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Royal Society of Medicine: Key issues in Endourology

The RSM section of Urology #RSMUrology hosted a day on the Key issues in Endourology on 20th October. This was the first meeting of the academic year under President Roland Morley. Sri Sriprisad put together a complete endourology day with key subject areas of  “PCNL and stones”, “upper tract TCC” and “BPH and retention”. Speakers from India, America and Spain provided expert opinions from around the globe.

The day started with the evolution of stone and urological laparoscopic surgery. Showing an insight into the challenges with the initial introduction of laparoscopic urological surgery. In order to allow surgeons the chance to discuss their experiences and troubleshoot and develop surgical techniques the SLUG forum (southern laparoscopic urology group) was created, which is still running today in the annual AUA meeting.

PCNL techniques were the subject for several debate lectures. Access for PCNL tracts was debated by Dr Janak Desai, visiting from Samved Urology hospital in India, arguing for fluoroscopic puncture with over 10,000 cases to date! Jonathan Glass, from Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital, spoke for the prone position for the majority of PCNL, but selecting the supine position in 5-10% of cases depending on the anatomy and stone position. Dr Desai also spoke on ultra-mini PCNL, which he advocates using to treat solitary kidney stones under 2 cm in preference to flexible ureteroscopy.

The future of ESWL was debated and the audience voted that it is still “alive and clicking” by a narrow margin. However, although up to 80% clearance rates are quoted for upper pole stones less than 2 cm, the problem is that results of treatment are varied and unpredictable, and real-life success rates are far inferior. The variation in results may in part be due to the fact that there are no formal training courses for specialist radiographers nor SAC requirements for specialist registrars. Professor Sam McClinton presented on clinical research in stone disease with results from the TISU trial on primary ESWL vs. ureteroscopy for ureteric stones due out next year. The results will be fascinating and may help to decide if ESWL has a future in the UK.

Professor Margaret Pearle, visiting from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, explained the importance of treating residual fragments. With data showing that 20 – 36% of >2 mm residual stones after ureteroscopy required repeat surgery within 1 year. In a thought provoking lecture, she presented data showing that ureteroscopy may not be as good as we think and when critically examined, true stone-free rates maybe no better than ESWL. Maybe miniaturised PCNL is the way forward after all?

The follow up of small kidney stones is an uncertain area with very little written in either the EAU or AUA guidelines. Data from a meta-analysis by Ghani et al. shows that for every year of follow up on small kidney stones 7% may pass, 14% grow and 7% will require intervention. However, it is not possible in most health systems to follow everyone up forever and Mr Bultitude advocated increasing discharge rates from stone clinics to primary care after an agreed time of stability, allowing more on the complex and metabolic stone formers.Figure 1- Stone follow up algorithm

The expert stone panel then debated several challenging cases including “the encrusted stent”, stones in a pelvic kidney or calyceal diverticulum. These cases certainly are a challenge and require an individualized approach usually with multi-modality treatments.

Figure 2 – Stone expert panel

Upper tract urological biopsies are notoriously inaccurate, with only 15% of standard biopsies quantifiable histologically. Low grade tumours, are potentially suitable for endoscopic management with laser ablation. Dr Alberto Breda, from the urology department of Fundacio Puigvert Hospital in Spain, presented a novel solution for the future. This promising new technology uses confocal endomicroscopy to grade upper tract urological cancer. Initial results show 90% accuracy in diagnosing low grade tumours, which could then be safely managed endoscopically avoiding nephron-ureterectomy for some patients.

 

Figure 3 – Confocal endomicroscopy for upper tract malignancy

In the final session, a debate on BPH treatment, the audience preferred the bipolar resection technique for treating “the 60 year old with retention, with a 90 gram prostate and on rivaroxaban”, although HOLEP came a close second, with that talk giving the quote of the day “I spend more time with the morcellator than the wife.”

Figure 4 – Bipolar TURP wins the day

 

Nishant Bedi

ST4 Specialist urology registrar

 

RSM Bladder Day

CaptureThe urology section of the RSM left Wimpole Street and travelled up to sunny Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on the 24th April to be educated in the ‘Management of Non-Muscle invasive and Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer’. This meeting was organised in collaboration with Nick James and Rik Bryan at the Birmingham Warwick Uro-Oncology unit as the RSM looks to add to its regional programme of teaching days.

