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USANZ 2018: Melbourne

G’day! The 71st  annual USANZ Congress, was held in Melbourne and had the biggest attendance on record for the past 6 years. The Urological Nurse’s congress: ANZUNS ran concurrently, encouraging multi disciplinary learning. An excellent and varied educational programme was masterminded by Declan Murphy, Nathan Lawrentschuk and their organising committee. Melbourne provided a great backdrop and soon felt like home with a rich and busy central business district, cultural and sporting venues, the Yarra river flowing past the conference centre, edgy graffiti and hipster coffee shops, plus too many shops, bars and restaurants to visit.

The programme included a day of masterclasses on a range of subjects, including: urological imaging, advanced robotic surgery with a live case from USC, metastatic prostate cancer and penile prosthetics. These were well attended by trainees and consultants alike. The PCNL session (pictured) with Professor Webb was popular and he generously gave his expertise.  The session was supported by industry and provided an opportunity to use the latest nephroscopes on porcine models and innovative aids to realistically practice different puncture techniques.

Two plenary sessions were held each morning covering the breadth and depth of urology and were well attended. Dr Sotelo is always a highlight; he presented, to an auditorium of collective gasps, a unique selection of ‘nightmare’ cases  His cases gave insight in how intraoperative complications occur and how they can be avoided.  Tips, such as zooming out to reassess in times of anatomical uncertainty during laparoscopy or robotic surgery have great impact when you witness the possible consequences. Tim O’Brien shared his priceless insights on performing IVC thrombectomy highlighting the need for preoperative planning, early control of the renal artery and consideration of pre-embolisation.  His second plenary on retroperitoneal fibrosis provided clarity on the management of this rare condition highlighting the role of PET imaging and, as with complex upper tract surgery, the importance of a dedicated team.

Tony Costello’s captivating presentation covered several myths in robotic prostate surgery, plus the importance of knowing your own outcome figures and a future where robotics will be cost equivalent to laparoscopy. Future technology, progress in cancer genomics and biomarkers were also discussed in various sessions.  One example of new technology was Aquablation of the prostate; Peter Gilling presented the WATER trial results suggesting non-inferiority to TURP.  A welcome addition to the programme was Victoria Cullen (pictured), a psychologist and Intimacy Specialist who provides education, support and strategies for sexual  rehabilitation. She described her typical consultation with men with sexual dysfunction and how to change worries about being ‘normal’ to focusing on what is important to the individual.

Joint plenary sessions with the AUA and EAU were a particular highlight. Prof Chris Chapple confirmed the need for robust, evidence guidelines which support clinical decision making; and in many cases can be used internationally. He suggested collaboration is crucial between us as colleagues and scientists working in the field of urology. Stone prevention and analysis of available evidence was described by Michael Lipkin; unfortunately stone formers are usually under-estimaters of their fluid intake so encouragement is always needed! Amy Krambeck presented evidence for concurrent use of anticoagulants and antiplatelets during BOO surgery and suggested there can be a false sense of security when stopping these medications as it isn’t always safe. She championed HoLEP as her method of BOO surgery and continues medications, although the evidence does show blood transfusion rate may be higher. She also uses a fluid warming device which has less bleeding and therefore improved surgical vision; importantly it is preferred by her theatres nurses! MRI of the prostate was covered  by many different speakers, however Jochen Walz expertly discussed the limitations of MRI in particular relating negative predictive value (pictured). He eloquently explained the properties of cribiform Gleason 4 prostate cancer and how this variant contributed to the incidence of false negatives.

Moderated poster and presentation sessions showcased research and audit projects from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and beyond, mainly led by junior urologists. The best abstracts submitted by USANZ trainees were invited to present for consideration of Villis Marshall and Keith Kirkland prizes. These prestigious prizes were valiantly fought for and reflected high quality research completed by the trainees. Projects included urethral length and continence, no need for lead glasses, obesity and prostate cancer, multi-centre management of ureteric calculi, mental health of surgical trainees and seminal fluid biomarkers in prostate cancer. This enthusiasm for academia will undoubtedly stand urology in good stead for the future; this line up (pictured) is one to watch!

