Publications by authors named "Robert Grützmann"

200 Publications

Lipomatous Solitary Fibrous Tumors Harbor Rare NAB2-STAT6 Fusion Variants and Show Up-Regulation of the Gene PPARG, Encoding for a Regulator of Adipocyte Differentiation.

Am J Pathol 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Solitary fibrous tumors (SFTs) harbor activating NAB2-STAT6 gene fusions. Different variants of the NAB2-STAT6 gene fusion have been associated with distinct clinicopathologic features. Lipomatous SFTs are a morphologic variant of SFTs, characterized by a fat-forming tumor component. The aim of the current study was to evaluate NAB2-STAT6 fusion variants and further molecular genetic features in a cohort of lipomatous SFTs. A hybrid-capture-based next-generation sequencing panel was employed to detect NAB2-STAT6 gene fusions at the RNA level. In addition, the RNA expression levels of 507 genes were evaluated using this panel, and were compared with a control cohort of nonlipomatous SFTs. Notably, 5 of 11 (45%) of lipomatous SFTs in the current series harbored the uncommon NAB2 exon 4-STAT6 exon 4 gene fusion variant, which is observed in only 0.9% to 1.4% of nonlipomatous SFTs. Furthermore, lipomatous SFTs displayed significant differences in gene expression compared with their nonlipomatous counterparts, including up-regulation of the gene peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPARG). Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ is a nuclear receptor regulating adipocyte differentiation, providing a possible explanation for the fat-forming component in lipomatous SFTs. In summary, the current study provides a possible molecular genetic basis for the distinct morphologic features of lipomatous SFTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2021.03.012DOI Listing
April 2021

Proposal of a Standardized Questionnaire to Structure Clinical Peer Reviews of Mortality and Failure of Rescue in Pancreatic Surgery.

J Clin Med 2021 Mar 19;10(6). Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of General and Visceral Surgery, University Hospital of Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Quality management tools such as clinical peer reviews facilitate root cause analysis and may, ultimately, help to reduce surgery-related morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to evaluate the reliability of a standardized questionnaire for clinical peer reviews in pancreatic surgery. All cases of in-hospital-mortality following pancreatic surgery at two high-volume centers ( = 86) were reviewed by two pancreatic surgeons. A standardized mortality review questionnaire was developed and applied to all cases. In a second step, 20 cases were randomly assigned to an online re-review that was completed by seven pancreatic surgeons. The overall consistency of the results between the peer review and online re-review was determined by Cohen's kappa (κ). The inter-rater reliability of the online re-review was assessed by Fleiss' kappa (κ). The clinical peer review showed that 80% of the patient mortality was related to surgery. Post-operative pancreatic fistula (POPF) (36%) followed by post-pancreatectomy hemorrhage (PPH) (22%) were the most common surgical underlying (index) complications leading to in-hospital mortality. Most of the index complications yielded in abdominal sepsis (62%); 60% of the cases exhibited potential of improvement, especially through timely diagnosis and therapy (42%). There was a moderate to substantial strength of agreement between the peer review and the online re-review in regard to the category of death (surgical vs. non-surgical; κ = 0.886), type of surgical index complication (κ = 0.714) as well as surgical and non-surgical index complications (κ = 0.492 and κ = 0.793). Fleiss' kappa showed a moderate to substantial inter-rater agreement of the online re-review in terms of category of death (κ = 0.724), category of common surgical index complications (κ = 0.455) and surgical index complication (κ = 0.424). The proposed questionnaire to structure clinical peer reviews is a reliable tool for root cause analyses of in-hospital mortality and may help to identify specific options to improve outcomes in pancreatic surgery. However, the reliability of the peer feedback decreases with an increasing specificity of the review questions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10061281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8003630PMC
March 2021

Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation Combined with Regional Hyperthermia in Locally Advanced or Recurrent Rectal Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 13;13(6). Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Background: To prospectively analyze feasibility and pathological complete response (pCR) rates of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy combined with regional hyperthermia (RHT) in patients with locally advanced (LARC) or recurrent (LRRC) rectal cancer.

Methods: between 2012 and 2018, 111 patients with UICC stage IIB-IV or any locally recurrent rectal cancer were included (HyRec-Trial, ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01716949). Patients received radiotherapy with concurrent 5-Fluororuracil (5-FU)/Capecitabine and Oxaliplatin, and RHT. Stage 1 feasibility analysis evaluated dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) after 19 patients, stage 2 after 59 evaluable patients. Analysis of the pCR rate was based on histopathological reports.

Results: the feasibility rates for stages 1 and 2 were 90% (17/19) and 73% (43/59), respectively. In the intention-to-treat population the pCR rate was 19% (20/105; 90% confidence interval (CI) 13.0-26.5). In the per-protocol-analysis, complete tumor regression was seen in 28% (18/64) and 38% (3/8) of the patients with LARC and LRRC, respectively. Complete resection rates (R0) among patients with LARC and LRRC who received surgery were 99% (78/84) and 67% (8/12).

