Tag Archive for: radiotherapy

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IP4-CHRONOS is launched

IP4- CHRONOS is open! CHRONOS is a phase II randomised control trial, that will review the outcomes (including oncological, functional, quality of life and cost-effectiveness) of focal therapy against those from radical therapy, in men with newly diagnosed localised clinically significant prostate cancer.

 

 

All men newly diagnosed with low-intermediate risk prostate cancer, confined to the prostate, with a life expectancy of at least 10 years will be screened for eligibility. Men must be well enough to undergo the interventions outlined in the trial prior to being enrolled.

Men will then have a choice of enrolling into CHRONOS A or CHRONOS B. CHRONOS A will randomise men to having radical whole gland treatment (radiotherapy, brachytherapy or prostatectomy), or focal therapy (HIFU or cryotherapy). CHRONOS A will answer the question, ‘is focal therapy equivalent in cancer control as radical therapy?’ CHRONOS B will randomise men to having focal therapy with or without additional neoadjuvant treatment and will answer the question: ‘can the success of focal therapy be improved by using neoadjuvant treatment?’ Randomisation will be stratified by disease characteristics.

All men will undergo intervention as they would within the NHS, however by doing so in a trial setting, we can directly compare the results of such treatments against each other. As the follow up mimics that of standard of care, the extra burden of treatment within the trial is minimal.

60 men will be recruited into both CHRONOS A and CHRONOS B (total 120) over a 1-year period, during the pilot, and if recruitment is successful the aim is to continue to a larger study assessing 2450 patients over 5 years, with a minimum follow up of 3 years. The primary outcome measures will be progression free survival in CHRONOS A, and failure free survival in CHRONOS B. The CHRONOS pilot will open in 12 UK hospital sites, aiming to open across the UK and Europe within the larger study.

CHRONOS is entirely funded by the Prostate Cancer UK charity, and available on the NIHR CRN portfolio. If you would like to join the main phase of CHRONOS as a site, please contact Miss Deepika Reddy ([email protected]) or visit our website for further information www.imperialprostate.org.uk/CHRONOS

Prof Hashim U. Ahmed (CHRONOS PI&CI)

Mr Taimur T. Shah (CHRONOS sub-investigator, Urology SpR & Research Fellow)

Miss Deepika Reddy (CHRONOS Clinical Research Fellow)

 

IP2 – ATLANTA is launched!

IP2 – ATLANTA is launched! ATLANTA is a phase II randomised controlled trial that will explore sequential multi-modal treatment using systemic therapy, local physical cytoreduction and metastasis directed therapy in men with newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer against a comparator of standard of care alone.

All men with new histologically diagnosed hormone sensitive metastatic prostate cancer, within three months of commencing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and of performance status 0 to 2 are eligible.  No upper limit on metastatic burden will apply, although men must be fit to undergo all trial interventions at point of randomisation.

Men will be randomised to: Control (Standard of Care) OR Intervention 1 (Minimally Invasive Ablative Therapy [MIAT] +/- pelvic lymph node dissection [PLND]) OR Intervention 2 (Local Radiotherapy +/- Lymph Nodes OR Radical Prostatectomy +/- PLND). Randomisation stratified by metastatic burden (CHAARTED definition), intent to treat pelvic lymph nodes, intent to treat metastasis and intent to commence chemotherapy.

Systemic therapy in all arms includes ADT +/- Docetaxel. Radical prostatectomy will be with or without PLND. Local radiotherapy will be 60Gy/20Fr OR 74-78Gy in 2Gy per fraction over a minimum of 27 days, with or without simultaneous nodal radiotherapy. MIAT will be cryotherapy or focal HIFU. Men in both intervention arms will be eligible for metastasis directed therapy in the form of stereotactic ablative radiation (SABR) or surgery.

Men will be recruited over a two year period and followed up for a minimum of two years. Primary outcome will be progression free survival (PFS). ATLANTA is commencing in 17 UK trial centres with a target recruitment of 80 patients in the internal pilot, rising to 918 patients in full phase across 30 UK trial centres from November 2019.

ATLANTA is entirely charity funded (Wellcome Trust) and available on the NIHR CRN portfolio. Follow-up trial visits are not in excess of routine practice and extra burden is minimal. If you would like to join the main phase of ATLANTA as a site, please contact Mr Martin J. Connor ([email protected]) www.imperialprostate.org.uk/ATLANTA.