The meeting was well attended by both experts as well as trainees and we kicked off with John McGrath and a review of the evidence behind current haematuria investigations as well as the new NICE guidelines. Professor Charles Hutchinson from the University of Warwick then gave a detailed talk on pre-operative imaging in bladder cancer and this led to an interesting debate on the necessity of performing a full TURBT in cases of known muscle invasive disease if the patient will ultimately require a cystectomy. No consensus was reached although if definitely proceeding to cystectomy it is unlikely to be beneficial. If radiotherapy is considered then debulking is important.

Eva Comperat from the Service d’Anatomie and Cytologie Pathologiques du Pr Capron presented a fascinating histopathological perspective of bladder cancer and it was interesting to see that even amongst eminent pathologists there can be challenges in distinguishing pTa from pT1 disease with only 44% in one large study showing full agreement. The importance in reporting histological variants such as micropapillary or plasmocytoid was discussed due to the aggressive nature of these types and the need for more radical treatment. This was also re-iterated by Peter Rimington while discussing early cystectomy which should be offered to all suitable patients at high risk of progression according to EORTC tables, especially in young patients and in tumours which are multifocal, difficult to resect, have deep lamina propria or prostatic involvement and those with associated CIS.

A highlight for me was Professor John Kelly’s talk on the treatment option of hyperthermic Mitomycin C. HYMN Trial.

Data from the HYMN trial which looked at hyperthermic MMC vs. standard treatment in BCG failures was disappointing in that there was no difference in terms of disease free survival at 24 months. Outcomes were found to be worse in patients with CIS, but in patients with papillary disease, hyperthermic MMC had far more favourable results. This has led to the HIVEC I and HIVEC II trials currently recruiting in the UK and Spain looking at standard MMC vs. hyperthermic MMC in intermediate risk disease. It was also interesting to see new immunotherapy drugs currently in phase III trials which will hopefully be available in the near future.

Rik Bryan’s presentation on the evolving role of bio markers explained that the Bladder Cancer Diagnostic Programme had found that contrary to our beliefs, patients trust, and would rather accept certainty over burden and thus would rather continue with cystoscopic surveillance over bio-markers, unless the sensitivity of these bio-markers was over 99%. No such bio-marker has yet been found to be that accurate but current research into odor-readers, urinary dipsticks and DNA all look promising in terms of potential for both diagnosis and prognosis.

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Both Nick James and Hugh Mostafid highlighted current research trials with the CALIBER RCT on chemo resection in recurrent low risk bladder cancer as well as the PHOTO trial looking at both clinical and cost effectiveness of photo-dynamic cystoscopy leading the way in terms of surgical trials currently recruiting. Nick also caused a stir on Twitter as he presented data showing a median survival advantage of more than a year between surgeons performing low or high volume of cystectomies annually. Surely we do not need more convincing evidence to centralise such surgery?

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Reviewing bladder cancer from the oncologist’s perspective, Syed Hussein from the University of Liverpool explained that although there is a 6% overall survival benefit with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy there have been no RCT on MVAC vs gemcitabine/cisplatin regimes. Nick James’ talk on bladder preserving treatment added to this that synchronous chemoradiotherapy could be complementary to neo-adjuvant treatment and the addition of synchronous chemotherapy has been shown to provide a significant improvement in terms of loco regional control.

Vijay Ramani presented his series on salvage cystectomy with no significant difference in terms of complications for salvage vs. primary surgery as long as certain techniques were adopted such as division of ureters outside of the pelvis and using bowel at least 15-20cm proximal from the ileocaecal valve.

To complete the diverse and stimulating programme, Professor Peter Wiklund from the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, presented a state of the art lecture on “Reconstruction rules! The robot has taken over?”. With discussion and impressive videos demonstrating intra-corporeal robotic neobladder reconstruction it was difficult not to be in awe of such an impressive series, with a 90% continence rate in males.

Overall it was fantastic to have the RSM in the West Midlands. Roger Plail has done much to reach out to those of us outside of London and I look forward to the Geoffrey Chisholm Prize Meeting and AGM on the 22nd May in Hastings. RSM President’s Day.

Rebecca Tregunna, Speciality Trainee, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, West Midlands Deanery @RebeccaTregunna

 

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