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Article of the Week: Impact of dutasteride/tamsulosin combination therapy on sexual function in men with LUTS secondary to BPH

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.

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

A prospective randomised placebo‐controlled study of the impact of dutasteride/tamsulosin combination therapy on sexual function domains in sexually active men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

 

Claus G. Roehrborn*, Michael J. Manyak, Juan Manuel Palacios-MorenoTimothy H. Wilson§, Erik P.M. Roos, Javier Cambronero Santos**, Dimitrios Karanastasis††Janet Plastino‡‡, Francois Giuliano§§ and Raymond C. Rosen¶¶

 

*Department of Urology, University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Washington, DC, USA, GSK, Madrid, Spain, §PAREXEL International, Durham, NC, USA, Antonius Ziekenhuis Sneek, Sneek, The Netherlands, **Hospital Universitario Infanta Leonor, Madrid, Spain, ††Urologic Clinic, General Hospital of Athens Elpis, Athens, Greece, ‡‡GSK, Collegeville, PA,USA, §§Neuro-Urology R. Poincare Hospital AP-HP, Garches, UMR1179 Inserm-UVSQ-Paris Saclay University, Paris, France, France, and ¶¶New England Research Institutes,nWatertown, MA, USA

 

Abstract

Objective

To prospectively assess the impact of the fixed‐dose combination (FDC) of the 5α‐reductase inhibitor (5ARI), dutasteride 0.5 mg and the α1‐adrenoceptor antagonist, tamsulosin 0.4 mg (DUT‐TAM FDC) therapy on sexual function domain scores in sexually active men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), using the Men’s Sexual Health Questionnaire (MSHQ).

Patients and Methods

This European and Australian double‐blind, placebo‐controlled, parallel‐group study was conducted at 51 centres. Inclusion criteria: age ≥50 years, International Prostate Symptom Score ≥12, prostate volume ≥30 cc, prostate‐specific antigen 1.5–10 ng/mL. Patients were randomised 1:1 to DUT‐TAM FDC therapy or placebo for 12 months. The change from baseline to Month 12 on the total MSHQ (primary endpoint) and MSHQ erection, ejaculation and satisfaction domains (secondary outcome) was assessed, using a mixed model repeated measures analysis. Safety was evaluated.

Results

The intention‐to‐treat population included 489 patients (243 DUT‐TAM FDC therapy; 246 placebo). A significant decrease (worsening) was observed with DUT‐TAM FDC therapy versus placebo on the total MSHQ score (−8.7 vs −0.7; standard error [se]: 0.81, 0.78; P < 0.001), and the ejaculation (−7.5 vs −0.6; se: 0.56, 0.55; P < 0.001) and satisfaction (−0.6 vs +0.3; se: 0.3, 0.29, P = 0.047) domains, but not the erection domain (−1.0 vs −0.5; se: 0.19, 0.19, P = 0.091).

Conclusion

This is the first domain‐specific quantitative evaluation of DUT‐TAM FDC therapy on sexual function in men with LUTS secondary to BPH. The observed changes in the MSHQ with DUT‐TAM FDC therapy were mainly driven by changes in the ejaculation domain. These findings will help give context to erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction AEs reported spontaneously in earlier 5ARI studies.

Editorial: Sexual function in patients undergoing combination treatment with α1‐adrenoceptor antagonists and 5α‐reductase inhibitors – a step forward in a still‐open debate

Combination treatment with α1‐adrenoceptor antagonists and 5α‐reductase inhibitors (5ARIs) is recommended in men with moderate‐to‐severe LUTS and risk of disease progression 12. These drugs can improve symptoms as well as urodynamic markers of BOO 34. Despite the clinical benefits, the potential negative impact of these drugs on sexual function is of major concern, and may be cause for treatment discontinuation. Additionally, in everyday clinical practice, the incidence of sexually‐related adverse events is often perceived to be higher than that reported in clinical trials, and clinicians may consequently be reluctant to prescribe these drugs in younger, sexually active patients 5. Evidence from the literature in this area, however, is low‐level, controversial and inconclusive. Notably, in most clinical studies on combination treatment, assessment of sexual function is based only on the reported incidence of sexually‐related adverse events; a non‐quantitative method that can be biased by the subjective burden of suffering, by a patient’s misinterpretation of symptoms and his propensity to mention them during follow‐up visits.