Prof. Hashim U. Ahmed (ATLANTA PI & CI),

Mr. Martin J. Connor (ATLANTA Doctoral Clinical Research Fellow)

Mr. Taimur T. Shah (Urology SpR & Research Fellow)

 

ATLANTA Surgeons Board: Mr Mathias Winkler, Mr Tim Dudderidge, Prof. Chris Eden, Mr Paul Cathcart, Prof. Naeem Soomro, Mr Adel Makar

ATLANTA Radiotherapy Board: Prof. John Staffurth, Dr. Alison Falconer, Dr. Stephen Mangar, Dr Olivia Naismith, RTTQA team

ATLANTA MIAT Board: Prof. Hashim U. Ahmed, Mr Stuart McCracken, Mr Raj Nigam, Mr Tim Dudderidge, Prof Iqbal Shergill

ATLANTA SABR Board: Dr Vincent Khoo, RTTQA team

ATLANTA Medical Oncologists: Dr. Naveed Sarwar, Dr Michael Gonzalez

ATLANTA Trial Sites: Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, Royal Surrey County (Guildford) Hospital, University Hospital Southampton, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre & Arrowe Park Hospital, Newcastle Freeman Hospital, King’s Lynn (Cambridge), Norfolk & Norwich (Cambridge), Sunderland Royal Hospital, Frimley Park Hospital, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Wrexham Park Hospital, West Middlesex University Hospital, Royal United Hospital Bath, Betsi Calderwar Health Board, Lister Hospital, Hampshire (Basingstoke) Hospitals, University Hospital Coventry, Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Trial Sponsor: Imperial College London

Trial Funder: Wellcome Trust

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03763253

 

Article of the week: Adjuvant radiation with androgen‐deprivation therapy for men with lymph node metastases after radical prostatectomy

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 editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. These are 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.

Adjuvant radiation with androgen‐deprivation therapy for men with lymph node metastases after radical prostatectomy: identifying men who benefit

Mohit Gupta*, Hiten D. Patel*, Zeyad R. Schwen*, Phuoc T. Tran*† and Alan W. Partin*

 

*Department of Urology, James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, and Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences and Oncology, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA

 

Abstract

Objectives

To perform a comparative analysis of three current management strategies for patients with lymph node metastases (LNM; pN1) following radical prostatectomy (RP): observation, androgen‐deprivation therapy (ADT), and external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) + ADT.

Patients and Methods

Patients with LNM after RP were identified using the National Cancer Database (2004–2013). Exclusion criteria included any use of radiation therapy or ADT before RP, clinical M1 disease, or incomplete follow‐up data. Patients were categorised according to postoperative management strategy. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Kaplan–Meier curves and adjusted multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were employed. Sub‐analyses further evaluated patient risk stratification and time to receipt of adjuvant therapy.

Results

A total of 8 074 patients met the inclusion criteria. Postoperatively, 4 489 (55.6%) received observation, 2 065 (25.6%) ADT, and 1 520 (18.8%) ADT + EBRT. The mean (median; interquartile range) follow‐up was 52.3 (48.0; 28.5–73.5) months. Patients receiving ADT or ADT + EBRT had higher pathological Gleason scores, T‐stage, positive surgical margin rates, and nodal burden. Adjusted multivariable Cox models showed improved OS for ADT + EBRT vs observation (hazard ratio [HR] 0.77, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.64–0.94; P = 0.008) and vs ADT (HR 0.76, 95% CI: 0.63–0.93; P = 0.007). There was no difference in OS for ADT vs observation (HR 1.01, 95% CI: 0.87–1.18; P = 0.88). Findings were similar when restricting adjuvant cohorts for timing of adjuvant therapy. There was no difference in OS between groups for up to 2 549 (31.6%) patients lacking any of the following adverse features: ≥pT3b disease, Gleason score ≥9, three or more positive nodes, or positive surgical margin.

Conclusions

For patients with LNM after RP, the use of adjuvant ADT + EBRT improved OS in the majority of patients, especially those with adverse pathological features. Conversely, adjuvant therapy did not confer significant OS benefit in up to 30% of patients without high‐risk features, who may be managed with observation and forego the morbidity associated with immediate ADT or radiation.

