Publications by authors named "Francesco Porpiglia"

388 Publications

Diagnostic performance of fusion (US/MRI guided) prostate biopsy: propensity score matched comparison of elastic versus rigid fusion system.

World J Urol 2022 Jan 17. Epub 2022 Jan 17.

Department of Urology, "Regina Elena" National Cancer Institute, Via Elio Chianesi 53, 00144, Rome, RM, Italy.

Purpose: Many software for US/MRI guided fusion prostate biopsy (FPB), have been developed in the last years. However, there are few data comparing diagnostic accuracy of different fusion systems. We assessed diagnostic performance of elastic (EF) versus rigid fusion (RF) PB in a propensity score matched (PSM) analysis.

Methods: A total of 314 FPB were prospectively collected from two different centers. All patients were biopsy naïve and all mpMRI reported a single suspicious area. Overall, 211 PB were performed using a RF system and 103 using an EF software. The two groups were compared for the main clinical features. A 1:1 PSM analysis was employed to reduce covariate imbalance to < 10%. Detection rate (DR) for any prostate cancer (PCa) and clinically significant (cs) PCa were compared and stratified for PI-RADS Score. A per target univariable and multivariable regression analyses were applied to identity predictors of anyPCa and csPCa.

Results: After applying the PSM, two cohorts of 83 cases were selected. DR of any PCa cancer and csPCa were comparable between the two cohorts (all p > 0.077) as well as DR of csPCa for every PIRADS score. At univariable regression analysis lesion size, PI-RADS Score, PSA Density and EF system were predictors of any PCa (all p < 0.001); however, at multivariable analysis only PI-RADS Score was independent predictor of any PCa (p = 0.027). At multivariable analysis only PI-RADS score was independent predictor of csPCa.

Conclusions: Fusion PB guarantees high diagnostic accuracy for csPCa, regardless of the fusion technology. Prospective randomized study is needed to confirm these data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-021-03921-0DOI Listing
January 2022

Contemporary Trends of Systemic Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant Intravesical Chemotherapy in Patients With Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinomas Undergoing Minimally Invasive or Open Radical Nephroureterectomy: Analysis of US Claims on Perioperative Outcomes and Health Care Costs.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2021 Dec 24. Epub 2021 Dec 24.

Department of Urology, Stanford Medical Center, Stanford, CA.

Introduction: New evidence indicates that minimally invasive surgery (MIS) (laparoscopic or robotic-assisted [LNU, RANU]) reaches oncologic equivalence compared with Open Radical Nephroureterectomy (ORNU) for high-risk upper-tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). Recently, European Association of Urology (EAU) Guidelines suggested implementing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) to standard treatment to improve oncologic outcomes of high-risk UTUC. We aimed (1) To explore contemporary trends of MIS for RNU in the United States and to compare perioperative outcomes and costs with that of ORNU. (2) To determine the trends of NAC and postoperative intravesical chemotherapy (PIC) administration for high-risk UTUC and to assess their contribution to perioperative outcomes and costs.

Patients And Methods: The Optum Clinformatics Data Mart de-identified database was queried from 2003 to 2018 to retrospectively examine patients who had undergone LNU/RANU or ORNU with or without NAC and PIC. We evaluated temporal adoption trends, complications, and health care cost analyses. We obtained descriptive statistics and utilized multivariable regression modeling to assess outcomes.

Results: A total of n = 492 ORNU and n = 1618 LNU/RANU procedures were reviewed. The MIS approach was associated with a statistically significant lower risk of intraoperative complications (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR], 0.48, 95% CI:0.24-0.96), risk of hospitalization costs (aOR: 0.62, 95% CI:0.49-0.78), and shorter hospital stay (aOR: 0.20, 95% CI:0.15-0.26) when compared to ORNU. Overall, adoption of NAC and PIC accounted for only n = 81 and n < 37 cases respectively. The implementation of NAC and higher number of cycles were associated with an increased probability of any complication rate (aOR: 2.06, 95% CI:1.26-3.36) and hospital costs (aOR: 2.12, 95% CI:1.33-3.38).

Conclusion: MIS has become the approach of choice for RNU in the US. Although recommended by guidelines, neither NAC nor postoperative bladder instillation of chemotherapy has been routinely incorporated into the clinical practice of patients with UTUC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2021.11.016DOI Listing
December 2021

Robot-assisted-radical-cystectomy with total intracorporeal Y neobladder: Analysis of postoperative complications and functional outcomes with urodynamics findings.

Eur J Surg Oncol 2021 Dec 16. Epub 2021 Dec 16.

Department of Oncology, Division of Urology, University of Turin, San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, Orbassano (Turin), Italy.

Objectives: To describe our robotic Y intracorporeal neobladder (ICNB) technique and to report its post-operative complications and urodynamics (UD) findings.

Subjects: and Methods: In this prospective study we enrolled patients affected by MIBC (T1-T4N0-N1M0) from 01/2017 to 06/2021 at our Centers. All the patients underwent robotic radical cystectomy (RARC) with Y-ICNB reconfiguration. Early and late complications were collected and classified according to Clavien-Dindo. Continence and potency at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months were evaluated. At the 3rd month of follow-up patients underwent UD. Finally, in a retrospective match paired analysis the functional outcomes of Y RARC patients were compared with a cohort of open Y radical cystectomy.

Results: 45 patients were enrolled. Overall 30-day complications were observed in 25 (55,5%) patients and 30 to 90-days complications in 4 (8,9%). 9 patients (20%) had Clavien ≥3 complications. UDs revealed median neobladder capacity of 268 cc, with a median compliance of 13 ml/cm H20; the voiding phase showed a voiding volume and a post void residual (PVR) of 154 cc and 105 cc respectively. At 12 months of follow-up 4.4%, 15.5% and 4.4% of the patients experienced urge, stress and mix urinary incontinence respectively. The comparison between Y RARC and Y open RC revealed a higher neobladder capacity with open approach (p = 0.049) with subsequent better findings during the voiding phase in terms of maximum flow (p = 0.002), voiding volume (p = 0.001) and PVR (p = 0.01). Focusing on continence recovery, a slight trend in favor of RARC was shown without reaching the statistical significance.

Conclusions: Robotic Y-ICNB is feasible and safe as shown by the low rate of postoperative complications. Satisfying UD functional outcomes are achievable, both during filling and voiding phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejso.2021.12.014DOI Listing
December 2021

Three-dimensional Model Reconstruction: The Need for Standardization to Drive Tailored Surgery.

Eur Urol 2021 Nov 30. Epub 2021 Nov 30.

