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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 Urology Winter Meeting 2017, Northstar, California

rsm-2017-blogThis year’s Annual RSM Urology Section Winter Meeting, hosted by Roger Kirby and Matt Bultitude, was held in Lake Tahoe, California.

A pre-conference trip to sunny Los Angeles provided a warm-up to the meeting for a group of delegates who flew out early to visit Professor Indy Gill at the Keck School of Medicine.  We were treated to a diverse range of live open, endourological and robotic surgery; highlights included a salvage RARP with extended lymph node dissection and a robotic simple prostatectomy which was presented as an alternative option for units with a robot but no/limited HoLEP expertise.

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On arrival to Northstar, Dr Stacy Loeb (NYU) officially opened the meeting by reviewing the social media urology highlights from 2016. Next up was Professor Joseph Smith (Nashville) who gave us a fascinating insight into the last 100 years of urology as seen through the Journal of Urology. Much like today, prostate cancer and BPH were areas of significant interest although, in contrast, early papers focused heavily on venereal disease, TB and the development of cystoscopy. Perhaps most interesting was a slightly hair-raising description of the management of IVC bleeding from 1927; the operating surgeon was advised to clamp as much tissue as possible, close and then return to theatre a week later in the hopes the bleeding had ceased!

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With the promise of beautifully groomed pistes and stunning views of Lake Tahoe, it was hardly surprising that the meeting was attended by a record number of trainees. One of the highlights of the trainee session was the hilarious balloon debate which saw participants trying to convince the audience of how best to manage BPH in the newly inaugurated President Trump. Although strong arguments were put forward for finasteride, sildenafil, Urolift, PVP and HoLEP, TURP ultimately won the debate. A disclaimer: this was a fictional scenario and, to the best of my knowledge, Donald Trump does not have BPH.

The meeting also provided updates on prostate, renal and bladder cancer. A standout highlight was Professor Nick James’ presentation on STAMPEDE which summarized the trial’s key results and gave us a taste of the upcoming data we can expect to see in the next few years.

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We were fortunate to be joined by prominent American faculty including Dr Trinity Bivalacqua (Johns Hopkins) and Dr Matt Cooperberg (UCSF) who provided state-of-the-art lectures on potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers in bladder and prostate cancer which promise to usher in a new era of personalized therapy.

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A personal highlight was Tuesday’s session on learning from complications. It was great to hear some very senior and experienced surgeons speaking candidly about their worst complications. As a trainee, it served as a reminder that complications are inevitable in surgery and that it is not their absence which distinguishes a good surgeon but rather the ability to manage them well.

There was also plenty for those interested in benign disease, including topical discussions on how to best provide care to an increasingly ageing population with multiple co-morbidities. This was followed by some lively point-counterpoint sessions on robot-assisted versus open renal transplantation (Ravi Barod and Tim O’Brien), Urolift vs TURP (Tom McNicholas and Matt Bultitude) and HOLEP vs prostate artery embolization for BPH (Ben Challacombe and Rick Popert). Professor Culley Carson (University of North Carolina) concluded the session with a state-of-the art lecture on testosterone replacement.

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In addition to the excellent academic programme, delegates enjoyed fantastic skiing with perfect weather and unparalleled views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. For the more adventurous skiiers, there was also a trip to Squaw Valley, the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Another highlight was a Western-themed dinner on the shores of Lake Tahoe which culminated in almost all delegates trying their hand at line dancing to varying degrees of success! I have no doubt that next year’s meeting in Corvara, Italy will be equally successful and would especially encourage trainees to attend what promises to be another excellent week of skiing and urological education.

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Miss Niyati Lobo
ST3 Urology Trainee, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

@niyatilobo

 

RSM Winter Meeting in Saalbach, Austria

This year the urology section of the RSM held their annual winter meeting in Saalbach, Austria hosted by Tom McNicholas and Rik Bryan.

 1.1Kicking off the meeting was a state of the art lecture by Professor Shahrokh Shariat, Professor of Urology at the Medical University of Vienna who presented a convincing perspective on whether we should really be calling Gleason 3+3 disease “prostate cancer” due to the lack of hallmarks of cancer compared with Gleason four disease, and clinical data suggesting that Gleason 3+3 cancer does not metastasise. Education of patients to ensure compliance of active surveillance is surely key to ensuring that change in disease pattern or small volume higher Gleason grade disease is not missed. Interestingly from Dominic Hodgson’s experience in Portsmouth approximately 50% of patients with Gleason 3+3 disease on TRUS were upgraded to Gleason 3+4 on template biopsy, although these patients who went on to have more extensive biopsies did so due to other concerning parameters. SIN PIN keeps you connected to your loved ones around the world! All New Customers receive $1 FREE to try SIN PIN International Calling Service. Make High Quality International Calls to those who don’t have the SIN PIN App yet. Never go out of touch with the ones you care about most! SIN PIN keeps you connected! You can find here the free International calling app Ft Lauderdale FL.

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 The bladder and upper tract cancer session was also a highlight with Rik Bryan presenting data on the use of ‘Oncoscan’ to detect genomic profiles and aberrations in urinary DNA from cell free centrifuged urine. This however was not absolutely specific to bladder tumours as undiagnosed prostate cancer was also detected in one of the tested urine specimens.