Editorial: Postoperative radiation and hormonal therapy for men with node‐positive prostate cancer: a new standard?

The best management strategy for men with pathologically node‐positive (pN+) prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy (RP) has been debated for decades [1]. In the 1990s, the Radiation Therapy and Oncology Group (RTOG) initiated the RTOG 9608 trial to test the impact of radiotherapy (RT) and androgen‐deprivation therapy (ADT) in this setting. However, due to the rise in PSA screening and the practice of treating high‐risk prostate cancer with primary RT, the incidence of pN+ disease fell. Consequently, the trial closed due to poor accrual and the question faded in prominence. Today, both trends have reversed. PSA screening is less common and men with high‐risk prostate cancer are more frequently opting for RP. As such, physicians increasingly face the dilemma of pN+ disease. Guidelines provide little assistance, as they support everything from observation to multimodal treatment with RT and ADT. Patients and providers want to know, is there a standard treatment for all patients, and if not, how should one choose between such disparate options?

To answer these questions, one must start with the little randomised data that exist in this setting. The seminal trial by Messing et al. [1] randomised men with pN+ prostate cancer to ADT or observation with initiation of ADT after the development of symptomatic progression or distant metastases. ADT clearly improved overall survival and prostate cancer‐specific survival. However, critics noted the relatively poor outcomes in the observation group and the small sample size. Later, retrospective studies called the benefit of immediate ADT into question [2].

Against this backdrop, it is interesting that Gupta et al. [3] found the most common management approach in the USA National Cancer Database (NCDB) was observation rather than immediate ADT. Despite the randomised data, the cumulative side‐effects from lifelong ADT in a cohort of patients with no disease‐related symptoms and a median survival of well over 10 years are unappealing. Ultimately, many men do not appear to be willing to endure the diminished quality of life in exchange for a small improvement in quantity of life.

In contrast to the non‐curative nature of ADT, the possibility exists that the combination of postoperative RT and ADT could provide durable disease control, perhaps even without lifelong ADT. The data reported by Gupta et al. [3] in this edition of the BJUI provide support for this paradigm. These data add to a growing body of literature [4] that tells a consistent story with two common themes: (i) postoperative RT with ADT appears to be associated with improved survival in men with pN+ prostate cancer, and (ii) RT appears to convey the largest benefit to men with certain high‐risk pathological features. Should this body of literature lead us to eschew the old standard and advise observation for low‐risk men and RT with ADT for men at higher risk?

Before a new standard is declared, the limitations of retrospective population‐based research must be addressed. The authors performed a sophisticated analysis to reduce the impact of selection bias. However, due to the limitation of the available data, the authors were not able to account for possibly the most important variable: the postoperative PSA. One study showed that men with pN+ disease with a persistent PSA had an 8‐year clinical recurrence rate of 69% vs 12% for those with undetectable PSA [5].

It is likely that men with persistent PSA in the NCDB would have received immediate ADT with or without RT rather than observation. As such, one must be cautious of the similar survival between the observation and ADT group, especially in light of contradictory randomised data. That being said, it is reasonable for some men to conclude that the side‐effects of ADT outweigh the potential benefit, especially those with low‐risk features such as an undetectable postoperative PSA, low Gleason score, and limited lymph node involvement.

As RT with ADT appears superior to either observation or ADT alone, should more men receive RT? Probably. Of the men with high‐risk features, only 22% actually received postoperative RT. Should postoperative RT now be considered the standard for all men? Probably not. Whilst it appears that some men may indeed benefit from RT, the possibility of selection bias driving this result is real. Even if there is a true effect, identifying which patients harbour residual local disease, but do not already have subclinical distant metastatic disease is challenging. RT for all would lead to unnecessary side‐effects for men that would not benefit from the treatment. Ultimately, a randomised trial will be required to establish the benefit of RT and to define subgroups of men that may or may not benefit. Until then, we will continue to rely on excellent work like the accompanying paper from Gupta et al. [3] to identify men who may benefit from postoperative RT and ADT.