Roehrborn et al. 1 investigated the impact of a fixed‐dose combination of the 5ARI dutasteride 0.5 mg and the α1‐adrenoceptor antagonist tamsulosin 0.4 mg therapy on sexual function in sexually active men with LUTS, secondary to BPH 1. The authors designed a prospective, randomized, placebo‐controlled study and adopted, for the first time in this setting, the Men’s Sexual Health Questionnaire (MSHQ). Overall, 489 patients, with a mean age of 65.5 years, an IPSS ≥12 and a prostate volume ≥30 mL were randomized to receive combination therapy (= 243) or placebo (= 246) for 12 months. Change in sexual function from baseline to month 12, as measured by a change in total MSHQ score, was the primary endpoint of the study. Change from baseline in the MSHQ erection, ejaculation and satisfaction domain scores were among the secondary endpoints. The authors found a statistically significant decrease in the total MSHQ score in the active treatment group compared with placebo at all post‐treatment visits (months 1,3, 6, 9 and 12), indicating a worsening of sexual function 1. The magnitude of the total MSHQ reduction was greater at month 6 and remained substantially unchanged beyond this time point. This change was driven largely by the change in the score for the ejaculatory domain, which showed a similar temporal trend. Changes in terms of the overall satisfaction domain, although statistically significant, were judged to be numerically small and therefore unlikely to be clinically relevant. Changes in terms of erectile domain score were not statistically significant.

The major methodological strength of this study was the adoption of the MSHQ, a clinically validated questionnaire designed to assess quantitatively multiple domains of sexual function, namely erectile function, ejaculatory function and sexual satisfaction. Findings are relevant from both a pathophysiological and clinical viewpoint. Indeed, the temporal trend that characterizes the deterioration of ejaculatory function and therefore the total MSHQ score implies the involvement of both drugs in this process. From a clinical point of view the study provides additional data to counsel patients requiring combination therapy about the deleterious effects on sexual function and particularly on ejaculatory function. The main limitations of the study, as acknowledged by the authors, is the lack of long‐term follow‐up. Indeed, a recent meta‐analysis showed a positive correlation between duration of therapy with 5ARIs and incidence of sexual dysfunction, with long‐term exposure (≥1 year) being associated with a significantly higher risk 6. Consequently, conclusive data about erectile function cannot be drawn based on the results from the present 1‐year‐long study. Additionally, the authors do not report on possible changes in sexual desire. This aspect deserves future investigation as the risk of decreased libido has been reported to be statistically significant in patients assuming therapy with 5ARIs 6. Finally, results from clinical trials do not always correspond to everyday clinical practice, as patient selection for therapies in the real world is often different with respect to inclusion criteria adopted in clinical trials. Specifically, patients who receive therapy with 5ARIs (alone or in combination) in everyday clinical practice are often older than the patients who were enrolled in the present study and in other clinical trials and therefore may have comorbidities that could contribute to the development of sexual side effects during treatment 5.