The Bladder Path trial being set up by Professor Nick James was also discussed. This trial hopes to investigate the addition of MRI into the haematuria clinic pathway. TURBT in muscle invasive disease does not completely stage tumours and may lead to a delay in definitive treatment. There is no current evidence that debulking of tumour is necessary prior to radical treatment. This randomised controlled trial will review whether MRI as opposed to TURBT could be used for staging in likely muscle invasive tumours with the phase II and phase III aspects looking at time to definitive treatment and time to recurrence or progression.

Professor Karl-Dietrich Sievert from the Universitätsklinik für Urologie und Andrologie, Saltzburg demonstrated how his unit use Diffusion Tensor Imaging MRI to visualise white matter and plan for nerve sparing prostatectomy to preserve post-operative incontinence and erectile function. We also heard how Tim O’Brien has learned many of his lessons in complex renal cancer surgery the hard way, in an inspiring and candid talk.

For the benign urologists there were a plethora of sessions on male and female incontinence as well as male and female ejaculation! Matthew Bultitude and I (RT) debated on medical expulsive therapy for ureteric stones in the wake of the SUSPEND trial. Although the majority of the room seemed convinced of the lack of benefit for small ureteric stones, there appeared to be some doubt created by the regarding larger distal ureteric stones.

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We also had a lot of interesting non-urological discussions. From Martin Mansell, Consultant Nephrologist we heard of the change in law since the Montgomery Judgment leading to the necessity for doctors when taking consent to inform patients of any risk no matter the likelihood of the risk occurring if that particular patient would attach significance to that risk. Mark Speakman pointed out that this may mean a change in the BAUS consent forms which many of us use to consent patients. We also heard of new educational tools such as MedShr from Asif Qasim, Consultant Cardiologist, which is an app serving as a platform to discuss complex cases with colleagues from around the world. BAUS President Mark Speakman presented the BJUI Knowledge tool which allows BAUS members to access interactive e-learning modules and log CPD activity.

1.72016 marked the 34th annual winter meeting for the urology section of the RSM and we paid tribute this year to Peter Worth who has been a regular attendee since the beginning. With a fantastic meeting already planned in Lake Tahoe for 2017 to mark the 35th year hosted by Professor Roger Kirby and Matthew Bultitude, I would encourage as many trainees and consultants to attend for both a rigorous transatlantic educational programme as well as a fantastic opportunity to meet new colleagues and, of course ski!

Rebecca Tregunna (ST4, Alexandra Hospital, Redditch (Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust) – @rebeccatregunna

Dominic Hodgson (Consultant Urologist, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth) – @hodgson_dominic

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

 

Report from the RSM Winter Urology Meeting

The Winter meeting of the RSM may in the past, have had a reputation, more for its skiing than for its scientific profile. This was my second meeting 24 years after the first and I was seriously impressed with the scientific content, quality of the presentations and the first class debate that took place after the presentations.

Certainly starting with a world class motivational presentation from Sir Clive Woodward set the meeting off really well and RSM Section President John Parry subsequently chaired a good debate on how the successful messages of ‘teamship’ from World Cup Rugby and the 2012 Olympics success, could be transferred into British Urology and the NHS in general, was very motivating.

Fifty presentations over 5 days from urologists, oncologists, renal physicians, anaesthetists and GPs was always going to have something for everyone.

Stand out highlights for me were the juxtaposition of Mark Frydenberg from Melbourne and Bruce Montgomery presenting state of the art lectures on Active Surveillance and the place of multiparametric MRI and 4 linked presentations on all aspects of the management of small renal tumours and the management of tumours in single kidneys including auto-transplantation from the Universities of Western Australia (Mike Wallace), Oxford (David Cranston and Mark Sullivan) and Melbourne (Mark Frydenberg).

Whilst not particularly urological, separating the quality science with first class presentations on the Great Losses of the Great War by John Reynard and Medical Issues of Climate change by Juliet Boyd (retired anaesthetist) was yet another sign of the first class programming from Dominic Hodgson and Rik Bryan. Whilst on the subject of Rik, his presentation on bladder cancer pathways created more debate than possibly any other topic. Here was a cancer that killed over 5000 patients per year and where clinical outcomes had not significantly improved over the last 30 years. There was a desperate need for a new bladder cancer initiative to raise funds for research whilst pulling together all the bodies interested in this neglected malignant condition.

Commissioning is not everyone’s ideal topic but clear presentations on this subject clarified the muddled terminology and may position us to get involved in the ongoing debate.

There were 3 world-class oncologists present and Nick James and Peter Harper covered drugs for prostate, bladder and renal cancers and once again Steve Harland entertained and educated us in his classic understated style whilst challenging the majority surgeons in the room by asking them when surgery was appropriate in testicular cancer.

Coincidentally the organisation was first class the venue outstanding and after 20 hours of lectures and presentations the skiing was of the highest order (well at least from some of the younger delegates)!

 

Mark J Speakman
Consultant Urologist, Taunton & Somerset FNHST and Vice President BAUS
Twitter: @Parabolics

 

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