References

  1. Messing EM, Manola J, Sarosdy M, Wilding G, Crawford ED, Trump D. Immediate hormonal therapy compared with observation after radical prostatectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy in men with node‐positive prostate cancer. N Engl J Med 1999341: 1781–8
  2. Wong YN, Freedland S, Egleston B, Hudes G, Schwartz JS, Armstrong K. Role of androgen deprivation therapy for node‐positive prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol 200927: 100–5
  3. Gupta M, Patel HD, Schwen ZR, Tran PT, Partin AW. Adjuvant radiation with androgen deprivation therapy for men with lymph node metastases following radical prostatectomy: identifying men who benefit. BJU Int 2019123: 252–60
  4. Abdollah F, Karnes RJ, Suardi N et al. Impact of adjuvant radiotherapy on survival of patients with node‐positive prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol 201432: 3939–47
  5. Bianchi L, Nini A, Bianchi M et al. The role of prostate‐specific antigen persistence after radical prostatectomy for the prediction of clinical progression and cancer‐specific mortality in node‐positive prostate cancer patients. Eur Urol 201669: 1142–8

 

“Is radiotherapy the work of the Devil?” – why we chose this title.

With the recent electronic publication of our editorial written for the BJUI USANZ supplement, we have been somewhat surprised with the Twitter response our title has generated with some very strong opinions expressed. Why would a radiation oncologist, who happens to be the Chair of their National Genito-Urinary group (“FROGG”) propose such a provocative title? The BJUI editorial board wisely suggested that we explain the origin of this title which would be lost on many outside Australia.

In mid-2014, a leading Australian urologist quipped that adjuvant post-prostatectomy radiotherapy was “the work of the Devil” when referring to some of the severe complications that can occur following post-prostatectomy radiation. This comment has become “infamous” in Australian Radiation Oncology circles leading to extensive discussions and interactions between our specialties with urologists stating that radiotherapy complications can occur late and be very challenging to treat and radiation oncologists stating that these complications are relatively uncommon and that overall quality of life is as good if not better when going down the radiotherapy pathway. This is the climate that the article by Ma et al was submitted to the BJUI describing the impact of radiotherapy complications on a tertiary urology service in Melbourne Australia over a 6 month period.

 

 

I was impressed that the BJUI approached a radiation oncologist to provide balance on such a paper. We provocatively titled the editorial “Is Radiotherapy the work of the Devil?” and were hoping the response to anyone reading the editorial would be a resounding “No”.  However, many have only seen “the headline” and not read the editorial itself which appears to have created offence especially from some of our international Radiation Oncology colleagues. The aim of such a title is that it will encourage people to read both the original article and the editorial which we feel provides a balanced view on the impact of radiotherapy complications in contemporary practice. We hope that in future, the response to our title: “Is Radiotherapy the work of the Devil” is “No – the Devil is in the detail”.

 

A/Prof Andrew Kneebone

Department of Radiation Oncology, Royal North Shore Hospital and Chair of the Faculty Of Radiation Oncology Genito-Urinary Group (FROGG)

 

 

 

Article of the Week: Clinical and patient-reported outcomes of SPARE

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.

Clinical and patient-reported outcomes of SPARE – a randomised feasibility study of selective bladder preservation versus radical cystectomy

Robert A. Huddart*, Alison Birtle, Lauren Maynard*, Mark Beresford§, Jane BlazebyJenny Donovan, John D. Kelly**, Tony Kirkbank††, Duncan B. McLaren‡‡, Graham Mead§§, Clare Moynihan*, Raj Persad¶¶, Christopher Scrase***, Rebecca Lewis* and Emma Hall*
*The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, Royal Preston Hospital, Preston and University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, §Royal United Hospital Bath, Bath, UK, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, **University College London Hospital, London, UK, ††Patient Representative, Edinburgh, UK, ‡‡Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK, §§Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK, ¶¶North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK, and ***The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Ipswich, UK

 

Abstract

Objectives

To test the feasibility of a randomised trial in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) and compare outcomes in patients who receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy (RC) or selective bladder preservation (SBP), where definitive treatment [RC or radiotherapy (RT)] is determined by response to chemotherapy.

Patients and Methods

SPARE is a multicentre randomised controlled trial comparing RC and SBP in patients with MIBC staged T2–3 N0 M0, fit for both treatment strategies and receiving three cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Patients were randomised between RC and SBP before a cystoscopy after cycle three of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Patients with ≤T1 residual tumour received a fourth cycle of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in both groups, followed by radical RT in the SBP group and RC in in the RC group; non-responders in both groups proceeded immediately to RC following cycle three. Feasibility study primary endpoints were accrual rate and compliance with assigned treatment strategy. The phase III trial was designed to demonstrate non-inferiority of SBP in terms of overall survival (OS) in patients whose tumours responded to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Secondary endpoints included patient-reported quality of life, clinician assessed toxicity, loco-regional recurrence-free survival, and rate of salvage RC after SBP.

