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Article of the week: Prostate biopsy: shaking up the old standard

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

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

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

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

Outcomes of transperineal template-guided prostate biopsy in 409 patients

James L. Symons*, Andrew Huo*, Carlo L. Yuen‡§, Anne-Maree Haynes*, Jayne Matthews, Robert L. Sutherland*, Phillip Brenner‡§ and Phillip D. Stricker†‡§

*Cancer Research Programme, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent’s Prostate Cancer Centre, Department of Urology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, and §Department of Urology, St. Vincent’s Clinic, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia

OBJECTIVE

• To present the template-guided transperineal prostate biopsy (TPB) outcomes for patients of two urologists from a single institution.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

• We conducted a prospective study of 409 consecutive men who underwent TPB between December 2006 and June 2008 in a tertiary referral centre using a standardized 14-region technique.

• The procedure was performed as day surgery under general anaesthesia with fluoroquinolone antibiotic cover.

• Follow-up took place within 2 weeks, during which time men were interviewed using a standardized template.

• Results were compared with those of the Australian national prostate biopsy audits performed by the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ).

RESULTS

• Indications for biopsy included elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level (75%), with a median PSA level of 6.5 ng/mL, abnormal digital rectal examination (8%) and active surveillance (AS) re-staging (18%).

• The mean patient age was 63 years and two-thirds of patients were undergoing their first biopsy.

• A positive biopsy was found in 232 men, 74% of whom had a Gleason score of ≥7. The overall cancer detection rate was 56.7% (USANZ 2005 national audit = 56.5%). Stratified between those having their first TPB or a repeat procedure (after a previous negative biopsy), the detection rates were 64.4 and 35.6%, respectively. Significantly higher detection rates were found in prostates <50 mL in volume than in larger prostates (65.2 vs 38.3%, respectively, P < 0.001).

• Haematuria was the most common side effect (51.7%). Others included dysuria (16.4%), acute urinary retention (4.2%) and fever (3.2%). One patient (0.2%) had septicaemia requiring i.v. antibiotics.

• Repeat biopsy was not associated with increased complication rates.

CONCLUSIONS

• TPB is a safe and efficacious technique, with a cancer detection rate of 56.7% in the present series, and a low incidence of major side effects. Stratified by prostate volume, the detection rate of TPB was higher in smaller glands.

• Given the relatively low rate of serious complications, clinicians could consider increasing the number of TPB biopsy cores in larger prostates as a strategy to improve cancer detection within this group. Conversely, in patients on AS programmes, a staging TPB may be a superior approach for patients undergoing repeat biopsy so as to minimize their risk of serious infection.

Editorial: Contemplate the template: a new prostate biopsy approach

Transperineal magnetic resonance imaging – ultrasound fusion targeted biopsies (MRI-US FTB) of the prostate: the future of prostate diagnostics

The prostate cancer diagnostic pathway has remained unchanged for 25 years. At best, laterally directed, peripheral zone (PZ) 12-core transrectal biopsies identify cancer in 44% of cases [1] but transrectal biopsies have an inherent sampling error with a risk of misdiagnosis or mischaracterisation of disease. Of those with negative biopsies who undergo transperineal (TP) biopsies, 30% have cancer, most in the anterior PZ. Active surveillance and the promise of less invasive treatment options are becoming popular because of concerns about ‘over treatment’ for low-risk disease.

Saturation transrectal biopsies have been advocated to improve diagnostic yield but do not address the issue of under sampling of the anterior PZ, particularly in the larger gland [2]. TP biopsies can be used to address the issue of under sampling but prostate template-mapping biopsies are labour intensive and require large numbers of biopsies, often between 60 to 90 cores; however, they have been an essential component of focal therapy trials and the evaluation of novel treatment methods [3].

Primary TP biopsy is the subject of the paper published in this edition of the BJUI titled ‘Outcomes of transperineal template-guided prostate biopsy in 409 patients’ [4]. The authors report a single centre experience of primary TP biopsies. The 14-region protocol described is simpler than prostate template-mapping requiring fewer cores (median of 15 and mean of 19 cores) with a comparable primary diagnostic detection rate of 60% and an encouraging side-effect profile. Unfortunately, the approach still has limitations and the authors admit that their limited biopsy protocol may still mischaracterise disease in the larger gland. In a recent paper from the same group, there was a disappointing correlation between their TP biopsy pathology, MRI abnormalities and radical prostatectomy specimens [5]. Uncertainty prevails, the problem is how best to sample the larger gland. The authors [4] and others, often conclude that more biopsies are necessary for larger glands and resort to mapping protocols and many more biopsies. The solution may not be more biopsies but rather better systematic targeting of the PZ. The impact of hyperplasia within the transition zone (TZ) has a profound effect on PZ anatomy. In the smaller prostate, up to 30 mL, there is little TZ and the PZ is much thicker posteriorly than anteriorly, this difference is even more apparent in glands of 30–50 mL. Above 50 mL TZ expansion causes marked attenuation of the PZ, which becomes much thinner, but the overall volume of the PZ does not change. Less than 4% of cancers originate in the TZ [6], consequently biopsies should be concentrated primarily on the PZ.