The Trade hall provided a great networking space to be able to meet with friends and colleagues and engage with industry. It also hosted poster presentation sessions, with a one minute allocation for each presenter – which really ensures a succinct summary of the important findings (pictured)! It was nice to meet with Australian trainees and we discussed the highs and lows of training and ideas for fellowships. Issues such as clinical burden and operative time, selection into the specialty, cost of training, burn out and exam fears were discussed and shared universally; however there is such enthusiasm, a passion for urology and inspirational trainers which help balance burdens that trainees face. Furthermore, USANZ ‘SET’ Trainees were invited to meet with the international faculty in a ‘hot seat’ style session which was an enviable opportunity to discuss careers and aspirations.

In addition to the Congress I was fortunate to be invited for a tour and roof-top ‘barbie’ at the Peter Mac Cancer centre; plus a visit to Adelaide with Rick (Catterwell, co-author) seeing his new hospital and tucking into an inaugural Aussie Brunch. Peter Mac and Royal Adelaide Hospital facilities indicated an extraordinary level of investment made by Federal and State providers; the Peter Mac in particular had impressive patient areas, radiotherapy suites and ethos of linking clinical and research. However beyond glossy exteriors Australian public sector clinicians voiced concerns regarding some issues similar to those we face in the NHS.

Despite the distance of travelling to Melbourne and the inevitable jet lag the world does feels an increasingly smaller place and the Urological world even more so. There is a neighbourly relationship between the UK, Australia and New Zealand as evidenced by many familiar faces at USANZ who have worked between these countries; better for the new experiences and teaching afforded to them by completing fellowships overseas. The Gala Dinner was a great chance to unwind, catch up with friends and celebrate successes in the impressive surrounding of Melbourne Town Hall (pictured); the infamous organ played particularly rousing rendition of Phantom of the Opera on arrival.

The enthusiasm to strive for improvement is similar both home and away and therefore collaboration both nationally and internationally is integral for the progress of urology. The opening address by USANZ President included the phrase ‘together we can do so much more’ and this theme of collaboration was apparent throughout the conference. The future is bright with initiatives led by enthusiastic trainee groups BURST and YURO to collect large volume, high quality data from multiple centres, such as MIMIC which was presented by Dr Todd Manning. Social media, telecommunications and innovative technology should be used to further the specialty, especially with research and in cases of rare diseases – such as RPF.  Twitter is a tool that can be harnessed and was certainly used freely with the hashtag #USANZ18. Furthermore, utilisation of educational learning platforms such as BJUI knowledge and evidence based guidelines help to facilitate high quality Urological practice regardless of state or country.

So we’d like to extend a huge thank you to Declan, Nathan and the whole team, and congratulate them for a successful, educational and friendly conference; all connections made will I’m sure last a lifetime and enable us to do more together.

Sophie Rintoul-Hoad and Rick Catterwell

 

Article of the Week: Natural history of ‘second’ biochemical failure after SRT for 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.

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

Natural history of ‘second’ biochemical failure after salvage radiation therapy for prostate cancer: a multi-institution study

 

Vasu Tumati*, William C. Jackson, Ahmed E. Abugharib, Ganesh RajClaus Roehrborn, Yair Lotan‡ ,Kevin Courtney§, Aditya Bagrodia, Jeffrey C. GahanZachary S. Zumsteg**, Michael R. Folkert*, Aaron M. Laine*, Raquibul Hannan*, Daniel E. Spratt† and Neil B. Desai

 

Departments of *Radiation Oncology, Urology, §Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, and **Department of Radiation Oncology Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

Abstract

Objectives

To describe the natural history of prostate cancer in men who experience a second biochemical recurrence (BCR) after salvage radiotherapy (SRT) after prostatectomy.

Patients and Methods

After undergoing SRT at one of two institutions between 1986 and 2013, 286 patients experienced a second BCR, defined as two rises in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) of ≥0.2 ng/mL above nadir. Event rates for distant metastasis (DM) or freedom from DM (FFDM), castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), prostate cancer-specific survival (PCSS), and overall survival (OS) were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Cox regression was used for comparative analyses.