Results

Trial recruitment was challenging and below the predefined target with 45 patients recruited in 30 months (25 RC; 20 SBP). Non-compliance with assigned treatment strategy was frequent, six of the 25 patients (24%) randomised to RC received RT. Long-term bladder preservation rate was 11/15 (73%) in those who received RT per protocol. OS survival was not significantly different between groups.

Conclusions

Randomising patients with MIBC between RC and SBP based on response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy was not feasible in the UK health system. Strong clinician and patient preferences for treatments impacted willingness to undergo randomisation and acceptance of treatment allocation. Due to the few participants, firm conclusions about disease and toxicity outcomes cannot be drawn.

Editorial: Should we care more about SPARE?

Huddart et al. [1] report the results of a phase III clinical trial (SPARE) evaluating the feasibility of randomising participants with cT2/T3 muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) to either radiation or radical cystectomy (RC) following neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Whilst attempting to address an important, in fact crucial ongoing point of debate, due to poor patient accrual (45 participants recruited in 30 months) the study was terminated early. Additionally, compliance with study assignment was low, with as many as 24% of participants electing to proceed with a treatment arm that was the opposite of what they were randomised to. This underscores the problems with obtaining randomised data in an era where patient and clinician preference drive clinical decision-making.

Whilst well-performed prospective studies show acceptable results with bladder-sparing approaches (69% complete response and 71% 5-year disease-specific survival [2]), no randomised clinical trials comparing bladder sparing with RC have demonstrated equivocal results. As non-randomised studies are subject to selection bias [many patients with large bulky T3 tumours or those with carcinoma in situ (CIS) or hydronephrosis have not met inclusion criteria for trials of bladder sparing], it is often debated as to whether bladder sparing is appropriate for the entire population of patients with MIBC or a selected subset. This is especially important in a deadly disease such as bladder cancer, where we often have only one chance to get it right and hence recent guidelines state that bladder sparing and radical options should be discussed with the patient.

Whilst we acknowledge the limitations based on the number of participants analysed, these data show some interesting trends [1]. There appears to be more local recurrence with radiation therapy (69%) compared to RC (15%), this despite confirmation of ≤cT1 disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. And while most of the local failures are attributed to non-muscle-invasive recurrences; additional treatments, patient anxiety, and potential salvage RC, as well as the cost of surveillance, must be considered in reflecting on these results. It is unclear whether these factors are outweighed by the perceived lower toxicity in these patients.

It is our opinion that until randomised studies show equivalency, radiation-based approaches should definitely be discussed with all patients but patients should also be guided as to who are ideal candidates. Ideal candidates are those who have non-variant histology (pure urothelial carcinoma), non-bulky (minimal) invasive T2 cancer, absence of CIS, absence of a three-dimensional mass on imaging or examination, absence of hydronephrosis, and have an adequate bladder capacity [3]. The role of multidisciplinary care is paramount, maximal transurethral resection is a critical initial step, as incomplete resections can potentially double the odds of eventual RC in bladder-sparing protocols [4]. Additionally, concomitant chemotherapy has shown improved survival and should be considered standard of care based on a randomised control trial [5]. The addition of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is unknown and needs to be further evaluated. In addition to the treatment itself, it is clear that vigilant surveillance is critical in identifying patients at highest risk of failure and requires a combination of both cystoscopy and imaging, with expedient salvage RC.

Beyond the challenges of treating patients with MIBC, this report from Huddart et al. [1] reflects the larger issue of clinical trial accrual. As mentioned, patients and clinicians often have predetermined notions about the ‘best’ course of action, even in the context of a randomised clinical trial. These limitations have plagued early closure of other trials in bladder cancer as well. Similarly in prostate cancer, comparative treatment trials of radiation and surgery are limited as patients are reluctant to relinquish decisions about their treatment. Clearly, an intensive effort is necessary to create clinical trials that are palatable to a multi-disciplinary treatment team committed to answering tough therapy questions. MIBC is no different, where we often offer differing treatment modalities without having quality comparative data, which is a disservice to our patients who look to us to guide their treatment approaches based on best available hard evidence. We again commend the authors for their well-designed clinical trial and presenting their results and challenges from the SPARE trial.

