsy to any patient and should absolutely be taken if planning a TRUS biopsy in someone who has travelled to South-East Asia in the preceding 6 months.

The Bloomberg News, in a well-researched report into antibiotic use in India and the emergence of resistant strains of Escherichia coli, reported some startling statistics about the overuse of antibiotics in that country, and described how the ‘perfect storm’ of antibiotic overuse, poverty and poor sanitation (half of the country’s 1.2 billion residents defaecate in the open), is contributing to the emergence of superbugs colonizing the gut of dwellers and visitors to India [5]. It is clear that even walking through a puddle in New Delhi puts a visitor at high risk of harbouring ESBL organisms in the rectum for many months after.

In this month’s BJUI, Vyas et al. [6] describe a consecutive series of 634 patients undergoing prostate biopsy at Guy’s Hospital in London using a transperineal template-guided approach, and report a sepsis rate of zero. They also report other notable factors including a 36% cancer detection rate in men who had previously undergone transrectal prostate biopsy with no evidence of malignancy and, in men on active surveillance for Gleason 6 prostate cancer, they observed upgrading to Gleason ≥7 cancer in 29% of cases after immediate re-staging biopsy using a transperineal approach. An even larger contemporary study from Pepe et al. [7] reports zero sepsis in a consecutive series of 3000 men undergoing transperineal prostate biopsy.

It is quite impossible to imagine such large series of prostate biopsies with no episodes of sepsis if performed using a transrectal approach. The documented increasing levels of ESBL and high levels of asymptomatic gut colonization, especially for those resident or travelling through South-East Asia, mean that adequate risk assessment and counselling of patients before TRUS biopsy is more important than ever before. A careful history regarding recent antibiotic use is also essential as previous recent use of quinolones is also a risk factor for infection after a transrectal biopsy [8].

While widespread adoption of a transperineal approach to prostate biopsy would have considerable resource and logistic issues, and inevitably would not be accepted by all urologists, the rising rate of infectious complications and of resistant organisms colonizing the rectum may mean that continuing with a transrectal approach becomes too risky and therefore unacceptable to patients and clinicians alike. While a transperineal approach also appears to add value in terms of more accurate staging and also facilitates the emerging interest in MRI fusion-guided biopsies and focal therapy, zero sepsis alone may be enough to convince many that a transrectal approach should no longer be preferred.

Declan G. Murphy*, Mahesha Weerakoon and Jeremy Grummet

*Division of Cancer Surgery, University of Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, †Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, Epworth Richmond Hospital, and ‡Department of Urology, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

References

  1. Loeb S, Carter HB, Berndt SI, Ricker W, Schaeffer EM. Complications after prostate biopsy: data from SEER-Medicare. J Urol 2011; 186: 1830–1834
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