Results

At a median of 6.1 years after second BCR, DM, CRPC, PCSS and OS rates were 41%, 27%, 83% and 73%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, interval to second BCR <1 year (hazard ratio [HR] 2.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.71–4.14; P < 0.001], Gleason score 8–10 (HR 1.65, 95% CI 1.07–2.54; P = 0.022), and concurrent ADT during SRT (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.08–2.88; P = 0.024) were associated with FFDM, while PCSS was associated with interval to second BCR <1 year (HR 3.00, 95% CI 1.69–5.32; P < 0.001) and concurrent ADT during SRT (HR 2.15, CI 1.13–4.08; P = 0.019). These risk factors were used to stratify patients into three groups, with 6-year FFDM rates of 71%, 59% and 33%, and PCSS rates of 89%, 79%, and 65%, respectively.

Conclusion

Following second BCR after SRT, clinical progression is enriched in a subgroup of patients with prostate cancer, while others remain without DM for long intervals. Stratifying patients into risk groups using prognostic factors may aid counselling and future trial design.

Article of the Week: Association between T2DM, curative treatment and survival in localized 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.

Association between type 2 diabetes, curative treatment and survival in men with intermediate- and high-risk localized prostate cancer

Danielle Crawley*, Hans Garmo*, Sarah Rudman, Par Stattin§, Bjorn Zethelius**, Lars Holmberg*, Jan Adolfsson†† and Mieke Van Hemelrijck*

 

*Division of Cancer Studies, Cancer Epidemiology Group, Kings College London, Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust and Kings College Londons Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK, Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, §Department of Surgical and Peri-operative Sciences, Urology and Andrology, Umea University, Umea, Department of Public Health and Geriatric, Uppsala University, **Medical Products Agency, Uppsala, and ††Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

 

Abstract

Objective

To investigate whether curative prostate cancer (PCa) treatment was received less often by men with both PCa and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) as little is known about the influence of T2DM diagnosis on the receipt of such treatment in men with localized PCa.

Subjects and Methods

The Prostate Cancer database Sweden (PCBaSe) was used to obtain data on men with T2DM and PCa (n = 2210) for comparison with data on men with PCa only (n = 23 071). All men had intermediate- (T1–2, Gleason score 7 and/or prostate-specific antigen [PSA] 10–20 ng/mL) or high-risk (T3 and/or Gleason score 8–10 and/or PSA 20–50 ng/mL) localized PCa diagnosed between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2014. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) for receipt of curative treatment in men with and without T2DM. Overall survival, for up to 8 years of follow-up, was calculated both for men with T2DM only and for men with T2DM and PCa.

Results

Men with T2DM were less likely to receive curative treatment for PCa than men without T2DM (OR 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.69–0.87). The 8-year overall survival rates were 79% and 33% for men with T2DM and high-risk PCa who did and did not receive curative treatment, respectively.

Conclusions

Men with T2DM were less likely to receive curative treatment for localized intermediate- and high-risk PCa. Men with T2DM and high-risk PCa who received curative treatment had substantially higher survival times than those who did not. Some of the survival differences represent a selection bias, whereby the healthiest patients received curative treatment. Clinicians should interpret this data carefully and ensure that individual patients with T2DM and PCa are not under- nor overtreated.

Editorial: Selecting patients for PCa treatment: the role of comorbidity

The risk of dying from prostate cancer is strongly influenced by competing causes related to age and comorbidity. In the past, indiscriminate screening and treatment of prostate cancer in men with limited life expectancy have been heavily criticized. In the SPCG-4 study, Bill-Axelson et al. [1] showed that patient age significantly modified the likelihood of benefit from radical prostatectomy: while patients aged <65 years at the time of treatment saw significantly decreased risk of overall mortality, prostate cancer mortality, and metastases, those aged >65 years did not have a significant improvement in survival, despite significantly decreased risk of metastases [1]. Significant progress has since been made with regard to treatment, in offering surveillance to men unlikely to die from their prostate cancer, either because of indolent disease or competing risks.

In this issue of BJUI, Crawley et al. [2] describe the association between type 2 diabetes and receipt of curative treatment for patients newly diagnosed with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer. Using the Prostate Cancer database Sweden (PCBaSE), the authors convincingly show us that patients who received oral therapies or insulin for type 2 diabetes were significantly less likely to undergo curative treatment after a prostate cancer diagnosis compared with men without diabetes. They also demonstrated a gradient of effect, as men treated with insulin (with presumably more severe diabetes) were even less likely to receive curative therapies than those treated with oral agents (odds ratios 0.62 and 0.91, respectively, both compared with men without diabetes). This could have been better assessed with more objective measures of disease severity including micro- and macrovascular complications or glycated haemoglobin levels. Interestingly, the authors found that men with diabetes had more aggressive disease, with higher Gleason scores, a greater proportion of biopsy cores involved with cancer, and higher PSA levels. We therefore must consider the question, is withholding curative therapy from these patients undertreatment or appropriate?