Eugene K. Lee* and Ashish M. Kamat

 

*University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS and † Department of Urology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

 

References

 

 

3 Smelser WW, Austenfeld MA, Holzbeierlein JM, Lee EK. Where are we with bladder preservation for muscle-invasive bladder cancer in 2017? Indian J Urol 2017; 33: 11117

 

 

5 James ND, Hussain SA, Hall E et al. Radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer. N Engl J Med 2012; 366: 147788

 

April 2017 #urojc summary: Is SABR a viable therapeutic option for managing renal tumors in patients deemed unsuitable for surgery?

saji_author-photo5April 2017 #urojc summary: Is SABR a viable therapeutic option for managing renal tumors in patients deemed unsuitable for surgery?

In April 2017, the International Twitter-based Urology Journal Club (@iurojc) #urojc reviewed an interesting recent article by Siva et. Al reporting their experience in a prospective cohort study utilizing Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR) on inoperable primary renal cell carcinomas. The article was made freely available courtesy of BJUI for the duration of the discussion (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bju.13811/full). The journal club ran for 48 hours beginning on April 2nd at 21:00 UTC. The first author of the manuscript, Dr. Shankar Siva, a radiation oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center joined the discussion using the Twitter handle @_ShankarSiva.

The study enrolled 37 total patients (T1a n=13, T1b n=23, and T2a n=1) due to one of three reasons: (1) deemed medically inoperable (n=28 Charlson Comorbidity >6), (2) high-risk group for surgery (n=11 high risk post-surgical dialysis), (3) refused surgery (n=1). The primary outcome measured was the successful delivery of radiotherapy. Secondary outcomes included (1) adverse events of radiotherapy, (2) local progression of the disease, (3) distant progression of the disease, and (4) overall survival.

@iurojc kicked things off with a starter question

There was immediate debate regarding the validity of treating patients with inoperable tumors using alternative modalities.

@PatrickKenneyMD cited a retrospective analysis by Kutikov et. al (@uretericbud) of the SEER database on competing causes of mortality in elderly patients with localized RCC. The study reported the 5-year probability of mortality from non-cancer related etiology to be 11% while the RCC related mortality probability was 4%. The authors of the paper encourage that management decisions for localized RCC in older patients should take into account competing causes of mortality. @DrewMoghanaki argued that many patients will still suffer from the sequelae of cancer progression that could be prevented by treating with non-surgical modalities such as SABR.
@_ShankarSiva chimed in

@uretericbud questioned the comparison of two discrepant neoplasms

@_ShankarSiva explained

From Belgium, an important point was made about the question itself.

While this conversation was occurring, a lively discussion on the utility of SABR compared to other established non-surgical modalities was taking place.

@_ShankarSiva replied

Next, @CanesDavid posed a question regarding the most frequent factors of surgical disqualification in the cohort

@benchallacombe noted a limitation of the study which led to a discussion of the utility of one of the four secondary outcomes of the study- local progression.

@nickbrookMD (co-author) cited an article by Crispen et. al that characterized the growth rate of untreated solid enhancing renal masses. @Rad_Nation proposed two follow-up studies that could be conducted.

Even if these studies are conducted, there is skepticism around whether Urologists will view SBRT as a viable alternative treatment modality for RCC.

@iurojc posed an important question. What should be the overall goal of the urologist? Is it to cure cancer by all means? Or perhaps to find a balance between quality of life and management of the disease? SBRT may play a crucial role in the latter situation.

To wrap things up, @iurojc asked a summary question.

The authors of the manuscript provided a response and their thoughts on what needs to be done next.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the April 2017 #urojc. Special thanks to the authors @_ShankarSiva and @nickbrookMD for joining in on the discussion and providing further insight to their work.

Akhil Saji is a third-year medical student at New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY.

Twitter @AkhilASaji

 

References

1. Siva, Shankar, et al. “Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy for inoperable primary kidney cancer: a prospective clinical trial.” BJU international (2017)

2. Kutikov, Alexander, et al. “Evaluating overall survival and competing risks of death in patients with localized renal cell carcinoma using a comprehensive nomogram.” Journal of Clinical Oncology 28.2 (2009): 311-317.