Uro-technology and SoMe Working Group of the Young Academic Urologists, European Association of Urology, Arnhem, The Netherlands; ORSI Academy, Ghent, Belgium; Department of Urology, OLV Hospital Aalst, Aalst, Belgium.

The clinical utility of three-dimensional virtual models has been widely explored for preoperative planning, patient counseling, surgical training, and intraoperative navigation. There is now a need for standardized methodology for construction of these models so that their utility can be realized in routine practice to achieve the goal of individualized treatment for patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.11.010DOI Listing
November 2021

External validation of the Palacios' equation: a simple and accurate tool to estimate the new baseline renal function after renal cancer surgery.

World J Urol 2021 Nov 26. Epub 2021 Nov 26.

Department of Urology, University of Verona, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Piazzale Aristide Stefani 1, 37126, Verona, Italy.

Purpose: To externally validate the Palacios' equation estimating the new baseline glomerular filtration rate (NB-GFR) after partial or radical-nephrectomy (PN, RN) for Renal cancer carcinoma (RCC).

Materials And Methods: Our research group recently published two studies that investigated the association between renal function and cancer-specific survival in RCC. The first one included 3457 patients undergone RN or PN for a cT1-2 RCC coming from five high-volume centers; the second one considered 1767 patients undergone RN or PN for a cT1-4 RCC in a single high-volume center. From such datasets, available complete patients' data were used to calculate the predicted NB-GFR through the Palacios' equation: predicted NB-GFR = 35.03 + 0.65 ∙ preoperative GFR - 18.19 ∙ (if radical nephrectomy) - 0.25 ∙ age + 2.83 ∙ (if tumor size > 7 cm) - 2.09 ∙ (if diabetes). The observed NB-GFR was calculated by the CKD-EPI equation on serum creatinine at 3-12 months after surgery. Concordance between observed and predicted NB-GFR was evaluated by Lin's concordance correlation coefficient and Bland-Altman analysis.

Results: 2419 patients were included (1210, cohort #1; 1219, cohort #2). The median observed NB-GFR value in cohorts #1 and #2 was 73.0 ml/min/1.73 m (IQR 56.1-90.1) and 64.2 ml/min/1.73 m (IQR 49.6-83); the median predicted NB-GFR was 71.1 ml/min/1.73 m (IQR 58-81.5) and 62.6 ml/min/1.73m (IQR 47.9-75.9). The concordance line showed a slope of 0.80 and 0.86, and an intercept at 11.02 and 5.41 ml/min/1.73 m in the cohort#1 and #2, respectively. The Palacio's equation moderately over-estimated and under-estimated NB-GFR, for values below and above the cut-off of 50 ml/min/1.73 m and 35 ml/min/1.73m in cohort#1 and #2. The Lin's concordance correlation coefficient was 0.79 (95% CI 0.77-0.81) and 0.83 (95% CI 0.82-0.85).

Conclusions: We confirm the predictive performances of Palacios' equation, supporting its utilization in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-021-03887-zDOI Listing
November 2021

Treatment of Ureteral Stent-Related Symptoms.

Urol Int 2021 Nov 2:1-16. Epub 2021 Nov 2.

Division of Urology, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, San Luigi Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Background: The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of the main classes of drugs used at reducing morbidity related to ureteric stents.

Summary: After establishing a priori protocol, a systematic electronic literature search was conducted in July 2019. The randomized clinical trials (RCTs) selection proceeded in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and was registered (PROSPERO ID 178130). The risk of bias and the quality assessment of the included RCTs were performed. Ureteral Stent Symptom Questionnaire (USSQ), International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), and quality of life (QoL) were pooled for meta-analysis. Mean difference and risk difference were calculated as appropriate for each outcome to determine the cumulative effect size. Fourteen RCTs were included in the analysis accounting for 2,842 patients. Alpha antagonist, antimuscarinic, and phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors significatively reduced all indexes of the USSQ, the IPSS and QoL scores relative to placebo. Conversely, combination therapy (alpha antagonist plus antimuscarinic) showed in all indexes of the USSQ, IPSS, and QoL over alpha antagonist or antimuscarinic alone. On comparison with alpha blockers, PDE inhibitors were found to be equally effective for urinary symptoms, general health, and body pain parameters, but sexual health parameters improved significantly with PDE inhibitors. Finally, antimuscarinic resulted in higher decrease in all indexes of the USSQ, the IPSS, and QoL relative to alpha antagonist. Key message: Relative to placebo, alpha antagonist alone, antimuscarinics alone, and PDE inhibitors alone have beneficial effect in reducing stent-related symptoms. Furthermore, there are significant advantages of combination therapy compared with monotherapy. Finally, PDE inhibitors are comparable to alpha antagonist, and antimuscarinic seems to be more effective than alpha antagonist alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000518387DOI Listing
November 2021

Percutaneous Kidney Puncture with Three-dimensional Mixed-reality Hologram Guidance: From Preoperative Planning to Intraoperative Navigation.

Eur Urol 2021 Nov 16. Epub 2021 Nov 16.

Division of Urology, Department Of Oncology, School of Medicine, University of Turin, San Luigi Hospital, Orbassano, Turin, Italy.

Background: Despite technical and technological innovations, percutaneous puncture still represents the most challenging step when performing percutaneous nephrolithotomy. This maneuver is characterized by the steepest learning curve and a risk of injuring surrounding organs and kidney damage.

Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of three-dimensional mixed reality (3D MR) holograms in establishing the access point and guiding the needle during percutaneous kidney puncture.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective study included ten patients who underwent 3D MR endoscopic combined intrarenal surgery (ECIRS) for kidney stones from July 2019 to January 2020. A retrospective series of patients who underwent a standard procedure were selected for matched pair analysis.

Surgical Procedure: For patients who underwent 3D MR ECIRS, holograms were overlapped on the real anatomy to guide the surgeon during percutaneous puncture. In the standard group, the procedures were only guided by ultrasound and fluoroscopy.

Measurements: Differences in preoperative and postoperative patient characteristics between the groups were tested using a χ test and a Kruskal-Wallis test for categorical and continuous variables, respectively. Results are reported as the median and interquartile range for continuous variables and as the frequency and percentage for categorical variables.

Results And Limitations: Ten patients underwent 3D MR ECIRS. In all cases, the inferior calyx was punctured correctly, as planned using the overlapping hologram. The median puncture and radiation exposure times were 27 min and 120 s, respectively. No intraoperative or major postoperative complications occurred. Matched pair analysis with the standard ECIRS group revealed a significantly shorter radiation exposure time for the 3D MR group (p < 0.001) even though the puncture time was longer in comparison to the standard group (p < 0.001). Finally, use of 3D MR led to a higher success rate for renal puncture at the first attempt (100% vs 50%; p = 0.032). The main limitations of the study are the small sample size and manual overlapping of the rigid hologram models.