Conclusions: the intensified neoadjuvant and multimodality treatment schedule was feasible and led to comparable early toxicity rates as described by other trials that used the similar chemoradiation protocol. The presented treatment regimen resulted in a very high pCR rate and appears as a promising option for patients with LRRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001688PMC
March 2021

Impact of resection margin status on survival in advanced N stage pancreatic cancer - a multi-institutional analysis.

Langenbecks Arch Surg 2021 Mar 13. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Visceral, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Background: The present study aimed to examine the impact of microscopically tumour-infiltrated resection margins (R1) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients with advanced lymphonodular metastasis (pN1-pN2) on overall survival (OS).

Methods: This retrospective, multi-institutional analysis included patients undergoing surgical resection for PDAC at three tertiary university centres between 2005 and 2018. Subcohorts of patients with lymph node status pN0-N2 were stratified according to the histopathological resection status using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.

Results: The OS of the entire cohort (n = 620) correlated inversely with the pN status (26 [pN0], 18 [pN1], 11.8 [pN2] months, P < 0.001) and R status (21.7 [R0], 12.5 [R1] months, P < 0.001). However, there was no statistically significant OS difference between R0 versus R1 in cases with advanced lymphonodular metastases: 19.6 months (95% CI: 17.4-20.9) versus 13.6 months (95% CI: 10.7-18.0) for pN1 stage and 13.7 months (95% CI: 10.7-18.9) versus 10.1 months (95% CI: 7.9-19.1) for pN2, respectively. Accordingly, N stage-dependent Cox regression analysis revealed that R status was a prognostic factor in pN0 cases only. Furthermore, there was no significant survival disadvantage for patients with R0 resection but circumferential resection margin invasion (≤ 1 mm; CRM+; 10.7 months) versus CRM-negative (13.7 months) cases in pN2 stages (P = 0.5).

Conclusions: An R1 resection is not associated with worse OS in pN2 cases. If there is evidence of advanced lymph node metastasis and a re-resection due to an R1 situation (e.g. at venous or arterial vessels) may substantially increase the perioperative risk, margin clearance in order to reach local control might be avoided with respect to the OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00423-021-02138-4DOI Listing
March 2021

Interleukin-3 is a predictive marker for severity and outcome during SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Nat Commun 2021 02 18;12(1):1112. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Surgery, Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a worldwide health threat. In a prospective multicentric study, we identify IL-3 as an independent prognostic marker for the outcome during SARS-CoV-2 infections. Specifically, low plasma IL-3 levels is associated with increased severity, viral load, and mortality during SARS-CoV-2 infections. Patients with severe COVID-19 exhibit also reduced circulating plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and low plasma IFNα and IFNλ levels when compared to non-severe COVID-19 patients. In a mouse model of pulmonary HSV-1 infection, treatment with recombinant IL-3 reduces viral load and mortality. Mechanistically, IL-3 increases innate antiviral immunity by promoting the recruitment of circulating pDCs into the airways by stimulating CXCL12 secretion from pulmonary CD123 epithelial cells, both, in mice and in COVID-19 negative patients exhibiting pulmonary diseases. This study identifies IL-3 as a predictive disease marker for SARS-CoV-2 infections and as a potential therapeutic target for pulmunory viral infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21310-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7893044PMC
February 2021

Identification and validation of a multivariable prediction model based on blood plasma and serum metabolomics for the distinction of chronic pancreatitis subjects from non-pancreas disease control subjects.

Gut 2021 Feb 4. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of Medicine A, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Objective: Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a fibroinflammatory syndrome leading to organ dysfunction, chronic pain, an increased risk for pancreatic cancer and considerable morbidity. Due to a lack of specific biomarkers, diagnosis is based on symptoms and specific but insensitive imaging features, preventing an early diagnosis and appropriate management.

Design: We conducted a type 3 study for multivariable prediction for individual prognosis according to the TRIPOD guidelines. A signature to distinguish CP from controls (n=160) was identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry on ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-plasma and validated in independent cohorts.

Results: A Naive Bayes algorithm identified eight metabolites of six ontology classes. After algorithm training and computation of optimal cut-offs, classification according to the metabolic signature detected CP with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.85 ((95% CI 0.79 to 0.91). External validation in two independent cohorts (total n=502) resulted in similar accuracy for detection of CP compared with non-pancreatic controls in EDTA-plasma (AUC 0.85 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.89)) and serum (AUC 0.87 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.95)).