Mortality rates for men with diabetes are significantly higher than for those without. Among men aged ≥50 years, life expectancy is 7.5 years (95% CI: 5.5–9.5) shorter for those with diabetes [3]. The effect of diabetes on mortality is mediated through cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality among men diagnosed with prostate cancer [4]. Thus, competing risks of mortality, rather than prostate cancer mortality, are likely to be the limiters of these patients’ life expectancy.

Interestingly, the authors found that men with diabetes who received pharmacotherapy for dyslipidaemia or cardiovascular disease had a similar likelihood of receiving treatment as men treated for diabetes alone [2].

The authors then assessed whether receipt of curative treatment was associated with overall survival among patients with diabetes. The authors conclude that curative treatment was associated with improved overall survival among these men [2], with differences in both prostate cancer and non-prostate cancer mortality. We should be sceptical of these findings, however, because of significant selection bias and confounding as the authors present only unadjusted results. The greater comorbidity and more aggressive cancers among men with diabetes in this cohort may explain a large portion of the differences in non-prostate cancer mortality and prostate cancer-mortality, respectively, separate from the effect of local treatment. This is supported by the authors’ observation that men with type 2 diabetes treated with curative intent had better overall survival than men with type 2 diabetes without prostate cancer [2]. In fact, non-prostate cancer causes contributed to the majority of deaths in these men with intermediate- and high-risk cancer, regardless of receipt of curative treatment. Lastly, with respect to survival, it should be noted that previous analyses have demonstrated a protective effect of metformin on overall and prostate cancer mortality among men with diabetes [5].

What are we to take from this paper? First, men with diabetes appear to present with more aggressive disease at the time of diagnosis. This may relate to decreased prostate cancer screening, lower PSA levels among screened men leading to a decreased index of suspicion [6], or a lower likelihood of biopsy at a given PSA level. Further, we believe that this paper shows that Swedish urologists are understandably providing curative prostate cancer treatment to men with the potential to benefit from these interventions, while sparing men with significant medical comorbidity the side effects of such therapies which are unlikely to benefit them. Caution should be applied in using these data to reflexively justify more aggressive screening and treatment in all men with diabetes. Individualized decision-making should be made on a case-by-case basis based on the best estimates of risks of prostate cancer and non-prostate cancer mortality.

Christopher J.D. Wallis,*† Raj Satkunasivam,*† and Bimal Bhindi
*Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada and Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

 

 

References

 

1 Bill-Axelson A, Holmberg L, Garmo H et al. Radical prostatectomy or watchful waiting in early prostate cancer. New Engl J Med 2014; 6: 93242

 

 

3 Franco OH, Steyerberg EW, Hu FB, Mackenbach J, Nusselder WAssociations of diabetes mellitus with total life expectancy and life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease. Arch Intern Med 2007; 167: 114551

 

4 Ketchandji M, Kuo YF, Shahinian VB, Goodwin JS. Cause of death in older men after the diagnosis of prostate cancer. J Am Geriatr Soc 2009;57: 2430

 

5 Margel D, Urbach DR, Lipscombe LL et al. Metformin use and all-cause and prostate cancer-specic mortality among men with diabetes. J Clin Oncol 2013; 31: 306975

 

6 Werny DM, Saraiya M, Gregg EW. Prostate-specic antigen values in diabetic and nondiabetic US men, 20012002. Am J Epidemiol 2006; 164: 97883

 

Video: Association between T2DM, curative treatment and survival in localized PCa

Association between type 2 diabetes, curative treatment and survival in men with intermediate- and high-risk localized prostate cancer

Abstract

Objective

To investigate whether curative prostate cancer (PCa) treatment was received less often by men with both PCa and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) as little is known about the influence of T2DM diagnosis on the receipt of such treatment in men with localized PCa.