Ferdinando Fusco and Massimiliano Creta
Department of Neurosciences, Human Reproduction and Odontostomatology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy

 

References

 

  • Roehrborn CG, Manyak MJ, Palacios‐Moreno JM et al. A prospective randomised placebo‐controlled study of the impact of dutasteride/tamsulosin combination therapy on sexual function domains in sexually active men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)BJU Int 2018121: 647–58

 

  • Gratzke C, Bachmann A, Descazeaud A et al. EAU guidelines on the assessment of non‐neurogenic male lower urinary tract symptoms including benign prostatic obstructionEur Urol201567: 1099–109

 

  • Fusco F, Creta M, Imperatore V et al. Benign prostatic obstruction relief in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic enlargement undergoing endoscopic surgical procedures or therapy with alpha‐blockers: a review of urodynamic studiesAdv Ther201734: 773–83

 

  • Matsukawa Y, Takai S, Funahashi Y et al. Effects of withdrawing α1‐blocker from combination therapy with α1‐blocker and 5α‐reductase inhibitor in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective and comparative trial using urodynamicsJ Urol 2017198: 905–12

 

  • Fusco F, Arcaniolo D, Creta M et al. Demographic and comorbidity profile of patients with lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia in a real‐life clinical setting: Are 5‐alpha‐reductase inhibitor consumers different? World J Urol 201533: 685–9

 

  • Liu L, Zhao S, Li F et al. Effect of 5α‐reductase inhibitors on sexual function: a meta‐analysis and systematic review of randomized controlled trialsJ Sex Med 201613: 1297–310

 

Residents’ Podcast: Long term follow up of erectile dysfunction after RP using nerve grafts

 Jesse Ory, Kyle Lehmann and Jeff Himmelman

Department of Urology, Dalhousie University
Halifax, NS, Canada

Abstract

Objective

To study a novel penile reinnervation technique using four sural nerve grafts and end-to-side neurorraphies connecting bilaterally the femoral nerve and the cavernous corpus and the femoral nerve and the dorsal penile nerves.

Patients and Methods

Ten patients (mean [± sd; range] age 60.3 [± 4.8; 54–68] years), who had undergone radical prostatectomy (RP) at least 2 years previously, underwent penile reinnervation in the present study. Four patients had undergone radiotherapy after RP. All patients reported satisfactory sexual activity prior to RP. The surgery involved bridging of the femoral nerve to the dorsal nerve of the penis and the inner part of the corpus cavernosum with sural nerve grafts and end-to-side neurorraphies. Patients were evaluated using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire and pharmaco-penile Doppler ultrasonography (PPDU) preoperatively and at 6, 12 and 18 months postoperatively, and using a Clinical Evolution of Erectile Function (CEEF) questionnaire, administered after 36 months.

Results

The IIEF scores showed improvements with regard to erectile dysfunction (ED), satisfaction with intercourse and general satisfaction. Evaluation of PPDU velocities did not reveal any difference between the right and left sides or among the different time points. The introduction of nerve grafts neither caused fibrosis of the corpus cavernosum, nor reduced penile vascular flow. CEEF results showed that sexual intercourse began after a mean of 13.7 months with frequency of sexual intercourse varying from once daily to once monthly. Acute complications were minimal. The study was limited by the small number of cases.

Conclusions

A total of 60% of patients were able to achieve full penetration, on average, 13 months after reinnervation surgery. Patients previously submitted to radiotherapy had slower return of erectile function. We conclude that penile reinnervation surgery is a viable technique, with effective results, and could offer a new treatment method for ED after RP.

Article of the Week: LAPPRO trial – Oncological and Functional Outcomes 1 Year after RP for Very-Low-Risk 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 from Dr. Stefan Carlsson, Dr. Anna Wallerstedt and Dr Rodolfo Sanchez, discussing their paper.

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

Oncological and functional outcomes 1 year after radical prostatectomy for very-low-risk prostate cancer: results from the prospective LAPPRO trial

Stefan Carlsson*, Fredrik Jaderling, Anna Wallerstedt*, Tommy NybergJohan Stranne§
, Thordis Thorsteinsdottir, Sigrid V. Carlsson**, Anders Bjartell††Jonas Hugosson§, Eva Haglind‡‡ and Gunnar Steineck,§§

 

*Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Section of Urology, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Section of Radiology, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Oncology and Pathology, Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, §Department of Urology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Iceland, **Department of Surgery (Urology Service), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA, ††Department of Urology, Skane University Hospital, Lund University, Lund‡‡ Department of Surgery, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and §§Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

 

Carlsson-et-al-infographic-cropped

 

Click on image for full size infographic

 

Objectives

To analyse oncological and functional outcomes 12 months after treatment of very-low-risk prostate cancer with radical prostatectomy in men who could have been candidates for active surveillance.