Conclusions: This is the first study that identifies and independently validates a metabolomic signature in plasma and serum for the diagnosis of CP in large, prospective cohorts. The results could provide the basis for the development of the first routine laboratory test for CP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-320723DOI Listing
February 2021

Gene Expression in Solitary Fibrous Tumors (SFTs) Correlates with Anatomic Localization and NAB2-STAT6 Gene Fusion Variants.

Am J Pathol 2021 04 23;191(4):602-617. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany. Electronic address:

Solitary fibrous tumors (SFTs) harbor recurrent NAB2-STAT6 gene fusions, promoting constitutional up-regulation of oncogenic early growth response 1 (EGR1)-dependent gene expression. SFTs with the most common canonical NAB2 exon 4-STAT6 exon 2 fusion variant are often located in the thorax (pleuropulmonary) and are less cellular with abundant collagen. In contrast, SFTs with NAB2 exon 6-STAT6 exon 16/17 fusion variants typically display a cellular round to ovoid cell morphology and are often located in the deep soft tissue of the retroperitoneum and intra-abdominal pelvic region or in the meninges. Here, we employed next-generation sequencing-based gene expression profiling to identify significant differences in gene expression associated with anatomic localization and NAB2-STAT6 gene fusion variants. SFTs with the NAB2 exon 4-STAT6 exon 2 fusion variant showed a transcriptional signature enriched for genes involved in DNA binding, gene transcription, and nuclear localization, whereas SFTs with the NAB2 exon 6-STAT6 exon 16/17 fusion variants were enriched for genes involved in tyrosine kinase signaling, cell proliferation, and cytoplasmic localization. Specific transcription factor binding motifs were enriched among differentially expressed genes in SFTs with different fusion variants, implicating co-transcription factors in the modification of chimeric NGFI-A binding protein 2 (NAB2)-STAT6-dependent deregulation of EGR1-dependent gene expression. In summary, this study establishes a potential molecular biologic basis for clinicopathologic differences in SFTs with distinct NAB2-STAT6 gene fusion variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2020.12.015DOI Listing
April 2021

Defining early recurrence in patients with resected primary colorectal carcinoma and its respective risk factors.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2021 Jun 15;36(6):1181-1191. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Department of Surgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Krankenhausstr. 12, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.

Purpose: There is no evidence-based definition of early recurrence following resection of colorectal cancer. The purpose of this study is to define a point that discriminates between early and late recurrence in patients who have undergone colorectal cancer resection with curative intent and to analyze associated risk factors.

Methods: A retrospective single-center cohort study was performed at a university hospital recognized as a comprehensive cancer center, specializing in colorectal cancer surgery. Patient data were retrieved from a prospectively maintained institutional database. Included patients underwent resection for primary, non-metastatic colorectal carcinomas with curative intent between 1995 and 2010. Aims of the study were (1) to define the optimal cut-off point of recurrence-free survival based on overall survival using a minimum p value approach and (2) to identify patterns of initial recurrence and putative risk factors for early recurrence using regression models.

Results: Recurrence was diagnosed in 412 of 1893 patients. Statistical analysis suggested that a recurrence-free survival of 16 months could be used to distinguish between early and late recurrence based on overall survival (p < 0.001). Independent risk factors for early recurrence included advanced pT categories (pT3,4/ypT3,4) and positive lymph node status (pN+/ypN+). Early recurrence was independent of site of recurrence and was associated with worse prognosis.

Conclusions: Recurrence of colorectal carcinoma within 16 months after primary treatment should be labeled as "early." Tumor categories pT3,4/ypT3,4 and positive lymph node status pN+/ypN+ are predictive of early recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-021-03844-7DOI Listing
June 2021

The Health-Related Quality of Life of Sarcoma Patients and Survivors in Germany-Cross-Sectional Results of a Nationwide Observational Study (PROSa).

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Nov 30;12(12). Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Clinic and Polyclinic for Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

Sarcomas are rare cancers with high heterogeneity in terms of type, location, and treatment. The health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of sarcoma patients has rarely been investigated and is the subject of this analysis. Adult sarcoma patients and survivors were assessed between September 2017 and February 2019 in 39 study centers in Germany using standardized, validated questionnaires (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30)). Associated factors were analyzed exploratively using multivariable linear regressions. Among 1113 patients, clinically important limitations and symptoms were most pronounced in emotional (63%, 95% CI 60-66%), physical (60%, 95% CI 57-62%), role functioning (51%, 95% CI 48-54%), and pain (56%, 95% CI 53-59%) and fatigue (51%, 95% CI 48-54%). HRQoL differed between tumor locations with lower extremities performing the worst and sarcoma types with bone sarcoma types being most affected. Additionally, female gender, higher age, lower socioeconomic status, recurrent disease, not being in retirement, comorbidities, and being in treatment were associated with lower HRQoL. Sarcoma patients are severely restricted in their HRQoL, especially in functioning scales. The heterogeneity of sarcomas with regard to type and location is reflected in HRQoL outcomes. During treatment and follow-up, close attention has to be paid to the reintegration of the patients into daily life as well as to their physical abilities and emotional distress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123590DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759994PMC
November 2020