Subjects and Methods

The Prostate Cancer database Sweden (PCBaSe) was used to obtain data on men with T2DM and PCa (n = 2210) for comparison with data on men with PCa only (n = 23 071). All men had intermediate- (T1–2, Gleason score 7 and/or prostate-specific antigen [PSA] 10–20 ng/mL) or high-risk (T3 and/or Gleason score 8–10 and/or PSA 20–50 ng/mL) localized PCa diagnosed between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2014. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) for receipt of curative treatment in men with and without T2DM. Overall survival, for up to 8 years of follow-up, was calculated both for men with T2DM only and for men with T2DM and PCa.

Results

Men with T2DM were less likely to receive curative treatment for PCa than men without T2DM (OR 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.69–0.87). The 8-year overall survival rates were 79% and 33% for men with T2DM and high-risk PCa who did and did not receive curative treatment, respectively.

Conclusions

Men with T2DM were less likely to receive curative treatment for localized intermediate- and high-risk PCa. Men with T2DM and high-risk PCa who received curative treatment had substantially higher survival times than those who did not. Some of the survival differences represent a selection bias, whereby the healthiest patients received curative treatment. Clinicians should interpret this data carefully and ensure that individual patients with T2DM and PCa are not under- nor overtreated.

Article of the Week: Safety and efficacy of 2-weekly cabazitaxel in mCRPC

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 week, it should be this one.

Safety and efficacy of 2-weekly cabazitaxel in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Alice Clement-Zhao* , Marie Auvray*, Hail Aboudagga, Felix Blanc-Durand*, Antoine Angelergues *, Yann Alexandre Vano*, Florence Mercier, Nader El Awadly*, Benjamin Verret*, Constance Thibault* and Stephane Oudard*

 

*Department of Medical Oncology, Pharmacy Department, Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Stat Process Society, Port-Mort, France

 

How to Cite

Clément-Zhao, A., Auvray, M., Aboudagga, H., Blanc-Durand, F., Angelergues, A., Vano, Y. A., Mercier, F., El Awadly, N., Verret, B., Thibault, C. and Oudard, S. (2018), Safety and efficacy of 2-weekly cabazitaxel in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. BJU International, 121: 203–208. doi: 10.1111/bju.13855

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a 2-weekly cabazitaxel schedule in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Materials and methods

During the period October 2013 to February 2016, 43 patients with mCRPC were treated with cabazitaxel (16 mg/m2, on days 1 and 15 of a 4-week cycle) together with prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). The safety profile and efficacy (prostate-specific antigen [PSA] response; biological, clinical or radiological progression-free survival [PFS] and overall survival [OS]) of the treatment were analysed.

Results

All patients had received prior docetaxel and 79.1% abiraterone acetate. At inclusion, 46.5% were aged >70 years and 27.9% had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥2. Six patients stopped treatment because of toxicity. Grade ≥3 toxicities were: asthenia (16.3%); neutropenia (11.6%); thrombocytopenia (9.3%); diarrhoea (7%), anaemia (4.7%), febrile neutropenia (4.7%) and haematuria (2.3%). In all, 52.4% achieved a ≥30% PSA response and 40.5% had a ≥50% PSA response. The median OS was 15.2 months.

Conclusion

This prospective pilot study suggests that cabazitaxel 16 mg/m² given 2-weekly has a manageable toxicity profile in docetaxel- and abiraterone acetate-pretreated patients with mCRPC. A prospective phase III trial comparing this regimen with the standard cabazitaxel regimen is planned to confirm these results.

Editorial: Even ‘low-dose’ cabazitaxel requires careful and meticulous patient selection

In the present issue of BJUI, Clèment-Zhao et al. [1] have evaluated the safety profile of a 2-weekly regime of cabazitaxel (CBZ) at a dose of 16 mg/m2 in 43 patients with progressing, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Treatment was planned to have been delivered for a total of six cycles, with each cycle consisting of two 2-weekly applications of CBZ. The majority of patients had already received two life-extending systemic therapies, such as docetaxel and abiraterone acetate. Despite the prophylactic use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), 11.6% and 4.7% of patients developed grade ≥3 neutropenia or febrile neutropenia, respectively, and one patient even died from treatment-related toxicities. Only 75% of the scheduled six cycles could be delivered, although dose reduction of 20% was carried out in 37.2% of the patients. The authors recommend this type of treatment for elderly and frail patients and they provide the reader with the impression that the delivery of such a toxic regime in elderly and frail patients is accordance with the guidelines [2].