Patients and Methods

We conducted a prospective study of all men with very-low-risk prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy at one of 14 participating centres. Validated patient questionnaires were collected at baseline and after 12 months by independent healthcare researchers. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) was defined as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ≥0.25 ng/mL or treatment with salvage radiotherapy or with hormones. Urinary continence was defined as <1 pad changed per 24 h. Erectile function was defined as ability to achieve erection hard enough for penetration more than half of the time after sexual stimulation. Changes in tumour grade and stage were obtained from pathology reports. We report descriptive frequencies and proportions of men who had each outcome in various subgroups. Fisher’s exact test was used to assess differences between the age groups.

AugAOTW3Results

Results

Of the 4003 men in the LAPPRO cohort, 338 men fulfilled the preoperative national criteria for very-low-risk prostate cancer. Adverse pathology outcomes included upgrading, defined as pT3 or postoperative Gleason sum ≥7, which was present in 35% of the men (115/333) and positive surgical margins, which were present in 16% of the men (54/329). Only 2.1% of the men (7/329) had a PSA concentration >0.1 ng/mL 6–12 weeks postoperatively. Erectile function and urinary continence were observed in 44% (98/222) and 84% of the men (264/315), respectively, 12 months postoperatively. The proportion of men achieving the trifecta, defined as preoperative potent and continent men who remained potent and continent with no BCR, was 38% (84/221 men) at 12 months.

Conclusions

Our prospective study of men with very-low-risk prostate cancer undergoing open or robot-assisted radical prostatectomy showed that there were favourable oncological outcomes in approximately two-thirds. Approximately 40% did not have surgically induced urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction 12 months postoperatively. These results provide additional support for the use of active surveillance in men with very-low-risk prostate cancer; however, the number of men with risk of upgrading and upstaging is not negligible. Improved stratification is still urgently needed.

Editorial: Management Dilemmas in Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed solid organ tumour and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the USA. The exact path of these tumours from inception to metastasis is unclear; the same can also be said for those tumours that remain indolent. The varying genetic signatures of these tumours is the underlying determinant of the outcomes of these cancers and therein lies the key to selecting patients that do and do not need treatment for their prostate cancers. Most low-risk tumours are relatively indolent; however, some low-risk tumours have the potential to metastasise and cause mortality. The problem is that currently we do not have the ability to accurately and confidently determine the tumour’s individual risk profiles.

In the recent LAPPRO trial (LAParoscopic Prostatectomy Robot Open – a randomised, open trial of radical prostatectomy (RP) with or without lymph node dissection as part of a prospective, non-randomised, open trial comparing robot-assisted laparoscopic and open RP), the authors reported the RP results of patients with very-low-risk prostate cancer in a population-based study from Sweden compiling the results of open and laparoscopic RP over 14 centres of varying experience [1]. They reported pathological upgrading in 35% of patients and PSA recurrence in 2.1%. Functional outcomes at 1 year featured urinary continence levels of 84% and sexual potency of 44%. The overall trifecta rate at 1 year was 38%. What is important to note is that only 56% had optimal erectile function preoperatively (Sexual Health Inventory for Men score >21) and that it is unknown which patients received a full nerve preservation. Also the amount of postoperative continence and potency rehabilitation is unknown.