The Role of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery in Surgical Therapy of Soft Tissue Sarcomas.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 11 26;12(12). Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University Hospital of Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) treatment is an interdisciplinary challenge. Along with radio(chemo)therapy, surgery plays the central role in STS treatment. Little is known about the impact of reconstructive surgery on STS, particularly whether reconstructive surgery enhances STS resection success with the usage of flaps. Here, we analyzed the 10-year experience at a university hospital's Comprehensive Cancer Center, focusing on the role of reconstructive surgery.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of STS-patients over 10 years. We investigated patient demographics, diagnosis, surgical management, tissue/function reconstruction, complication rates, resection status, local recurrence and survival.

Results: Analysis of 290 patients showed an association between clear surgical margin (R0) resections and higher-grade sarcoma in patients with free flaps. Major complications were lower with primary wound closure than with flaps. Comparison of reconstruction techniques showed no significant differences in complication rates. Wound healing was impaired in STS recurrence. The local recurrence risk was over two times higher with primary wound closure than with flaps.

Conclusion: Defect reconstructions in STS are reliable and safe. Plastic surgeons should have a permanent place in interdisciplinary surgical STS treatment, with the full armamentarium of reconstruction methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7760015PMC
November 2020

Study protocol for an International Prospective Observational Cohort Study for Optimal Bowel Resection Extent and Central Radicality for Colon Cancer (T-REX study).

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2021 Jan;51(1):145-155

Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.

This is a prospective observational cohort study aiming to include 4000 patients with stages I to III colon cancer treated at 35 specialist institutions in Japan, South Korea, Germany, Russia, Lithuania and Taiwan. The anatomical distribution of lymph nodes and feeding arteries are investigated using surgical specimens according to pre-specified categorizing methods using intraoperative anatomical markings. Primary analyses are performed to identify the general principles of metastatic lymph node distribution in terms of its relation to the location of the primary tumor and feeding arteries. Secondary analyses will be used to estimate prognostic outcomes according to bowel resection length and central radicality and will be used to evaluate the quality of resected surgical specimens. Through in-depth lymph node mapping, standardized criteria for the definite area of 'regional' lymph node resection in routine surgical procedures can be identified, which is expected to contribute to international standardization in colon cancer surgery (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02938481).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyaa115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7767979PMC
January 2021

Targeting DNA Damage Response and Replication Stress in Pancreatic Cancer.

Gastroenterology 2021 Jan 9;160(1):362-377.e13. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom.

Background & Aims: Continuing recalcitrance to therapy cements pancreatic cancer (PC) as the most lethal malignancy, which is set to become the second leading cause of cancer death in our society. The study aim was to investigate the association between DNA damage response (DDR), replication stress, and novel therapeutic response in PC to develop a biomarker-driven therapeutic strategy targeting DDR and replication stress in PC.

Methods: We interrogated the transcriptome, genome, proteome, and functional characteristics of 61 novel PC patient-derived cell lines to define novel therapeutic strategies targeting DDR and replication stress. Validation was done in patient-derived xenografts and human PC organoids.

Results: Patient-derived cell lines faithfully recapitulate the epithelial component of pancreatic tumors, including previously described molecular subtypes. Biomarkers of DDR deficiency, including a novel signature of homologous recombination deficiency, cosegregates with response to platinum (P < .001) and PARP inhibitor therapy (P < .001) in vitro and in vivo. We generated a novel signature of replication stress that predicts response to ATR (P < .018) and WEE1 inhibitor (P < .029) treatment in both cell lines and human PC organoids. Replication stress was enriched in the squamous subtype of PC (P < .001) but was not associated with DDR deficiency.

Conclusions: Replication stress and DDR deficiency are independent of each other, creating opportunities for therapy in DDR-proficient PC and after platinum therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.09.043DOI Listing
January 2021

Donor Site Morbidity of Patients Receiving Vertical Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous Flap for Perineal, Vaginal or Inguinal Reconstruction.

World J Surg 2021 Jan 29;45(1):132-140. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Krankenhausstrasse 12, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Management of donor site closure after harvesting a vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous (VRAM) flap is discussed heterogeneously in the literature. We aim to analyze the postoperative complications of the donor site depending on the closure technique.

Methods: During a 12-year period (2003-2015), 192 patients in our department received transpelvic VRAM flap reconstruction. Prospectively collected data were analyzed retrospectively.