Conclusions: Our experience demonstrates that 3D MR guidance for renal puncture is feasible and safe. The procedure proved to be effective, with the inferior calyx correctly punctured in all cases, and was associated with a low intraoperative radiation exposure time because of the MR guidance.

Patient Summary: Three-dimensional virtual models visualized as holograms and intraoperatively overlapped on the patient's real anatomy seem to be a valid new tool for guiding puncture of the kidney through the skin for minimally invasive treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.10.023DOI Listing
November 2021

Management of colovesical fistula: a systematic review.

Minerva Urol Nephrol 2021 Nov 18. Epub 2021 Nov 18.

Surgical Oncology Unit, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Introduction: Colovesical fistulas (CVFs) account for approximately 95% enterovesical fistulas (EVFs). About 2/3 CVF cases are diverticular in origin. It mainly presents with urological signs such as pneumaturia and fecaluria. Diagnostic investigations aim at confirming the presence of a fistula. Although conservative management can be chosen for selected individuals, most patients are mainly treated through surgical interventions. CVF represents a challenging condition, which records high rates of morbidity and mortality. Our systematic review aimed at achieving deeper knowledge of both indications, in addition to short- and long-term outcomes related to CVF management.

Evidence Acquisition: We performed a systematic literature review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes (PRISMA) guidelines. Pubmed/MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Library and Web of Science databases were used to search all related literature.

Evidence Synthesis: The 22 included articles covered an approximately 37 years-study period (1982-2019), with a total 1,365 patient population. CVF etiology was colonic diverticulitis in most cases (87.9%). Pneumaturia (50.1%), fecaluria (40.9%) and urinary tract infections (46.6%) were the most common symptoms. Abdomen computed tomography (CT) scan (80.5%), colonoscopy (74.5%) and cystoscopy (55.9%) were the most frequently performed diagnostic methods. Most CVF patients underwent surgery (97.1%) with open approach (63.3%). Almost all patients had colorectal resection with primary anastomosis with or without ostomy and 53.2% patients underwent primary repair or partial/total cystectomy. 4% anastomotic leak, 1.8% bladder leak and 3.1% reoperations rates were identified. In an average 5-68 month follow-up, overall morbidity, overall mortality and recurrences rates recorded were 8%-49%, 0%-63% and 1.2%, respectively.

Conclusions: CVF mainly affects males and has diverticular origin in almost all cases. Pneumaturia, fecaluria and urinary tract infections are the most characteristic symptoms. Endoscopic tests and imaging are critical tools for diagnostic completion. Management of CVFs depends on the underlying disease. Surgical treatment represents the final approach and consists of resection and re-anastomosis of offending intestinal segment, with or without bladder closure. In many cases, a single-stage surgical strategy is selected. Perioperative and long-term outcomes prove good.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S2724-6051.21.04750-9DOI Listing
November 2021

The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic on Time to Primary, Secondary Resection and Adjuvant Intravesical Therapy in Patients with High-Risk Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer: A Retrospective Multi-Institutional Cohort Analysis.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Oct 21;13(21). Epub 2021 Oct 21.

Department of Urology, University of Bologna, S-Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, 40138 Bologna, Italy.

Background: To investigate the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the diagnosis and treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed using an Italian multi-institutional database of TURBT patients with high-risk urothelial NMIBC between January 2019 and February 2021, followed by Re-TURBT and/or adjuvant intravesical BCG.

Results: A total of 2591 patients from 27 institutions with primary TURBT were included. Of these, 1534 (59.2%) and 1056 (40.8%) underwent TURBT before and during the COVID-19 outbreak, respectively. Time between diagnosis and TURBT was significantly longer during the COVID-19 period (65 vs. 52 days, = 0.002). One thousand and sixty-six patients (41.1%) received Re-TURBT, 604 (56.7%) during the pre-COVID-19. The median time to secondary resection was significantly longer during the COVID-19 period (55 vs. 48 days, < 0.0001). A total of 977 patients underwent adjuvant intravesical therapy after primary or secondary resection, with a similar distribution across the two groups ( = 453, 86% vs. = 388, 86.2%). However, the proportion of the patients who underwent maintenance significantly differed (79.5% vs. 60.4%, < 0.0001).

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic represented an unprecedented challenge to our health system. Our study did not show significant differences in TURBT quality. However, a delay in treatment schedule and disease management was observed. Investigation of the oncological impacts of those differences should be advocated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13215276DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8582553PMC
October 2021

Systematic review comparing Anterior vs Retzius-sparing robotic assisted radical prostatectomy: can the approach really make a difference?

Minerva Urol Nephrol 2021 Oct 29. Epub 2021 Oct 29.

Urology Department, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: Retzius-Sparing Robotic Assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RS-RARP) is a novel surgical approach to radical prostatectomy. Its pioneers have suggested an improved recovery of urinary continence, while maintaining adequate cancer control. Aim of this systematic review is to explore available data on RS-RALP and compare functional, oncologic and perioperative results of RS-RARP compared to anterior RARP.

Evidence Acquisition: A search following PRISMA guidelines was performed including the combination of the following words: retzius AND sparing AND radical AND prostatectomy. 93 articles were identified and 13 were included in the systematic review, including 3 randomized controlled trials (RCT), 4 prospective studies and 6 retrospective studies.

Evidence Synthesis: All available randomized trials confirmed an improved immediate continence for RS-RARP, with rates ranging 51-71%, compared to 21-48% for anterior RARP. However, this advantage was progressively lost with no significant difference found after 6 months. Moreover, a prospective study found no discrepancy in terms of quality of life across the two techniques. Erectile function was difficult to compare, as patients had different baseline erectile function across studies and rate of neurovascular preservation was not comparable. Surgical approach remains controversial regarding positive margin rate, although related to the surgeon's experience and clinical stage. Biochemical recurrence-free survival appears similar between the two approaches.

Conclusions: RS-RARP improves early urinary continence recovery compared to anterior RARP, with this advantage being lost after 3 to 6 months. Erectile function and quality of life were however comparable between the two techniques. The results concerning the rate of positive margins remained controversial. Future studies with longer follow-up are needed to better assess oncologic outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S2724-6051.21.04623-1DOI Listing
October 2021

A Fully Automatic Artificial Intelligence System Able to Detect and Characterize Prostate Cancer Using Multiparametric MRI: Multicenter and Multi-Scanner Validation.

Front Oncol 2021 1;11:718155. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Department of Radiology, Candiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCS, Candiolo, Italy.