The future of prostate cancer diagnosis is likely to be a combination of pre-biopsy multiparametric MRI, followed by targeted biopsies of MRI-identified lesions combined with fewer but better systematic targeted biopsies of the PZ. MRI-ultrasound (MRI-US) fusion techniques have been developed in which axial T2 images of the prostate, diffusion-weighted images and/or dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI images are ‘fused’ with the live US images to allow precise targeting of both regions of interest and the PZ. Commercially available biopsy programs, developed from brachytherapy software systems programs allow individual biopsy sites to be recorded and if combined with inking of the specimen can provide precise pathological localisation of disease within the prostate [7].

There are many potential benefits to this approach. Patients who opt for active surveillance will have an archived record of their disease at a given time to facilitate precise replication of further interval biopsies and assess progression. Improved disease management for an individual should be the aim. The suitability or not for focal or targeted therapies, the planning or boosting of identifed lesions with radiotherapy and/or brachytherapy, and the planning of nerve-sparing surgery or wide excisions should be possible. Feedback to the radiologists of both benign and malignant pathology and grade of disease will improve reporting accuracy and provide imaging sciences with the histopathological characteristics of both MRI ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ cancer to improve MRI interpretation.

MRI–US fusion targeted biopsies are a significant advance in prostate diagnostics and may resolve some uncertainty within the prostate cancer diagnostic pathway. Benefit vs cost is a recurring issue across health care and questions will continue to be asked about the use of increasingly expensive technology in such an indolent disease. The challenge for investigators will be how to prove the benefit of this approach over standard biopsy protocols and integrate this work in to clinical practice.

Richard Popert
Department of Urology, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK

Read the full article
References
  1. Presti JC, O’Dowd GL, Miller MC et al. Extended peripheral zone biopsy schemes increase cancer detection rates and minimize variance in prostate specific antigen and age related cancer rates: results of a community multi-practice study. J Urol 2003; 169:125–129
  2. Stewart CS, Leibovich BC, Weaver AL, Lieber MM. Prostate cancer diagnosis using a saturation needle biopsy technique after previous negative sextant biopsies. J Urol 2001; 166: 86–92
  3. Onik G, Barzell W. Transperineal 3D mapping biopsy of the prostate: an essential tool in selecting patients for focal prostate cancer therapy. Urol Oncol 2008; 26: 506–510
  4. Symons JL, Huo A, Yuen CL et al. Outcomes of transperineal template-guided prostate biopsy in 409 patients. BJU Int 2013; 112: 585–593
  5. Huo AS, Hossack T, Symons JL et al. Accuracy of primary systematic template guided transperineal biopsy of the prostate for locating prostate cancer: a comparison with radical prostatectomy specimens. J Urol 2012; 187: 2044–2050
  6. Patel V, Merrick GS, Allen ZA et al. The incidence of transition zone prostate cancer diagnosed by transperineal template guided mapping biopsy: implications for treatment planning. Urology 2011; 77: 1148–1152
  7. Hadaschik BA, Kuru TH, Tulea C et al. A novel stereotactic prostate biopsy system integrating pre-interventional magnetic resonance imaging and live ultrasound fusion. J Urol 2011; 186: 2214–2220

Video: Transperineal prostate biopsy: how good is the tumour detection rate?

Outcomes of transperineal template-guided prostate biopsy in 409 patients

James L. Symons*, Andrew Huo*, Carlo L. Yuen‡§, Anne-Maree Haynes*, Jayne Matthews, Robert L. Sutherland*, Phillip Brenner‡§ and Phillip D. Stricker†‡§

*Cancer Research Programme, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent’s Prostate Cancer Centre, Department of Urology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, and §Department of Urology, St. Vincent’s Clinic, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia

OBJECTIVE

• To present the template-guided transperineal prostate biopsy (TPB) outcomes for patients of two urologists from a single institution.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

• We conducted a prospective study of 409 consecutive men who underwent TPB between December 2006 and June 2008 in a tertiary referral centre using a standardized 14-region technique.

• The procedure was performed as day surgery under general anaesthesia with fluoroquinolone antibiotic cover.

• Follow-up took place within 2 weeks, during which time men were interviewed using a standardized template.

• Results were compared with those of the Australian national prostate biopsy audits performed by the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ).

RESULTS

• Indications for biopsy included elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level (75%), with a median PSA level of 6.5 ng/mL, abnormal digital rectal examination (8%) and active surveillance (AS) re-staging (18%).

• The mean patient age was 63 years and two-thirds of patients were undergoing their first biopsy.

• A positive biopsy was found in 232 men, 74% of whom had a Gleason score of ≥7. The overall cancer detection rate was 56.7% (USANZ 2005 national audit = 56.5%). Stratified between those having their first TPB or a repeat procedure (after a previous negative biopsy), the detection rates were 64.4 and 35.6%, respectively. Significantly higher detection rates were found in prostates <50 mL in volume than in larger prostates (65.2 vs 38.3%, respectively, P < 0.001).

• Haematuria was the most common side effect (51.7%). Others included dysuria (16.4%), acute urinary retention (4.2%) and fever (3.2%). One patient (0.2%) had septicaemia requiring i.v. antibiotics.

• Repeat biopsy was not associated with increased complication rates.

CONCLUSIONS

• TPB is a safe and efficacious technique, with a cancer detection rate of 56.7% in the present series, and a low incidence of major side effects. Stratified by prostate volume, the detection rate of TPB was higher in smaller glands.

• Given the relatively low rate of serious complications, clinicians could consider increasing the number of TPB biopsy cores in larger prostates as a strategy to improve cancer detection within this group. Conversely, in patients on AS programmes, a staging TPB may be a superior approach for patients undergoing repeat biopsy so as to minimize their risk of serious infection.

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