Based on the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) guidelines [2], it is evident that the term ‘frailty’ requires a dedicated and sophisticated geriatric assessment using, for example, the G8 questionnaire. If a score <14 is calculated on this questionnaire, and the patients have been identified as having irreversible impairment, an intensive geriatric intervention might be undertaken to correct the underlying comorbidities. Only in the presence of correctable comorbidities should an adapted cancer therapy be initiated, while in their absence best supportive care seems to be the optimal approach. Of the 43 patients in the present phase II trial, none underwent a geriatric assessment and three-quarters of the patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0–1; therefore, only a minority of the treated patients represented frail patients, and conclusions should be drawn with great caution, also considering the relatively low number of patients recruited.

The frequency of 11.6% and 4.7% of grade 3/4 neutropenia and neutropenic fever, respectively, and an overall frequency of 34.9% grade 3/4 treatment-emergent adverse events is still quite high compared with the data from studies on the German Early-Access Programme (EAP) and the European EAP on CBZ, which included 111 and 746 patients with similar disease characteristics, of whom 7.2% and 15%, respectively, developed grade ≥3 neutropenia, despite non-regular use of G-CSF [3, 4].

Several factors might have contributed to the relatively high frequency of treatment-emergent adverse events in the present study. Firstly, the cumulative CBZ dose was 144 mg/m2 in the present study as compared with 100 mg/m2 in the European EAP and 162.5 mg/m2 in the German EAP, so that there was not a significant reduction in dose despite the lower dose delivered at each cycle. This might have contributed to impairment of bone marrow function over time. Secondly, bone marrow reserve appeared to differ among treated patients: ~50% of patients already had neutrophil counts below the normal values. As we have shown recently, neutrophil counts <4 000/mm3 were associated with an odds ratio of 1.73 (95% CI 1.25–2.39; P < 0.001) for developing grade 3/4 neutropenia [4]. Thirdly, age ≥75 years, but not age <75 years or ECOG performance status ≥2, was associated with a 1.66-fold (95% CI 1.09–5.52; P = 0.018) increased risk of significant neutropenia in the above-mentioned studies [3, 4]; however, it is unclear how many patients were aged >75 years in the present study.

As a result of these factors, it is still necessary to carefully select elderly patients with mCRPC prior to the recommendation of cytotoxic CBZ therapy, even at a reduced dose. Despite the fact that there is some weak evidence that severe neutropenia might be associated with a survival benefit, we need to bear in mind that this evidence is from post hoc analysis of fit and non-elderly patients recruited in the TROPIC trial [5]. We have no meaningfuldata from a cohort of elderly and vulnerable/frail patients and we have no data at all on quality of life in these patients; therefore, we should not overtreat and we should only consider frail and elderly patients with mCRPC for CBZ treatment if they have undergone geriatric assessment that has shown correctable comorbidities. Otherwise, there are numerous other treatment options in addition to chemotherapy, including best supportive care [6].

With regard to therapeutic efficacy, we always find it difficult to report median overall survival times of 15.2 months when the median follow-up time is only 12.9 months.

Axel Heidenreicand David Pster
Department of Urology, Uro-Oncology, Robot-Assisted and Reconstructive Urological Surgery, University of CologneCologne, Germany

 

 

References

 

1Clement-Zhao A, Auvray M, Aboudagga H et al. Safety and efcacy of 2-weekly cabazitaxel in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. BJU Int 2018; 121: 2038

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article of the Month: Does RARP benefit patients with oligometastatic PCa?

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.

Does robot-assisted radical prostatectomy benefit patients with prostate cancer and bone oligometastases?

Won Sik Jang, Myung Soo Kim, Won Sik Jeong, Ki Don Chang, Kang Su Cho, Won Sik Ham, Koon Ho Rha, Sung Joon Hong and Young Deuk Choi

Department of Urology, Urological Science Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the peri-operative and oncological outcomes of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) in patients with oligometastatic prostate cancer (PCa).

Patients and Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the records of 79 patients with oligometastatic PCa treated with RARP or androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) between 2005 and 2015 at our institution. Of these 79 patients, 38 were treated with RARP and 41 were treated with ADT without local therapy. Oligometastatic disease was defined as the presence of five or fewer hot spots detected by preoperative bone scan. We evaluated peri-operative outcomes, progression-free survival (PFS), and cancer-specific survival (CSS). We analysed data using Kaplan–Meier methods, with log-rank tests and multivariate Cox regression models.