In the last years, the widespread use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood examination to triage patients who will enter the diagnostic/therapeutic path for prostate cancer (PCa) has almost halved PCa-specific mortality. As a counterpart, millions of men with clinically insignificant cancer not destined to cause death are treated, with no beneficial impact on overall survival. Therefore, there is a compelling need to develop tools that can help in stratifying patients according to their risk, to support physicians in the selection of the most appropriate treatment option for each individual patient. The aim of this study was to develop and validate on multivendor data a fully automated computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system to detect and characterize PCas according to their aggressiveness. We propose a CAD system based on artificial intelligence algorithms that a) registers all images coming from different MRI sequences, b) provides candidates suspicious to be tumor, and c) provides an aggressiveness score of each candidate based on the results of a support vector machine classifier fed with radiomics features. The dataset was composed of 131 patients (149 tumors) from two different institutions that were divided in a training set, a narrow validation set, and an external validation set. The algorithm reached an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve in distinguishing between low and high aggressive tumors of 0.96 and 0.81 on the training and validation sets, respectively. Moreover, when the output of the classifier was divided into three classes of risk, i.e., indolent, indeterminate, and aggressive, our method did not classify any aggressive tumor as indolent, meaning that, according to our score, all aggressive tumors would undergo treatment or further investigations. Our CAD performance is superior to that of previous studies and overcomes some of their limitations, such as the need to perform manual segmentation of the tumor or the fact that analysis is limited to single-center datasets. The results of this study are promising and could pave the way to a prediction tool for personalized decision making in patients harboring PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.718155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8517452PMC
October 2021

Molecular Characterization of Prostate Cancers in the Precision Medicine Era.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Sep 24;13(19). Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Interdisciplinary Group for Translational Research and Clinical Trials, Urological Cancers (GIRT-Uro), Candiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCS, Candiolo, 10060 Turin, Italy.

Prostate cancer (PCa) therapy has been recently revolutionized by the approval of new therapeutic agents in the metastatic setting. However, the optimal therapeutic strategy in such patients should be individualized in the light of prognostic and predictive molecular factors, which have been recently studied: androgen receptor (AR) alterations, PTEN-PI3K-AKT pathway deregulation, homologous recombination deficiency (HRD), mismatch repair deficiency (MMRd), and tumor microenvironment (TME) modifications. In this review, we highlighted the clinical impact of prognostic and predictive molecular factors in PCa patients' outcomes, identifying biologically distinct subtypes. We further analyzed the relevant methods to detect these factors, both on tissue, i.e., immunohistochemistry (IHC) and molecular tests, and blood, i.e., analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). Moreover, we discussed the main pros and cons of such techniques, depicting their present and future roles in PCa management, throughout the precision medicine era.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13194771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8507555PMC
September 2021

New Ultra-minimally Invasive Surgical Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Systematic Review and Analysis of Comparative Outcomes.

Eur Urol Open Sci 2021 Nov 22;33:28-41. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Department of Oncology, Division of Urology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Context: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) associated with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) is diagnosed in up to 80% of men during their lifetime. Several novel ultra-minimally invasive surgical treatments (uMISTs) for BPH/benign prostatic obstruction (BPO) have become available over the past 5 yr.

Objective: To evaluate the perioperative and functional outcomes of recently introduced uMISTs for BPH/BPO, including Urolift, Rezūm, temporary implantable nitinol device, prostatic artery embolization (PAE), and intraprostatic injection.

Evidence Acquisition: A systematic literature search was conducted in December 2020 using Medline (via PubMed), Embase (via Ovid), Scopus, and Web of Science (registered on PROSPERO as CRD42021225014). The search strategy used PICO criteria and article selection was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. The risk of bias and the quality of the articles included were assessed. A dedicated data extraction form was used to collect the data of interest. Pooled and cumulative analyses were performed to compare perioperative and functional outcomes between study groups. A random-effects model using the DerSimonian and Laird method was used to evaluate heterogeneity. Stata version 15.0 software was used for all statistical analyses.

Evidence Synthesis: The initial electronic search identified 3978 papers, of which 48 ultimately met the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. Pooled analysis revealed a uMIST benefit in terms of International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS; -9.81 points, 95% confidence interval [CI] -11.37 to -8.25 at 1 mo; -13.13 points, 95% CI -14.98 to -11.64 at 12 mo), maximum flow rate (from +3.66 ml/s, 95% CI 2.8-4.5 to +4.14 ml/s, 95% CI 0.72-7.56 at 12 mo), and postvoid residual volume (-10.10 ml, 95% CI -27.90 to 7.71 at 12 mo). No negative impact was observed on scores for the International Index of Erectile Function-5, Male Sexual Health Questionnaire-Ejaculatory Dysfunction bother and function scales (overall postintervention change in pooled median score of 1.88, 95% CI 1.34-2.42 at the start of follow-up; and 1.04, 95% CI 0.28-1.8 after 1 yr), or the IPSS-Quality of Life questionnaire.

Conclusions: Novel uMISTs can yield fast and effective relief of LUTS without affecting patient quality of life. Only Rezūm, UroLift, and PAE had a minimal impact on patients' sexual function with respect to baseline, especially regarding preservation of ejaculation.

Patient Summary: We reviewed outcomes for recently introduced ultra-minimally invasive surgical treatments for patients with lower urinary tract symptoms caused by benign prostate enlargement or obstruction. The evidence suggests that these novel techniques are beneficial in terms of controlling symptoms while preserving sexual function.

Take Home  Message: Novel ultra-minimally invasive treatments can yield fast and effective relief of lower urinary tract symptoms without affecting a patient's quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euros.2021.08.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8473553PMC
November 2021

A Nomogram for the Prediction of Intermediate Significant Renal Function Loss After Robot-assisted Partial Nephrectomy for Localized Renal Tumors: A Prospective Multicenter Observational Study (RECORd2 Project).

Eur Urol Focus 2021 Sep 21. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Department of Urology, Unit of Oncologic Minimally-Invasive Urology and Andrology, Careggi Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN) is increasingly adopted for the treatment of localized renal tumors; however, rates and predictors of significant renal function (RF) loss after RAPN are still poorly investigated, especially at a long-term evaluation.

Objective: To analyze the predictive factors and develop a clinical nomogram for predicting the likelihood of ultimate RF loss after RAPN.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We prospectively evaluated all patients treated with RAPN in a multicenter series (RECORd2 project).

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Significant RF loss was defined as >25% reduction in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) from preoperative assessment at 48th month follow-up after surgery. Uni- and multivariable logistic regression analyses for RF loss were performed. The area under the receiving operator characteristic curve (AUC) was used to quantify predictive discrimination. A nomogram was created from the multivariable model.