Results: 182 patients received a VRAM flap reconstruction for malignant, 10 patients for benign disease. The median age of patients was 62 years. 117 patients (61%) received a reconstruction of donor site by Vypro® mesh, 46 patients (24%) by Vicryl® mesh, 23 patients (12%) by direct closure and 6 patients (3%) by combination of different meshes. 32 patients (17%) developed in total 34 postoperative complications at the donor site. 22 complications (11%) were treated conservatively, 12 (6%) surgically. 17 patients (9%) developed incisional hernia during follow-up, with highest incidence in the Vicryl® group (n = 8; 17%) and lowest in the Vypro® group (n = 7; 6%). Postoperative parastomal hernias were found in 30 patients (16%) including three patients with simultaneous hernia around an urostomy and a colostomy. The highest incidence of parastomal hernia was found in patients receiving primary closure of the donor site (n = 6; 26%), the lowest incidence in the Vypro® group (n = 16; 14%).

Conclusion: The use of Vypro® mesh for donor site closure appears to be associated with a low postoperative incidence of complications and can therefore be recommended as a preferred technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00268-020-05788-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7752873PMC
January 2021

Colorectal cancer in Crohn's colitis is associated with advanced tumor invasion and a poorer survival compared with ulcerative colitis: a retrospective dual-center study.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2021 Jan 12;36(1):141-150. Epub 2020 Sep 12.

Department of Surgery, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen, Krankenhausstraße 12, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.

Purpose: Colorectal cancer is a well-recognized complication of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's colitis (CC). In this study, we assess the clinico-pathological features and outcomes of patients with colorectal cancer from UC in comparison with CC.

Methods: Data of all patients with colitis-associated cancer (CAC) who underwent surgery at Erlangen or Würzburg University Clinic between 1995 and 2015 were selected. Clinical, histopathological, and survival data were analyzed retrospectively.

Results: Of all 88 patients with CAC, 20 patients had Crohn's colitis and 68 patients had ulcerative colitis. We observed a young median age at tumor diagnosis (49.5 years UC; 45.5 years CC, p = 0.208) in both diseases and a long median disease duration before CAC (19 years UC; 18 years CC; p = 0.840). Patients with CC suffered more often from rectal cancer (14 (70.0%) in CC; 23 (33.8%) in UC; p = 0.005) and advanced tumor stages (8 (47.0%) pT4 in CC; 14 (25.0%) pT4/ypT4 in UC; p = 0.008). Five-year overall survival rate was 39.3% for CC and 67.1% for UC (p = 0.009 for difference between the groups). Survival did not differ significantly between UC and CC in the multivariate analysis after correction for UICC tumor stage.

Conclusion: CAC in CC showed advanced tumor stages associated with reduced survival compared with CAC in UC. This may be explained by less intense surveillance in patients with CC leading to delayed cancer diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-020-03726-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782386PMC
January 2021

Multicenter International Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Study of the Consensus Immunoscore for the Prediction of Survival and Response to Chemotherapy in Stage III Colon Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2020 11 8;38(31):3638-3651. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, UHN, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of Immunoscore in patients with stage III colon cancer (CC) and to analyze its association with the effect of chemotherapy on time to recurrence (TTR).

Methods: An international study led by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer evaluated the predefined consensus Immunoscore in 763 patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer/Union for International Cancer Control TNM stage III CC from cohort 1 (Canada/United States) and cohort 2 (Europe/Asia). CD3+ and cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocyte densities were quantified in the tumor and invasive margin by digital pathology. The primary end point was TTR. Secondary end points were overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), prognosis in microsatellite stable (MSS) status, and predictive value of efficacy of chemotherapy.

Results: Patients with a high Immunoscore presented with the lowest risk of recurrence, in both cohorts. Recurrence-free rates at 3 years were 56.9% (95% CI, 50.3% to 64.4%), 65.9% (95% CI, 60.8% to 71.4%), and 76.4% (95% CI, 69.3% to 84.3%) in patients with low, intermediate, and high immunoscores, respectively (hazard ratio [HR; high low], 0.48; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.71; = .0003). Patients with high Immunoscore showed significant association with prolonged TTR, OS, and DFS (all < .001). In Cox multivariable analysis stratified by participating center, Immunoscore association with TTR was independent (HR [high low], 0.41; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.67; .0003) of patient's sex, T stage, N stage, sidedness, and microsatellite instability status. Significant association of a high Immunoscore with prolonged TTR was also found among MSS patients (HR [high low], 0.36; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.62; .0003). Immunoscore had the strongest contribution χ2 proportion for influencing survival (TTR and OS). Chemotherapy was significantly associated with survival in the high-Immunoscore group for both low-risk (HR [chemotherapy no chemotherapy], 0.42; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.71; = .0011) and high-risk (HR [chemotherapy no chemotherapy], 0.5; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.77; = .0015) patients, in contrast to the low-Immunoscore group ( > .12).