The results of the LAPPRO trial are not too dissimilar to data from the Medicare database publications on RP, which also take into account large populations of patients operated on at multiple institutions with variable surgical experience and volume [2]. The challenge with interpreting these data is that they often are quite variable based upon the preoperative status of the patient, type of surgery performed, surgeon experience, and institutional volumes [3]. If you compare the Medicare data or LAPPRO trial outcomes to large-volume single-surgeon series you often will see wide variances in outcomes favouring the single-surgeon experience. Single-surgeon and large-volume series have reported better outcomes often due to improved surgical experience, techniques, and outcomes overall [4].

Active surveillance is usually the primary choice for management of low- and very-low-risk prostate cancer lesions. However, some patients do still chose to undergo surgery due to personal choice, often related to the uncertainty associated with the diagnosis and the unknown risk of progression [5]. One would assume that low-risk tumours have a low risk of progression and metastasis; however, this is not always the case due to the varying genetic signature of the individual tumours. Also, recent studies have shown that in patients diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer 30–50% have non-low-risk disease harbouring intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer instead [1, 6]. This uncertainty on the part of the patient and physician can cause anxiety in patients and sometime influence their decision for treatment [7].

One would assume that patients with low- and very-low-risk patients are ideal candidates for the trifecta due to low tumour aggressiveness and volume. However, many factors influence patient outcome beyond the characteristics of the tumour. Preoperative features such as co-morbidities and pre-existing sexual dysfunction or incontinence are influential. Operative and postoperative factors include: surgeon experience, institutional volume, patients body habitus, number of prior biopsies, the ability to fully spare the nerves, and various other challenges during surgery. These are all variables that must be considered when projecting the success of surgical intervention.

While the results of surgery in the LAPPRO trial were not encouraging for surgery, we do have to take the results in context and not apply them broadly or globally without some thought. The results are blurred by combining open and laparoscopic RP, many patients were not optimal candidates’ preoperatively for the trifecta, many did not have a full nerve preservation and also many different institutions with varying levels of surgeon experience are analysed. This population was also ‘captive’, as they had to choose surgeons in their own locality, these ‘local’ surgeons may not have had the necessary experience or technique to achieve optimal outcomes. The conclusion that can be drawn is that if you sample a broad population of surgeons then the results are often quite poor due to the varying levels of skill of the surgeon and the varying level of surgical volume and experience. What the patients should glean from this is the fact that they should consider active surveillance for these types of tumours to avoid the associated morbidity. In addition, if they were to seek therapy they should select centres with higher surgical experience and proven outcomes.

For those patients that have low-risk tumours and seek treatment; judicious counselling of expectations must be performed by their healthcare advocate. Both the patient and physician must take the responsibility in making the correct assumptions and decisions. The physician must re-emphasise the available data and the low likelihood of progression in these tumours adding some caution from the fact that some of these may be upgraded. Patients must be given accurate data in the correct context. Most patients who have treatment for prostate cancer whether it be radiation, ablation or removal have a high chance of some deficit in the quality of life, functional recovery of urinary continence, and sexual potency. Educating the patient and managing realistic expectations is often the most important factor in patient satisfaction. Patients must take into account their own preoperative medical and functional status to properly stratify expectations.

If these patients after appropriate counselling are still intent to undergo surgery they should consider seeking centres with high-volume and individualised surgeons with proven quality outcomes. Large-volume single-surgeon series do show improvements in the trifecta outcomes [4]. However, none have shown perfect trifecta rates. No matter what method of treatment patients chose there would be some varying level of loss of functional outcome. The balance between cancer progression and quality of life must be weighted. For low-risk patients, we need to have a better road map of the genetic signatures of their tumour and only then will we be able to confidently tell our patients who will and who will not have the potential to harbour high-risk disease and potentially have mortality from the tumour. Until we are able to confidently deliver this information to the patient, many with low-risk disease will still seek treatment and endanger their quality of life. The recent increase in the availability of biomarkers to examine prostate biopsy specimens for risk stratification is encouraging, yet still in its infancy. Further study of these biomarkers will enhance our ability to read the genetic signature of prostate cancers at an early state and more appropriately risks stratify our patients.