3. Crispen, Paul L., et al. “Predicting growth of solid renal masses under active surveillance.” Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations. Vol. 26. No. 5. Elsevier, 2008

 

Capitalising On Our Strengths: The 70th USANZ ASM

Canberra, our nation’s capital and the host city for the 2017 USANZ ASM, is a gem in its own right, but one which was created to satiate two feuding states locked in a bitter rivalry. In 1908, Canberra embodied the very meaning of compromise and collaboration, a technique which has garnered much success for our Country over the ensuing 100 odd years. Arguably the first official Australian collaborative effort, this way of thinking has become an almost uniquely Australian attribute and a strength imbued in our national pride.

USANZ 2017 was held in CanberraCanberra from up high, a breathtaking backdrop for a fantastic USANZ ASM.

Given this year’s mantra of: “Capitalising on our strengths” It is perhaps fitting then, that the 70th anniversary of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) including the Australia and New Zealand Urological Nurses Society (ANZUNS) 22nd ASM, should be held in such a location. In addition to providing some wonderful tourist opportunities for guests including the War Memorial, the National Gallery and Parliament House.

Convenors A/Prof Nathan Lawrentschuk and Kath Schubach went to great efforts to successfully welcome both national and international guests and Scientific Program Directors A/Prof Shomik Sengupta and Carla D’Amico ensured a star-studded academic program addressing contemporary updates in Urological evidence based practice, which were aptly discussed both inside and outside the confines of the National Convention Centre.

1-2Senior YURO members standing outside Parliament House (from left to right): Dr. Daniel Christidis, Dr. Tatenda Nzenza, Dr. Todd Manning, Dr. Shannon McGrath

 

The representation by International faculty was exceptional, with countless urological household names from world leading centres across the globe both involved in the academic program and socially. Urological goliaths including Prof. Christopher Chapple, Prof. Prokar Dasgupta and Prof. Laurence Klotz weighed in on various topical issues providing an intercontinental perspective that complimented the equally impressive national line-up of speakers.

As with previous years, use of social media was rife, with those not able to attend kept in the loop via #Usanz17 and a steady stream from the ever focused twitterati. The ASM provided more than 5 million impressions and over 2800 individual tweets from more than 400 participants. The usual suspects were eminent as always, along with a few newcomers who provided impact in their own right. The official USANZ 2017 App also kept participants up to date via timely notifications and was user friendly.

Guests were spoilt for choice in the convention centre during well timed breaks, which was perpetually abuzz with attendees networking. In the background the ‘Talking Urology’ team headed by Mr Joseph Ischia and A/Prof Nathan Lawrentschuk provided a steady stream of captivating interviews with guests, regarding a myriad of urological topics. Simultaneously, numerous academics gave brief summaries of research posters during allocated presentation sessions. Exhibitors provided a captivating backdrop for these activities including many hands-on simulators and challenges for those keen to test their dextrous mettle. All the while guests relished a variety of delectable culinary options.

1-3Guests networking at the Gala Dinner, whilst being entertained by opera classics in the Great Hall foyer of Parliament House

 

The meeting’s common themes were strong and pertinent to contemporary urology. They centred around collaborative research efforts such as the ANZUP trials group and the Young Urology Researchers Organisation (YURO), technology especially PSMA PET and social media and social justice including women in urology and operating with respect. Discussions were directed by chairpersons during purposefully allocated Q&A times at the conclusion of each session, a new and well received addition to this years meeting. This was generously embraced by both senior and junior academics and led to intriguing symposiums and at times heated debate.

 

USANZ 2017 Friday Highlights

The first official day of proceedings provided a smorgasbord of morning and afternoon workshops ranging from technical skills courses to the medico-legal implications of E-Health and technology. This was followed by an allocated networking session for Urology trainees with International faculty.

Officially opening the conference in the Royal Theatre of the convention centre, A/Prof Lawrentschuk introduced this year’s Harry Harris orator; Elizabeth Cosson, AM CSC.  Her speech entitled “leading with grit and grace” eloquently detailed her journey in the armed forces and highlighted the difficulties of the unmistakably imbalanced workplace for women in the military. Her talk clearly underlined her role in not only forging a highly successful career for herself but also for those women following in her footsteps. Her inspiring dialogue was synchronous with contemporary issues surrounding Urological practice, especially concerning equality for women but more resolutely, appropriate equity both in training and established practice.