Results And Limitations: A total of 981 patients were included. The median age at surgery was 64.2 (interquartile range [IQR] 54.3-71.4) yr, and 62.4% of patients were male. The median Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) was 1 (IQR 0-2), 12.9% of patients suffered from diabetes mellitus, and 18.6% of patients showed peripheral vascular disease (PVD). The median Preoperative Aspects and Dimensions Used for an Anatomical (PADUA) score was 7 (IQR 7-9). Imperative indications to partial nephrectomy were present in 3.6% of patients. Significant RF loss at 48th month postoperative evaluation was registered in 108 (11%) patients. At multivariable analysis, age (p = 0.04), female gender (p < 0.0001), CCI (p < 0.0001), CCI (p < 0.0001), diabetes (p < 0.0001), PVD (p < 0.0001), eGFR (p = 0.02), imperative (p = 0.001) surgical indication, and PADUA score (p < 0.0001) were found to be predictors of RF loss. The developed nomogram including these variables showed an AUC of 0.816.

Conclusions: We developed a clinical nomogram for the prediction of late RF loss after RAPN using preoperative and surgical variables from a large multicenter dataset.

Patient Summary: We developed a nomogram that could represent a clinical tool for early detection of patients at the highest risk of significant renal function impairment after robotic conservative surgery for renal tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euf.2021.09.012DOI Listing
September 2021

An Algorithm to Personalize Nerve Sparing in Men with Unilateral High-Risk Prostate Cancer.

J Urol 2022 Feb 22;207(2):350-357. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Department of Urology, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Purpose: Current guidelines do not provide strong recommendations on preservation of the neurovascular bundles during radical prostatectomy in case of high-risk (HR) prostate cancer and/or suspicious extraprostatic extension (EPE). We aimed to evaluate when, in case of unilateral HR disease, contralateral nerve sparing (NS) should be considered or not.

Materials And Methods: Within a multi-institutional data set we selected patients with unilateral HR prostate cancer, defined as unilateral EPE and/or seminal vesicle invasion (SVI) on multiparametric (mp) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or unilateral International Society of Urologic Pathologists (ISUP) 4-5 or prostate specific antigen ≥20 ng/ml. To evaluate when to perform NS based on the risk of contralateral EPE, we relied on chi-square automated interaction detection, a recursive machine-learning partitioning algorithm developed to identify risk groups, which was fit to predict the presence of EPE on final pathology, contralaterally to the prostate lobe with HR disease.

Results: A total of 705 patients were identified. Contralateral EPE was documented in 87 patients (12%). Chi-square automated interaction detection identified 3 groups, consisting of 1) absence of SVI on mpMRI and index lesion diameter ≤15 mm, 2) index lesion diameter ≤15 mm and contralateral ISUP 2-3 or index lesion diameter >15 mm and negative contralateral biopsy or ISUP 1, and 3) SVI on mpMRI or index lesion diameter >15 mm and contralateral biopsy ISUP 2-3. We named those groups as low, intermediate and high-risk, respectively, for contralateral EPE. The rate of EPE and positive surgical margins across the groups were 4.8%, 14% and 26%, and 5.6%, 13% and 18%, respectively.

Conclusions: Our study challenges current guidelines by proving that wide bilateral excision in men with unilateral HR disease is not justified. Pending external validation, we propose performing NS and incremental NS in case of contralateral low and intermediate EPE risk, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000002205DOI Listing
February 2022

Artificial intelligence for target prostate biopsy outcomes prediction the potential application of fuzzy logic.

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2021 Sep 3. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Department of Oncology, Division of Urology, University of Turin, San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, Orbassano, Turin, Italy.

Background: In current precision prostate cancer (PCa) surgery era the identification of the best patients candidate for prostate biopsy still remains an open issue. The aim of this study was to evaluate if the prostate target biopsy (TB) outcomes could be predicted by using artificial intelligence approach based on a set of clinical pre-biopsy.

Methods: Pre-biopsy characteristics in terms of PSA, PSA density, digital rectal examination (DRE), previous prostate biopsies, number of suspicious lesions at mp-MRI, lesion volume, lesion location, and Pi-Rads score were extracted from our prospectively maintained TB database from March 2014 to December 2019. Our approach is based on Fuzzy logic and associative rules mining, with the aim to predict TB outcomes.

Results: A total of 1448 patients were included. Using the Frequent-Pattern growth algorithm we extracted 875 rules and used to build the fuzzy classifier. 963 subjects were classified whereas for the remaining 484 subjects were not classified since no rules matched with their input variables. Analyzing the classified subjects we obtained a specificity of 59.2% and sensitivity of 90.8% with a negative and the positive predictive values of 81.3% and 76.6%, respectively. In particular, focusing on ISUP ≥ 3 PCa, our model is able to correctly predict the biopsy outcomes in 98.1% of the cases.

Conclusions: In this study we demonstrated that the possibility to look at several pre-biopsy variables simultaneously with artificial intelligence algorithms can improve the prediction of TB outcomes, outclassing the performance of PSA, its derivates and MRI alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41391-021-00441-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8413110PMC
September 2021

Outcomes in robot-assisted partial nephrectomy for imperative vs elective indications.

BJU Int 2021 12 6;128 Suppl 3:30-35. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

Division of Cancer Surgery, Genitourinary Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Vic., Australia.

Objectives: To assess and compare peri-operative outcomes of patients undergoing robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN) for imperative vs elective indications.

Patient And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a multinational database of 3802 adults who underwent RAPN for elective and imperative indications. Laparoscopic or open partial nephrectomy (PN) were excluded. Baseline data for age, gender, body mass index, American Society of Anaesthesiologists score and PADUA score were examined. Patients undergoing RAPN for an imperative indication were matched to those having surgery for an elective indication using propensity scores in a 1:3 ratio. Primary outcomes included organ ischaemic time, operating time, estimated blood loss (EBL), rate of blood transfusions, Clavien-Dindo complications, conversion to radical nephrectomy (RN) and positive surgical margin (PSM) status.

Results: After propensity-score matching for baseline variables, a total of 304 patients (76 imperative vs 228 elective indications) were included in the final analysis. No significant differences were found between groups for ischaemia time (19.9 vs 19.8 min; P = 0.94), operating time (186 vs 180 min; P = 0.55), EBL (217 vs 190 mL; P = 0.43), rate of blood transfusions (2.7% vs 3.7%; P = 0.51), or Clavien-Dindo complications (P = 0.31). A 38.6% (SD 47.9) decrease in Day-1 postoperative estimated glomerular filtration rate was observed in the imperative indication group and an 11.3% (SD 45.1) decrease was observed in the elective indication group (P < 0.005). There were no recorded cases of permanent or temporary dialysis. There were no conversions to RN in the imperative group, and seven conversions (5.6%) in the elective group (P = 0.69). PSMs were seen in 1.4% (1/76) of the imperative group and in 3.3% of the elective group (7/228; P = 0.69).