The LAPPRO trial supports active surveillance as the primary choice for low- and very-low-risk tumours. However, their results are exclusive to their patient population and level of surgical experience. A similar trial with a high-volume experienced surgeon would undoubtedly show more optimistic results. Managing reasonable expectations, risk stratification, and picking expertise and experience, often makes the difference between a good and poor outcome.

 

Vipul R. Patel*† and Hariharan Palayapalayam Ganapathi*
*Global Robotics Institute, Florida Hospital Celebration Health, and University of Central Florida School of Medicine, Orlando, FL, USA

 

References

 

 

Video: LAPPRO trial – Oncological and Functional Outcomes 1 Year after RP for Very-Low-Risk PCa

Oncological and functional outcomes 1 year after radical prostatectomy for very-low-risk prostate cancer: results from the prospective LAPPRO trial

Stefan Carlsson*, Fredrik Jaderling, Anna Wallerstedt*, Tommy NybergJohan Stranne§
, Thordis Thorsteinsdottir, Sigrid V. Carlsson**, Anders Bjartell††Jonas Hugosson§, Eva Haglind‡‡ and Gunnar Steineck,§§

 

*Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Section of Urology, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Section of Radiology, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Oncology and Pathology, Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, §Department of Urology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Iceland, **Department of Surgery (Urology Service), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA, ††Department of Urology, Skane University Hospital, Lund University, Lund‡‡ Department of Surgery, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and §§Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

 

Objectives

To analyse oncological and functional outcomes 12 months after treatment of very-low-risk prostate cancer with radical prostatectomy in men who could have been candidates for active surveillance.

Patients and Methods

We conducted a prospective study of all men with very-low-risk prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy at one of 14 participating centres. Validated patient questionnaires were collected at baseline and after 12 months by independent healthcare researchers. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) was defined as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ≥0.25 ng/mL or treatment with salvage radiotherapy or with hormones. Urinary continence was defined as <1 pad changed per 24 h. Erectile function was defined as ability to achieve erection hard enough for penetration more than half of the time after sexual stimulation. Changes in tumour grade and stage were obtained from pathology reports. We report descriptive frequencies and proportions of men who had each outcome in various subgroups. Fisher’s exact test was used to assess differences between the age groups.

AugAOTW3Results

Results

Of the 4003 men in the LAPPRO cohort, 338 men fulfilled the preoperative national criteria for very-low-risk prostate cancer. Adverse pathology outcomes included upgrading, defined as pT3 or postoperative Gleason sum ≥7, which was present in 35% of the men (115/333) and positive surgical margins, which were present in 16% of the men (54/329). Only 2.1% of the men (7/329) had a PSA concentration >0.1 ng/mL 6–12 weeks postoperatively. Erectile function and urinary continence were observed in 44% (98/222) and 84% of the men (264/315), respectively, 12 months postoperatively. The proportion of men achieving the trifecta, defined as preoperative potent and continent men who remained potent and continent with no BCR, was 38% (84/221 men) at 12 months.

Conclusions

Our prospective study of men with very-low-risk prostate cancer undergoing open or robot-assisted radical prostatectomy showed that there were favourable oncological outcomes in approximately two-thirds. Approximately 40% did not have surgically induced urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction 12 months postoperatively. These results provide additional support for the use of active surveillance in men with very-low-risk prostate cancer; however, the number of men with risk of upgrading and upstaging is not negligible. Improved stratification is still urgently needed.

Article of the Week: NSAID use and ED risk

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. Darshan Patel, discussing his paper.

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

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use is not associated with erectile dysfunction risk: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial

 

Darshan P. Patel, Jeannette M. Schenk*, Amy Darke, Jeremy B. Myers, William O. Brant and James M. Hotaling

 

Division of Urology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, *Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, and SWOG Statistical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA

 

Objective

To evaluate the associations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use with risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), considering the indications for NSAID use.