With the tone well established for an exceptional meeting, guests enjoyed a variety of canapés and drinks in the exhibition hall, unwinding with social discussion.

1-4YURO President, Dr Todd Manning talks to young researchers with help from Prof. Henry Woo and A/Prof. Lawrentschuk during the YURO annual meeting

 

Saturday Highlights

Plenary sessions aplenty began the second day of proceedings with International academic giants including Prof. Klotz, Prof. Chapple, Prof. Traxer and Prof Nitti mixed in with National heavy hitters such as Prof Frank Gardiner, Mr Daniel Moon and outgoing USANZ president Prof. Mark Frydenberg.

Afternoon sessions included subspecialty discussions and some stellar Podium Poster presentations, with an especially impressive mix of senior and junior researchers regarding countless and diverse urological topics.

 

Sunday Highlights

Heralding the beginning of another exceptional day, the ‘Women in Urology’ breakfast symposium chaired by Dr Anita Clark along side distinguished panellists including Dr Caroline Dowling and Dr Eva Fong was a conference stand out for many.

Following this, more plenary sessions filled the remainder of the pre-lunch program, leading into the highly anticipated Keith Kirkland and Villis Marshall presentations by Urology SET trainees. The presentations did not disappoint. As in previous years, research of unyielding professional and academic quality was offered by the group of future urologists, who as is tradition weathered the gauntlet of probing and tough questions from the floor. All presentations were captivating in their own right.  2017 Villis Marshall winner Dr Marlon Perera presented ground-breaking research regarding the reno-protective role of zinc in contrast nephropathy. Dr Amila Siriwardana was deservedly awarded the Keith Kirkland

award for his multicentre retrospective review on Robot assisted salvage node dissection to treat recurrences detected by PSMA PET.

Following these presentations, the YURO annual meeting once again heralded a complement of enthusiastic, innovative and clever minds from all Australian states, eager to pursue research opportunities through collaborative means. Joined this year by Prof. Henry Woo, the group was fortunate to receive his valuable insight and feedback regarding past success and future direction. The group solidified upcoming positions of leadership and highlighted new directions in educational, research and mentorship avenues for younger members.

The Gala Dinner is a stand out affair during each ASM and this year was no exception. Guests were provided with the unique opportunity to see Australia’s Parliament House from the inside. The night began with surprise operatic renditions of many well known classics in the spacious foyer of the Great Hall and culminated with a climactic performance of Nesson Dorma. Guests then enjoyed a delectable 3 course meal in identical fashion to a rare collection of political royalty including; Barack Obama, Prince William and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

1-5Twitter metrics tabulated from the conference via the #Usanz17 (courtesy of Symplur LLC)

 

Monday Highlights

The final day of proceedings saw once again provided an array of interesting and thought provoking topics.  The clear highlight of the morning was the metaphorical prize fight between Mr Joseph Ischia and Dr Shankar Siva debating the roles of surgery and radiotherapy in Oligometastatic disease. Although these two went toe to toe over many rounds, the inevitable conclusion was understandably a draw. Although on PowerPoint slide pictures alone, Dr Siva’s extensive use of Star Wars based analogies won my vote.

Insight and introduction to the 71st USANZ ASM was then delivered and as a Melbournian my bias was admittedly hard to hide. Attendees received a taste of the excitement to come, with what is assured to be another blockbuster cast of national and international urologists led boldly by Convenor Mr Daniel Moon and Scientific Program Director Prof. Declan Murphy. I for one, eagerly anticipate the return of the ASM to out Nation’s culinary and cultural capitol and I’m sure guests in 2018 will be captivated by the world most liveable city!

It can be said with certainty that this years USANZ 70th ASM presented a scientific program as strong as ever within a fascinating and historical backdrop and complimented by a lively social atmosphere. This consensus of a highly successful meeting, I’m sure was shared by all.

I look forward to seeing you all next year and hope you are eagerly anticipating the ‘flat whites’.

 

Dr. Todd G Manning, Department of Surgery, Austin Health, Melbourne, and Young Urology Researchers Organisation (YURO), Australia. Twitter: @DocToddManning

 

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