Conclusion: We conclude that RAPN is feasible and safe for imperative indications and demonstrates similar outcomes to those achieved for elective indications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15581DOI Listing
December 2021

Urology Residency Training at the Time of COVID-19 in Italy: 1 Year After the Beginning.

Eur Urol Open Sci 2021 Sep 17;31:37-40. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

European Society of Residents in Urology (ESRU), Arnhem, The Netherlands.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant changes in urology practice and residency programs. One year ago, the first nationwide survey on this topic showed a dramatic impact of the acute phase of the pandemic on residents' training activities. Aiming to assess for the first time how the COVID-19 scenario reshaped the pattern of urology training over a whole pandemic year, a cross-sectional, 38-item, web-based survey was developed. Residents scored the percentage decrease of their involvement in various clinical and surgical activities during the period of March 2020-March 2021 (as compared with the pre-COVID period). Overall, 312/585 (53.3%) residents from 27 schools of urology were included. The proportions of those experiencing a significant decrease of training exposure were 13.6%, 28.8%, 26.7%, 46.9%, 37.6%, and 33.3% (as compared with 40.2%, 85.8%. 82.3%, 69.7%, 59.7%, and 50.2% in the previous survey) for on-call activities, outpatient visits, diagnostic procedures, endoscopic surgery, open surgery, and minimally invasive surgery, respectively. The most impactful reductions in training activities were reached by final-year residents. Our findings highlight that, even if less burdensome than expected, urology residency training (especially in endoscopic surgery) was highly affected throughout the whole past year. This critical gap of skills may jeopardize residents' training even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patient Summary: In this study, we assessed whether the training activities of Italian urology residents were impacted negatively by a whole year of COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020-March 2021). We also compared our results with those reported in a previous survey evaluating how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic changed the training pattern of urology residents during the peak of the outbreak in March 2020. We found a critical decrease in residents' activities (especially for those in their final years of residency and for surgical procedures) that, even if lower than expected, might negatively impact their education and training in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euros.2021.07.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8342892PMC
September 2021

Contemporary management of benign uretero-enteric strictures after cystectomy: a systematic review.

Minerva Urol Nephrol 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Urology Department, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: Uretero-enteric stricture (UES) is a common post-operative complication after radical cystectomy with urinary diversion. The aim of this systematic review is to discuss the contemporary management of benign UES after cystectomy and to compare the different surgical approaches.

Evidence Acquisition: A systematic review was performed from January 2000 through January 2021. Search engines used included PubMed, Embase and Medline databases. Search query was: ((ureteroileal OR uretero-ileal OR ureteroenteric OR ureteroenteric) AND (stricture OR stenosis)) AND (management OR treatment). Study selection followed the PRISMA statement. Studies tackling management of UES, either through open, endoscopic, laparoscopic or robot-assisted approaches, were included in our systematic review.

Evidence Synthesis: Forty-one studies were finally included in this systematic review. No prospective studies were found; all included studies were retrospective. Open surgical repair had a 78-100% success rate, a significant rate of complications, and a low recurrence rate (6-8%). Endourological management decreased complication rate, length-of-stay, and blood loss, with however lower success (15-50%) and higher recurrence rates (62%-91%) compared to open surgery. Robotic assisted surgery showed comparable success rates to open surgery (80-100%), while limiting the number of major complications and hospital length-of-stay.

Conclusions: Surgical management of UES remains challenging. Open surgery maintains a role given its high success rate, at the cost however of a significant morbidity. On the other hand, endourological procedures offer a favorable and low complication risk, but a low long-term success rate. Robotic-assisted surgery is emerging with a valid resolution of UES as it offers comparable success rates to an open approach, while reducing surgical morbidity. Head-to-head comparisons are awaited to confirm these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S2724-6051.21.04463-3DOI Listing
July 2021

A risk-group classification model in patients with bladder cancer under neoadjuvant cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy.

Future Oncol 2021 Oct 19;17(30):3987-3994. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Urology, Humanitas Gavazzeni, Bergamo, Italy.

The objective of the current research was to explore the potential prognostic value of readily available clinical and pathologic variables in bladder cancer. The novel association found between cholesterol levels and prognosis may provide the rationale for exploring novel treatments. Patients included had histologically confirmed urothelial bladder cancer and were treated with at least 3 cycles of cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy before radical cystectomy with lymphadenectomy. A total of 245 patients at low, intermediate and high risk, presenting with 0-1, 2 or 3-4 risk factors, including positive lymph nodes, Hb <12.8, NLR ≥2.7 and cholesterol levels ≥199, were included. Five-year cancer-specific survival rate was 0.67, 0.78 and 0.94 at high, intermediate and low risk, respectively. Total cholesterol levels at the time of cystectomy may represent a commonly assessable prognostic factor and may be incorporated in a clinically meaningful risk-group classification model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-1298DOI Listing
October 2021

Neutrophil percentage-to-albumin ratio predicts mortality in bladder cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy.

Future Sci OA 2021 Aug 20;7(7):FSO709. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Emergency & Organ Transplantation-Urology, Andrology & Kidney Transplantation Unit, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Aim: To investigate the prognostic role of neutrophil percentage-to-albumin ratio (NPAR) in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and radical cystectomy (RC).

Patients & Methods: 213 patients were included.

Inclusion Criteria: Nonmetastatic, MIBC (cT2-T4aN0M0), at least three cycles of NAC, undergone RC and with blood count within 30 days before NAC.

Results: Five-years overall survival (OS) with NPAR >18 was 34.06% (95% CI: 18.3-50.5) and 65.37% (95% CI: 52.4-75.6) with NPAR <18. Five years cancer-specific survival (CSS) with NPAR >18 was 42.9% (95% CI: 23.9-60.7) and 74.5% (95% CI: 62.6-83.1) with NPAR <18 (p < 0.001). In multivariable analysis, NPAR increased OS of 1.3 points and CSS of 4.37 points.

Conclusion: High NPAR prior to NAC seems to be a strong predictor of OS and CSS in MIBC patients treated with NAC and RC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2144/fsoa-2021-0008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8256323PMC
August 2021

Beyond the Learning Curve of Prostate MRI/TRUS Target Fusion Biopsy after More than 1000 Procedures.

Urology 2021 09 2;155:39-45. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Oncology, Division of Urology, University of Turin, San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, Turin, 10043.