Conclusion: This study shows that a high Immunoscore significantly associated with prolonged survival in stage III CC. Our findings suggest that patients with a high Immunoscore will benefit the most from chemotherapy in terms of recurrence risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.03205DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7605397PMC
November 2020

Microbiome Patterns in Matched Bile, Duodenal, Pancreatic Tumor Tissue, Drainage, and Stool Samples: Association with Preoperative Stenting and Postoperative Pancreatic Fistula Development.

J Clin Med 2020 Aug 28;9(9). Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Erlangen, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Postoperative complications after pancreatic surgery are still a significant problem in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to characterize and compare the microbiomes of different body compartments (bile duct, duodenal mucosa, pancreatic tumor lesion, postoperative drainage fluid, and stool samples; preoperative and postoperative) in patients undergoing pancreatic surgery for suspected pancreatic cancer, and their association with relevant clinical factors (stent placement, pancreatic fistula, and gland texture). For this, solid (duodenal mucosa, pancreatic tumor tissue, stool) and liquid (bile, drainage fluid) biopsy samples of 10 patients were analyzed using 16s rRNA gene next-generation sequencing. Our analysis revealed: (i) a distinct microbiome in the different compartments, (ii) markedly higher abundance of in patients undergoing preoperative stent placement in the common bile duct, (iii) significant differences in the beta diversity between patients who developed a postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF B/C), (iv) patients with POPF B/C were more likely to have bacteria belonging to the genus , and (v) differences in microbiome composition with regard to the pancreatic gland texture. The structure of the microbiome is distinctive in different compartments, and can be associated with the development of a postoperative pancreatic fistula.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092785DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563524PMC
August 2020

Analysis of GPRC6A variants in different pancreatitis etiologies.

Pancreatology 2020 Oct 8;20(7):1262-1267. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Else Kröner-Fresenius-Zentrum für Ernährungsmedizin (EKFZ), Paediatric Nutritional Medicine, Technische Universität München (TUM), Freising, Germany.

Background: The G-protein-coupled receptor Class C Group 6 Member A (GPRC6A) is activated by multiple ligands and is important for the regulation of calcium homeostasis. Extracellular calcium is capable to increase NLRP3 inflammasome activity of the innate immune system and deletion of this proinflammatory pathway mitigated pancreatitis severity in vivo. As such this pathway and the GPRC6A receptor is a reasonable candidate gene for pancreatitis. Here we investigated the prevalence of sequence variants in the GPRC6A locus in different pancreatitis aetiologies.

Methods: We selected 6 tagging SNPs with the SNPinfo LD TAG SNP Selection tool and the functional relevant SNP rs6907580 for genotyping. Cohorts from Germany, further European countries and China with up to 1,124 patients and 1,999 controls were screened for single SNPs with melting curve analysis.

Results: We identified an association of rs1606365(G) with alcoholic chronic pancreatitis in a German (odds ratio (OR) 0.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.65-0.89, p = 8 × 10) and a Chinese cohort (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.64-0.96, p = 0.02). However, this association was not replicated in a combined cohort of European patients (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.99-1.41, p = 0.07). Finally, no association was found with acute and non-alcoholic chronic pancreatitis.

Conclusions: Our results support a potential role of calcium sensing receptors and inflammasome activation in alcoholic chronic pancreatitis development. As the functional consequence of the associated variant is unclear, further investigations might elucidate the relevant mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pan.2020.08.001DOI Listing
October 2020

Oncological colorectal surgery during the COVID-19pandemic-a national survey.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2020 Dec 29;35(12):2219-2225. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Department of surgery, University Hospital, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Krankenhausstraße 12, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to clarify the surgical supply situation of oncological colorectal patients in Germany during limitations of the OR caseload due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Between 11th and 19th April 2020, all members of a consortium of German colorectal cancer centers were invited to participate in a web-based survey on the current status of surgical care situation of colorectal cancer patients in Germany.

Results: A total of 112 colorectal surgeons of 101 German hospitals participated in the survey. Eighty-seven percent of the participating hospitals had to reduce their total surgical caseload and 34% their surgical volume for oncological colorectal patients during COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions of the surgical caseload were independent of the size of the hospital and the number of cases of COVID-19 in the federal state of the hospital. Sixteen percent of colorectal surgeons consider surgical limitations to be not justified and 78% to be justified only if the care of oncological patients is ensured. Ninety-five percent of the colorectal surgeons interviewed stated that all oncological colorectal patients with an indication for surgery should be operated in time, despite the current reservations for COVID-19 patients. For the majority of the respondents (63% and 51%, respectively), an extended waiting time for surgery of up to 2 weeks was acceptable for non-metastatic and metastatic patients, respectively.