Results

Patients treated with RARP experienced similar postoperative complications to those previously reported in RP-treated patients, and fewer urinary complications than ADT-treated patients. PFS and CSS were longer in RARP-treated compared with ADT-treated patients (median PFS: 75 vs 28 months, P = 0.008; median CSS: not reached vs 40 months, P = 0.002). Multivariate analysis further identified RARP as a significant predictor of PFS and CSS (PFS: hazard ratio [HR] 0.388, P = 0.003; CSS: HR 0.264, P = 0.004).

Conclusions

We showed that RARP in the setting of oligometastatic PCa is a safe and feasible procedure which improves oncological outcomes in terms of PFS and CSS. In addition, our data suggest that RARP effectively prevents urinary tract complications from PCa. The study highlights results from expert surgeons and highly selected patients that cannot be extrapolated to all patients with oligometastatic PCa; to confirm our findings, large, prospective, multicentre studies are required.

Editorial: Is it time for a more ‘proactive’ approach to metastatic prostate cancer?

In this issue of BJU International, Jang et al. [1] investigate the perioperative and oncological outcomes of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) in oligometastatic prostate cancer. The authors evaluated a retrospective cohort of 79 patients with oligometastatic prostate cancer, defined as up to five bony metastases on bone scan without visceral metastasis on conventional CT, treated either with RARP (n = 38, 48%) or androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT: n = 41, 52%). They found that cytoreductive RARP was associated with longer progression-free survival (PFS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) relative to the ADT cohort at a median follow-up of 40 months.

The authors exclusively use the robotic approach for RP in the metastatic prostate cancer setting. Overall, they should be commended for demonstrating the feasibility of RARP in the metastatic setting, with a median operating room time of 147 min and complication rate of ~15%. This is in the same range as the 164 min operative time and 20% complication rate reported in a recent multi-institutional cytoreductive RP (cRP) series, consisting of both open and robotic approaches [2]. However, it is important to note that Jang et al. [1] had a 79% positive margin rate compared to 54% for Sooriakumaran et al. [2]. Furthermore, Jang et al. [1] had a median hospital stay of 5 days compared to 2–3 days in the USA centres [2]. These findings underscore the significant difficulty often encountered in metastatic cases, despite robotic assistance. Thus, we believe the age-old debate of open vs robotic prostatectomy is perhaps less relevant in the cytoreductive setting, where surgeon experience and expertise may be more critical drivers of outcome.

Although there is some evidence in favour of cRP compared to the standard of care, selection bias, limited collection and analysis of much clinical data, and short follow-up often plague most series. Understandably, the current manuscript by Jang et al. [1] also suffers from some of these limitations and leaves some questions unanswered. For instance, did the number of bone metastases, PSA doubling time at diagnosis, and distribution of lymphadenopathy (pelvic vs extra-pelvic) differ between cRP and ADT groups and thus confound the impact of cRP on survival? In addition, the authors may wish to report overall survival, so that their series can be more readily compared to the existing literature. Moreover, the median CSS was only 40 months in the ADT group, whereas it was not even reached in the low-volume arm of the ChemoHormonal Therapy Versus Androgen Ablation Randomized Trial for Extensive Disease in Prostate Cancer (CHAARTED) [3], suggesting that the control group in the current manuscript may have had higher volume metastatic disease. Lastly, there is no evaluation of the impact of adjuvant ADT and radiation therapy on CSS, and further studies may wish to explore if such multi-modal approaches may yield a benefit in the cytoreductive setting.

The existing literature on cRP remains in the nascent stage and is conflicting. The first large studies to suggest a benefit for cRP were retrospective series based on large cancer databases. Subsequently, Heidenreich et al. [4] explored the role of cRP in a case-control study, which found a significantly longer PFS and CSS in a group of 23 men undergoing neoadjuvant ADT + cRP compared to 38 men treated with ADT alone. On the other hand, a prospective investigation comparing 43 men with low-volume bone metastasis treated with cRP to 38 men treated with ADT did not show a benefit for time-to-castration-resistance or overall survival [5]. Moschini et al. [6] also found no survival benefit for cRP with 5-years of follow-up relative to a cohort of ADT patients with CSS more consistent with randomised data from the CHAARTED [3]. The present study by Jang et al. [1] adds to the growing body of retrospective series advocating cRP in select patients.