Patients and Methods

We analysed data from 4 726 men in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) without evidence of ED at baseline. Incident ED was defined as mild/moderate (decrease in normal function) or severe (absence of function). Proportional hazards models were used to estimate the covariate-adjusted associations of NSAID-related medical conditions and time-dependent NSAID use with ED risk.

AOTWMar3

Results

Arthritis (hazard ratio [HR] 1.56), chronic musculoskeletal pain (HR 1.35), general musculoskeletal complaints (HR 1.36), headaches (HR 1.44), sciatica (HR 1.50) and atherosclerotic disease (HR 1.60) were all significantly associated with an increased risk of mild/moderate ED, while only general musculoskeletal complaints (HR 1.22), headaches (HR 1.47) and atherosclerotic disease (HR 1.60) were associated with an increased risk of severe ED. Non-aspirin NSAID use was associated with an increased risk of mild/moderate ED (HR 1.16; P = 0.02) and aspirin use was associated with an increased risk of severe ED (HR 1.16; P = 0.03, respectively). The associations of NSAID use with ED risk were attenuated after controlling for indications for NSAID use.

Conclusions

The modest associations of NSAID use with ED risk in the present cohort were probably attributable to confounding indications for NSAID use. NSAID use was not associated with ED risk.

Editorial: PCPT May Exculpate COX Blockers in Erectile Dysfunction

NSAIDs are one of the most commonly used medications classes in the USA. Despite their ubiquity, they remain controversial. The withdrawal of the selective cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor Rofecoxib in 2004 was a low point, culminating in a >$4.85 billion dollar (American dollars) settlement by Merck Pharmaceuticals. More recently, in July 2015 the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened a ‘black box warning’ (warning that appears on the package insert) on all NSAIDs for increased risks of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure (www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety). Given common vascular pathways in erectile dysfunction (ED) and heart disease, detrimental effects on sexual health have long been suspected as well. This month’s issue of BJUI provides a new perspective on this relationship and may help exculpate these common drugs [1].

It is thought that the cardiovascular risk of NSAIDs arises from inhibition of the COX-arachidonic acid synthesis pathway, which produces important mediators (e.g. eicosanoids like prostacyclin and various prostaglandin subtypes) for inflammation, vascular tone, and vascular permeability [2]. Given that many of the same chemical mediators affect erectile physiology, it is not surprising that a previous study of 80 966 men showed an association between NSAID use and ED after accounting for age, race, and comorbidities [3].

In ‘Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use not associated with erectile dysfunction risk …’, Patel et al. [1] show that this risk may not be what it once seemed. They assess the risk of developing ED for men in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) after first reported NSAID use. There is a small but statistically significant and consistent relationship between initiation of NSAID use and ED. Curiously, the association of NSAIDs with ED disappeared once they controlled for the indications for NSAID use such as arthritis, chronic pain, headaches, and cardiovascular disease. This finding makes sense: common indications for NSAIDs, like arthritis, headaches, and chronic musculoskeletal pain, may indicate an underlying sedentary lifestyle or chronic inflammatory conditions, both imputed in ED [4]. As such, this study design provides key epidemiological inference on the causal links between inflammation, lifestyle, and ED. It may be these factors, not NSAIDs themselves, which account for the previously shown association with ED.

With that said, epidemiological assessment of eicosanoid-mediated effects on ED may require further study. For example, NSAID-mediated downregulation of endothelial signalling molecules could produce a short-lived, but clinically significant effect on cavernosal blood supply. Alternatively, ED may only arise in the setting of chronic downregulation of affected pathways. Epidemiological studies characterising the relationship between NSAID use and ED should therefore assess the amount and duration of NSAIDs use, as well as the quality and timing of erections relative to use. Basic research may also help elucidate this relationship. Earlier studies have assessed cavernosal endothelial concentrations of these same vascular mediators in diabetic animal models [5]. In a similar fashion in vivo assessment of COX-derived mediators using animal models could further characterise the vascular pathways involved in erection and the effects of NSAID use.