Objective: To evaluate the learning curve (LC) of two urology residents in the execution of fusion biopsy (FB) in terms of overall prostate cancer (PCa) and clinically significant (cs) PCa detection rate (DR) and according to different characteristics of the lesions on MRI MATERIAL AND METHODS: We analyzed data from our prospective maintained FB database between January 2015 and December 2019. FB was performed using the BioJet fusion system (D&K Technologies, Barum, Germany) with a transrectal or transperineal approach. An ANOVA test was used to evaluate the homogeneity of our cohort. Multivariable linear and logistic regression analysis were used to evaluate the relationship between operator experience and DR for PCa and csPCa. Then, the postprocedural complication rate trend was evaluated.

Results: 1005 patients were included. The overall DR of PCa was 61.2% (615/1005) [IC 0.58 - 0.64]; whilst DR for csPCA was 54.6% (549/1005) [IC 0.51 - 0.57]. Operator experience does not seem to influence the DR of overall PCa and csPCa; whilst for lesions <8 mm in diameter, PCa and csPCa DR increased significantly with operator experience (P = 0.048 and P = 0.038, respectively). Postprocedural complications remained stable during the whole study period (P = 0.75).

Conclusion: A standardized FB approach turned out to be feasible, safe, and effective since the beginning of the residents' LC. PCa and csPCa DR remained stable, at 60% and 55% respectively, after more than 1,000 biopsies. However, for lesions smaller than 8 mm, at least 100 FB of experience is needed to correctly sample the area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2021.06.021DOI Listing
September 2021

Does Exist a Differential Impact of Degarelix LHRH Agonists on Cardiovascular Safety? Evidences From Randomized and Real-World Studies.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2021 14;12:695170. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, University of Foggia, Policlinico Riuniti, Foggia, Italy.

The main systemic therapy for the management of hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (PC) is androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), with the use of long-acting luteinizing hormone releasing-hormone (LHRH) agonists considered the main form of ADT used in clinical practice to obtain castration in PC. The concomitant administration of antiandrogens for the first weeks could reduce the incidence of clinical effects related to the testosterone flare-up in the first injection of LHRH. On the contrary, Gonadotropin Rh (GnRH) antagonists produce a rapid decrease of testosterone levels without the initial flare-up, with degarelix commonly used in clinical practice to induce castration in PC patients. Even if no long-term data are reported in terms of survival to define a superiority of GnRH or LHRH, for oncological efficacy and PC control, data from randomized clinical trials and from real-life experiences, suggest a difference in cardiovascular risk of patients starting ADT. The age-related decline in testosterone levels may represent a factor connected to the increase of cardiovascular disease risk, however, the role of ADT in increasing CV events remains controversial. For these reasons, the aim of the paper is to synthesize the difference in cardiovascular risk between LHRH and degarelix in patients undergoing ADT. A difference in cardiovascular risk could be indeed an important parameter in the evaluation of these two forms of castration therapy. The Randomized trials analyzed in this paper sustain a possible protective role for degarelix versus LHRH agonists in reducing the rate of new CV events and interventions in the short-term period. On the contrary, real-word data are contradictory in different national experiences and are strongly conditioned by huge differences between the LHRH agonists group and the degarelix group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.695170DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237856PMC
June 2021

Increased Body Mass Index Is a Risk Factor for Poor Clinical Outcomes after Radical Prostatectomy in Men with International Society of Urological Pathology Grade Group 1 Prostate Cancer Diagnosed with Systematic Biopsies.

Urol Int 2022 24;106(1):75-82. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation-Urology, Andrology and Kidney Transplantation Unit, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Introduction: The association between obesity and clinically significant prostate cancer (PCa) is still a matter of debate. In this study, we evaluated the effect of body mass index (BMI) on the prediction of pathological unfavorable disease (UD), positive surgical margins (PSMs), and biochemical recurrence (BCR) in patients with clinically localized (≤cT2c) International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) grade group 1 PCa at biopsy.

Methods: 427 patients with ISUP grade group 1 PCa who have undergone radical prostatectomy and BMI evaluation were included. The outcome of interest was the presence of UD (defined as ISUP grade group ≥3 and pT ≥3a), PSM, and BCR.

Results: Statistically significant differences resulted in comparing BMI with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and serum testosterone levels (both p < 0.0001). Patients with UD and PSM had higher BMI values (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.006, respectively). BCR-free survival was significantly decreased in patients with higher BMI values (p < 0.0001). BMI was an independent risk factor for BCR and PSM. Receiver-operating characteristic analysis testing PSA accuracy in different BMI groups, showed that PSA had a reduced predictive value (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.535; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.422-0.646), in obese men compared to overweight (AUC = 0.664; 95% CI = 0.598-0.725) and normal weight patients (AUC = 0.721; 95% CI = 0.660-0.777).

Conclusion: Our findings show that increased BMI is a significant predictor of UD and PSM at RP in patients with preoperative low-to intermediate-risk diseases, suggesting that BMI evaluation may be useful in a clinical setting to identify patients with favorable preoperative disease characteristics harboring high-risk PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000516680DOI Listing
June 2021

Real-time deep learning semantic segmentation during intra-operative surgery for 3D augmented reality assistance.

Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg 2021 Sep 24;16(9):1435-1445. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Management, Production and Design Engineering, Polytechnic University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Purpose: The current study aimed to propose a Deep Learning (DL) and Augmented Reality (AR) based solution for a in-vivo robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP), to improve the precision of a published work from our group. We implemented a two-steps automatic system to align a 3D virtual ad-hoc model of a patient's organ with its 2D endoscopic image, to assist surgeons during the procedure.

Methods: This approach was carried out using a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) based structure for semantic segmentation and a subsequent elaboration of the obtained output, which produced the needed parameters for attaching the 3D model. We used a dataset obtained from 5 endoscopic videos (A, B, C, D, E), selected and tagged by our team's specialists. We then evaluated the most performing couple of segmentation architecture and neural network and tested the overlay performances.

Results: U-Net stood out as the most effecting architectures for segmentation. ResNet and MobileNet obtained similar Intersection over Unit (IoU) results but MobileNet was able to elaborate almost twice operations per seconds. This segmentation technique outperformed the results from the former work, obtaining an average IoU for the catheter of 0.894 (σ = 0.076) compared to 0.339 (σ = 0.195). This modifications lead to an improvement also in the 3D overlay performances, in particular in the Euclidean Distance between the predicted and actual model's anchor point, from 12.569 (σ= 4.456) to 4.160 (σ = 1.448) and in the Geodesic Distance between the predicted and actual model's rotations, from 0.266 (σ = 0.131) to 0.169 (σ = 0.073).