Conclusion: In Germany, there is a temporarily relevant reduction of surgical volume in oncological colorectal patients. Most colorectal surgeons stated that oncological colorectal surgery should not be compromised despite the measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-020-03697-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7389155PMC
December 2020

In-hospital mortality and failure to rescue following hepatobiliary surgery in Germany - a nationwide analysis.

BMC Surg 2020 Jul 29;20(1):171. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Klinik für Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie, Krankenhausstraße 12, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Recent observational studies on volume-outcome associations in hepatobiliary surgery were not designed to account for the varying extent of hepatobiliary resections and the consequential risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality for minor and major hepatobiliary resections at the national level in Germany and to examine the effect of hospital volume on in-hospital mortality, and failure to rescue.

Methods: All inpatient cases of hepatobiliary surgery (n = 31,114) in Germany from 2009 to 2015 were studied using national hospital discharge data. After ranking hospitals according to increasing hospital volumes, five volume categories were established based on all hepatobiliary resections. The association between hospital volume and in-hospital mortality following minor and major hepatobiliary resections was evaluated by multivariable regression methods.

Results: Minor hepatobiliary resections were associated with an overall mortality rate of 3.9% and showed no significant volume-outcome associations. In contrast, overall mortality rate of major hepatobiliary resections was 10.3%. In this cohort, risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality following major resections varied widely across hospital volume categories, from 11.4% (95% CI 10.4-12.5) in very low volume hospitals to 7.4% (95% CI 6.6-8.2) in very high volume hospitals (risk-adjusted OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.41-0.54). Moreover, rates of failure to rescue decreased from 29.38% (95% CI 26.7-32.2) in very low volume hospitals to 21.38% (95% CI 19.2-23.8) in very high volume hospitals.

Conclusions: In Germany, patients who are undergoing major hepatobiliary resections have improved outcomes, if they are admitted to higher volume hospitals. However, such associations are not evident following minor hepatobiliary resections. Following major hepatobiliary resections, 70-80% of the excess mortality in very low volume hospitals was estimated to be attributable to failure to rescue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12893-020-00817-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7388497PMC
July 2020

[Indications for Surgical Therapy in Chronic Pancreatitis].

Zentralbl Chir 2020 Aug 29;145(4):383-389. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Klinik für Chirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Deutschland.

Chronic pancreatitis is a recurrent disease with repeating exacerbations of inflammation of the pancreatic gland - associated with belt-like back pain. Without treatment, recurrent chronic pancreatitis leads to development of opioid-dependent pain. The chronic pancreatitis leads to recurrent hospital stays for the affected patient and socioeconomic challenges. In progress it can lead to local complications of chronic pancreatitis, such as formation of pseudocysts, biliary duct obstruction, duodenal obstruction or portal hypertension. The aim of this article is a detailed description of the indication for surgical therapy in chronic pancreatitis. The underlying analysis was a systematic literature research and evaluation, the formulation of key questions according to the PICO system and the evaluation of indications and key statements and questions, as implemented in a three level Delphi process among the members of the pancreas research group and the indications for the surgery group of the German Society of General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV). Surgical resection of the inflammatory pancreatic head pseudotumour, after initial conservative therapy, is a highly efficient therapy for the control of pain and the avoidance of complications in chronic pancreatitis. For this purpose, well evaluated surgical strategies are available. Delay in surgical therapy can lead to chronic pain, kachexia and malnutrition and increase complications of surgical therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1168-7314DOI Listing
August 2020

Precision Oncology in Surgery: Patient Selection for Operable Pancreatic Cancer.

Ann Surg 2020 08;272(2):366-376

Department of Surgery, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.

Objective: We aimed to define preoperative clinical and molecular characteristics that would allow better patient selection for operative resection.

Background: Although we use molecular selection methods for systemic targeted therapies, these principles are not applied to surgical oncology. Improving patient selection is of vital importance for the operative treatment of pancreatic cancer (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma). Although surgery is the only chance of long-term survival, 80% still succumb to the disease and approximately 30% die within 1 year, often sooner than those that have unresected local disease.

Method: In 3 independent pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cohorts (total participants = 1184) the relationship between aberrant expression of prometastatic proteins S100A2 and S100A4 and survival was assessed. A preoperative nomogram based on clinical variables available before surgery and expression of these proteins was constructed and compared to traditional measures, and a postoperative nomogram.

Results: High expression of either S100A2 or S100A4 was independent poor prognostic factors in a training cohort of 518 participants. These results were validated in 2 independent patient cohorts (Glasgow, n = 198; Germany, n = 468). Aberrant biomarker expression stratified the cohorts into 3 distinct prognostic groups. A preoperative nomogram incorporating S100A2 and S100A4 expression predicted survival and nomograms derived using postoperative clinicopathological variables.