Patel et al. [1] add a valuable contribution to the study of NSAIDs and ED. Their finding that NSAID-induced effects on ED disappear when controlling for the indications of NSAID, may support the inflammatory hypothesis of ED. But as others have noted, there is an intrinsic difficulty in retrospectively assessing the complex, multifactorial causes of sexual dysfunction [6]. Future studies on the amount and timing of NSAID use, paired with biochemical studies of vascular mediators in the cavernosal endothelium in NSAID users, may allow for even more nuanced characterisation of the effects of COX inhibition on erectile function. While logistically challenging, such studies could provide the key evidence for assessing the vascular pathways underlying ED and their relationship with NSAIDs.

Alexander P. Cole, Jeffrey J. Leow, and Quoc-Dien Trinh
Center for Surgery and Public Health, Division of Urology, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

 

References

 

1 Patel DP, Schenk JM, Darke A, Myers JB, Brant WO, Hotaling JMNon-steroidal anti-inammatory drug use not associated with erectile dysfunction risk: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. BJU Int 2016; 117: 5006

 

2 Antman EM, DeMets D, Loscalzo J. Cyclooxygenase inhibition and cardiovascular risk. Circulation 2005; 112: 75970

 

3 Gleason JM, Slezak JM, Jung H et al. Regular nonsteroidal anti- inammatory drug use and erectile dysfunction. J Urol 2011; 185: 138893

 

4 Vlachopoulos C, Rokkas K, Ioakeimidis N, Stefanadis C.Inammation, metabolic syndrome, erectile dysfunction, and coronary artery disease: common links. Eur Urol 2007; 52: 1590600

 

5 Sullivan M, Thompson CS, Mikhailidis DP, Morgan RJ, Angelini GDJeremy JY. Differential alterations of prostacyclin, cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP formation in the corpus cavernosum of the diabetic rabbit. Br Urol 1998; 82: 57884

 

6 Lombardi G, Musco S, Kessler TM, Li Marzi V, Lanciotti MDel Popolo G. Management of sexual dysfunction due to central nervous system disorders: a systematic review. BJU Int 2015; 115(Suppl.6): 4756

 

Video: NSAID use is not associated with erectile dysfunction risk

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use is not associated with erectile dysfunction risk: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial

Darshan P. Patel, Jeannette M. Schenk*, Amy Darke, Jeremy B. Myers, William O. Brant and James M. Hotaling

 

Division of Urology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, *Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, and SWOG Statistical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA

 

Objective

To evaluate the associations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use with risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), considering the indications for NSAID use.

Patients and Methods

We analysed data from 4 726 men in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) without evidence of ED at baseline. Incident ED was defined as mild/moderate (decrease in normal function) or severe (absence of function). Proportional hazards models were used to estimate the covariate-adjusted associations of NSAID-related medical conditions and time-dependent NSAID use with ED risk.

AOTWMar3

Results

Arthritis (hazard ratio [HR] 1.56), chronic musculoskeletal pain (HR 1.35), general musculoskeletal complaints (HR 1.36), headaches (HR 1.44), sciatica (HR 1.50) and atherosclerotic disease (HR 1.60) were all significantly associated with an increased risk of mild/moderate ED, while only general musculoskeletal complaints (HR 1.22), headaches (HR 1.47) and atherosclerotic disease (HR 1.60) were associated with an increased risk of severe ED. Non-aspirin NSAID use was associated with an increased risk of mild/moderate ED (HR 1.16; P = 0.02) and aspirin use was associated with an increased risk of severe ED (HR 1.16; P = 0.03, respectively). The associations of NSAID use with ED risk were attenuated after controlling for indications for NSAID use.

Conclusions

The modest associations of NSAID use with ED risk in the present cohort were probably attributable to confounding indications for NSAID use. NSAID use was not associated with ED risk.

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