Whilst a full discussion of the putative biological mechanisms proposed to explain a potential survival benefit of cRP is beyond this editorial, they can be broadly grouped into the following: removal of the primary source of circulating tumour cells, reducing the number of cells that can develop resistant mechanisms for systemic therapy, removal of immunosuppressive cytokines, abscopal effects, and decreasing tumour-growth promoting factors. Ultimately, the ‘proof is in the pudding’, and the results of several randomised trials (Testing radical prostatectomy in men with oligometastatic prostate cancer that has spread to the bone [TRoMbone], NCT01751438, and NCT02454543) are eagerly awaited to determine if cRP can benefit patients.

Matteo Soligo, Vidit Sharma and R. Jeffrey Karnes
Mayo Clinic Urology, Rochester, MN, USA

 

 

References

 

 

 

3 Sweeney CJ, Chen YH, Carducci M et al. Chemohormonal therapy in metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. N Engl J Med 2015; 373: 73746

 

4 Heidenreich A, Pster D, Porres D. Cytoreductive radical prostatectomy in patients with prostate cancer and low volume skeletal metastases: results of a feasibility and case-control study. J Urol 2015; 193: 8328

 

 

6 Moschini M, Morlacco A, Kwon E, Rangel LJ, Karnes RJ. Treatment of M1a/M1b prostate cancer with or without radical prostatectomy at diagnosis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2017; 20: 11721

 

Article of the Week: Comparison of transperineal mpMRI/fusPbx and sysPbx

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 week, it should be this one.

Prospective comparison of transperineal magnetic resonance imaging/ultrasonography fusion biopsy and transrectal systematic biopsy in biopsy-naïve patients

 

Angelika Borkowetz*, Boris Hadaschik†‡, Ivan Platzek§, Marieta Toma, Georgi TosevTheresa Renner*, Roman Herout*, Martin Baunacke*, Michael Laniado §, Gustavo Baretton, Jan Philipp Radtke, Claudia Kesch, Markus Hohenfellner† , Michael Froehner*, Heinz-Peter Schlemmer**, Manfred Wirth* and Stefan Zastrow*

 

*Department of Urology, Technische Universitat Dresden, Dresden, Germany, Department of Urology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, Department of Urology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany, §Department of Radiology and Interventional Radiology, Technische Universitat Dresden, Dresden, Germany, Department of Pathology, Technische Universitat Dresden, Dresden, Germany, and **Department of Radiology, German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

 

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the value of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) in the detection of significant prostate cancer (PCa) and to compare transperineal MRI/ultrasonography fusion biopsy (fusPbx) with conventional transrectal systematic biopsy (sysPbx) in biopsy-naïve patients.

Patients and Methods

This multicentre, prospective trial investigated biopsy-naïve patients with suspicion of PCa undergoing transperineal fusPbx in combination with transrectal sysPbx (comPbx). The primary outcome was the detection of significant PCa, defined as Gleason pattern 4 or 5. We analysed the results after a study period of 2 years.

Results

The study included 214 patients. The median (range) number of targeted and systematic cores was 6 (2–15) and 12 (6–18), respectively. The overall PCa detection rate of comPbx was 52%. FusPbx detected more PCa than sysPbx (47% vs 43%; P = 0.15). The detection rate of significant PCa was 38% for fusPbx and 35% for sysPbx (P = 0.296). The rate of missed significant PCa was 14% in fusPbx and 21% in sysPbx. ComPbx detected significantly more significant PCa than fusPbx and sysPbx alone (44% vs 38% vs 35%; P < 0.005). In patients presenting with Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) 4 and 5 lesions there was a higher detection rate of significant PCa than in patients presenting with PI-RADS ≤3 lesions in comPbx (61% vs 14%; P < 0.005).

Conclusions

For biopsy-naïve men with tumour-suspicious lesions in mpMRI, the combined approach outperformed both fusPbx and sysPbx in the detection of overall PCa and significant PCa. Thus, biopsy-naïve patients may benefit from sysPbx in combination with mpMRI targeted fusPbx.

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