Conclusion: This work is a further step through the adoption of DL and AR in the surgery domain. In future works, we will overcome the limits of this approach and finally improve every step of the surgical procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11548-021-02432-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8354939PMC
September 2021

Risk factors for progression of chronic kidney disease after robotic partial nephrectomy in elderly patients: results from a multi-institutional collaborative series.

Minerva Urol Nephrol 2021 Jun 22. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Urology, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.

Background: Robotic partial nephrectomy (RPN) in patients ≥75 years is certainly underused with concerns regarding surgical quality and a negligible impact on renal function. The aim of this study was to identify predictors of progression of chronic kidney disease for purely off-clamp (ocRPN) and on-clamp RPN (onRPN) in elderly patients on a multi-institutional series.

Methods: A collaborative minimally-invasive renal surgery dataset was queried for "RPN" performed between July 2007 and March 2021 and "age≥75 years". A total of 205 patients matched the inclusion criteria. Descriptive analyses were used. Frequencies and proportions were reported for categorical variables while medians and interquartile ranges (IQR) were reported for continuous variables. Baseline, perioperative and functional data were compared between groups. New-onset of stages 3b,4,5 CKD in onRPN and ocRPN cohorts was computed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of progression to severe CKD (sCKD [stages ≥3b]). For all statistical analyses, a two-sided p < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Mean age of the cohort considered was 78 years (IQR 76-80). At a median follow-up of 29 months (IQR 14.5-44.5), new onset CKD-3b and CKD-4,5 stages was observed in 16.6% and 2.4% of patients, respectively. At Kaplan-Meier analysis, onRPN was associated with a significantly higher risk of developing sCKD (p=0.002). On multivariable analysis, hypertension (HR 2.64; 95% CI 1.14-6.11; p=0.023), on-clamp approach (HR 3.41; 95% CI 1.50-7.74; p=0.003) non-achievement of trifecta (HR 0.36; 95% CI 0.17-0.78; p=0.01) were independent predictors of sCKD.

Conclusions: RPN in patients≥75 years is a safe surgical option. On-clamp approach, hypertension and non-achievement of trifecta were independent predictors of sCKD in the elderly after RPN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S2724-6051.21.04469-4DOI Listing
June 2021

Risks and Benefits of Live Surgical Broadcast: A Systematic Review.

Eur Urol Focus 2021 Jun 17. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Division of Urology, VCU Health, Richmond, VA, USA. Electronic address:

Context: Live surgical broadcast (LSB), also known as live surgery, has become a popular format for many types of surgical education meetings. However, concerns have been raised in relation to patient safety, ethical issues, and the actual educational value of LSB.

Objective: To summarize current evidence on LSB with a focus on the risks of complications and the educational impact.

Evidence Acquisition: We performed a systematic review of the literature according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to identify studies up to December 2020. We identified original articles reporting on patient outcomes, educational value, current use, and development of LSB. We also interrogated surgical society guidelines for position statements on LSB.

Evidence Synthesis: Our literature search identified 46 studies spanning six surgical specialties, with urology being the most frequent. Approximately half of the studies reported on outcomes of surgical procedures during LSB. In urology, the few comparative studies available did not suggest higher complication rates in LSB, whereas data for other surgical fields highlighted evidence of worse outcomes. Four studies assessed the educational value of LSB via survey administration, for which the evidence is limited and of low quality. Thirteen guidelines and position statements on live surgery were identified among major surgical societies, including the European Association of Urology (EAU). Some surgical societies have expressly prohibited the use of LSB at their major meetings. The perspective of surgeons performing and/or attending live surgical sessions was evaluated in six studies, and four studies looked at urologists' perception of LSB compared to semi-LSB. Limitations of this systematic review include the limited number of studies available, the low quality of the evidence, and data heterogeneity.

Conclusions: Evidence regarding outcomes of LSB is limited. Almost all the studies do not show a higher risk of complications or worse outcomes for patients undergoing a procedure during LSB. Only one study on gastrointestinal surgery reported that LSB outcomes were worse. Ongoing concerns have led to specific guidelines by several scientific societies, including the EAU, with the ultimate aim of minimizing surgical risks and maximizing patient safety.

Patient Summary: Live surgery events are often part of surgical conferences. Data in the literature show mixed outcomes for operations performed during live surgery events, but with no increase in complication rates. Safety and ethical concerns remain. Other educational tools, such as prerecorded videos and live surgery transmission from the home institution of the operating surgeon might become preferred options in the future. This review was prospectively registered on the PROSPERO website (www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO, registration number CRD42020194023).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euf.2021.06.003DOI Listing
June 2021

Retroperitoneal versus transepritoneal robot-assisted partial nephrectomy for postero-lateral renal masses: an international multicenter analysis.

World J Urol 2021 Nov 29;39(11):4175-4182. Epub 2021 May 29.

Division of Urology, VCU Health, Richmond, VA, 23298-0118, USA.

Purpose: To assess the outcomes of retroperitoneal robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (r-RAPN) in a large cohort of patients with postero-lateral renal masses comparing to those of transperitoneal RAPN (t-RAPN).

Methods: Patients with posterior (R.E.N.A.L. score grading P) or lateral (grading X) renal mass who underwent RAPN in six high-volume US and European centers were identified and stratified into two groups according to surgical approach: r-RAPN ("study group") and t-RAPN ("control group"). Baseline characteristics, intraoperative, and postoperative data were collected and compared.

Results: Overall, 447 patients were identified for the analysis. 231 (51.7%) and 216 (48.3%) patients underwent r-RAPN and t-RAPN, respectively. Baseline characteristics were not statistically significantly different between the groups. r-RAPN group reported lower median operative time (140 vs. 170 min, p < 0.001). No difference was found in ischemia time, estimated blood loss, and intraoperative complications. Overall, 47 and 54 postoperative complications were observed in r-RAPN and t-RAPN groups, respectively (20.3 vs. 25.1%, p = 0.9). 1 and 2 patients reported major complications (Clavien-Dindo ≥ III grade) in the retroperitoneal and transperitoneal groups (0.4 vs. 0.9%, p = 0.9). There was no difference in hospital re-admission rate, median length of stay, and PSM rate. Trifecta criteria were achieved in 90.3 and 89.2% of r-RAPN and t-RAPN, respectively (p = 0.7).

Conclusion: r-RAPN and t-RAPN offer similar postoperative, functional, and oncological outcomes for patients with postero-lateral renal tumors. Our analysis suggests an advantage for r-RAPN in terms of shorter operative time, whereas it does not confirm a difference in terms of length of stay, as suggested by previous reports.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-021-03741-2DOI Listing
November 2021
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