Conclusions: Of those patients with a poor preoperative nomogram score, approximately 50% of patients died within a year of resection. Nomograms have the potential to improve selection for surgery and neoadjuvant therapy, avoiding surgery in aggressive disease, and justifying more extensive resections in biologically favorable disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000003143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7373491PMC
August 2020

Evaluation of response using FDG-PET/CT and diffusion weighted MRI after radiochemotherapy of pancreatic cancer: a non-randomized, monocentric phase II clinical trial-PaCa-DD-041 (Eudra-CT 2009-011968-11).

Strahlenther Onkol 2021 Jan 7;197(1):19-26. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Department of Surgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with a 5-year survival rate of 20-25%. As approximately only 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are initially staged as resectable, it is necessary to evaluate new therapeutic approaches. Hence, neoadjuvant (radio)chemotherapy is a promising therapeutic option, especially in patients with a borderline resectable tumor. The aim of this non-randomized, monocentric, prospective, phase II clinical study was to assess the prognostic value of functional imaging techniques, i.e., [F]2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) and diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI), prior to and during neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy.

Methods: Patients with histologically proven resectable, borderline resectable or unresectable non-metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma received induction chemotherapy followed by neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy. Patients underwent FDG-PET/CT and DW-MRI including T1- and T2-weighted sequences prior to and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy as well as following induction radiochemotherapy. The primary endpoint was the evaluation of the response as quantified by the standardized uptake value (SUV) measured with FDG-PET. Response to treatment was evaluated by FDG-PET and DW-MRI during and after the neoadjuvant course. Morphologic staging was performed using contrast-enhanced CT and contrast-enhanced MRI to decide inclusion of patients and resectability after neoadjuvant therapy. In those patients undergoing subsequent surgery, imaging findings were correlated with those of the pathologic resection specimen.

Results: A total of 25 patients were enrolled in the study. The response rate measured by FDG-PET was 85% with a statistically significant decrease of the maximal SUV (SUV) during therapy (p < 0.001). Using the mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), response was not detectable with DW-MRI. After neoadjuvant treatment 16 patients underwent surgery. In 12 (48%) patients tumor resection could be performed. The median overall survival of all patients was 25 months (range: 7-38 months).

Conclusion: Based on these limited patient numbers, it was possible to show that this trial design is feasible and that the neoadjuvant therapy regime was well tolerated. FDG-PET/CT may be a reliable method to evaluate response to the combined therapy. In contrast, when evaluating the response using mean ADC, DW-MRI did not show conclusive results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00066-020-01654-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7801319PMC
January 2021

[Indications for Surgery in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma - Consensus Recommendations by the German Society for General and Visceral Surgery].

Zentralbl Chir 2020 Aug 2;145(4):354-364. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Klinik für Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie, Katholisches Klinikum Bochum, St. Josef-Hospital, Deutschland.

Background: Surgery for pancreatic cancer in Germany is increasing due to the climbing incidence of this cancer in the population. This review presents a summary of modern evidence-based indications for surgery in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

Methods: The German Society for General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV) authorised a task force to define evidence based indications for surgery in patients with PDAC. A systematic literature search in Medline and Cochrane Library databases (1989 - 2019) was performed. Recommendations were summarised on the basis of the most relevant and recent guidelines and clinical studies and then voted by members of the Working Group on Hepato-Biliary and Pancreatic Diseases (CALGP) in a Delphi procedure.

Results: Indications for surgery in patients with PDAC should be set by experienced pancreatic surgeons within a tumour board. Decisions should consider the guidelines as well as the individual patient characteristics. Large vessel infiltration, metastatic disease and severe comorbidities are the most common contraindications for surgery. Borderline-resectable, primary resectable oligometastatic and secondary resectable PDAC should be preferably managed at high-volume centres as a part of clinical studies. Centralisation of pancreatic surgery reduces mortality and improves survival. Palliative bypass surgery as well as staging laparoscopy are still indicated in a large proportion of patients with PDAC.

Conclusion: Irrespective of the recent development of multimodal therapeutic concepts, surgical resection remains the sole chance of long-term cure for patients with PDAC. Due to the significant proportion of patients in advanced stages of the disease, palliative surgery still plays an important role in the complex management of this cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1161-9501DOI Listing
August 2020

[Indications for the Surgical Management of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms].

Zentralbl Chir 2020 Aug 29;145(4):365-373. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Klinik für Allgemein-, Viszeral-, Gefäß- und Transplantationschirurgie, Klinikum der Universität München, Deutschland.

Neuroendocrine neoplasms of the pancreas (pNEN) have an increasing incidence and prevalence. Thus, this entity is of increasing clinical significance. Patients with pNEN become clinically apparent due to different and unspecific symptoms. Some tumours secrete hormones and peptides and become clinically symptomatic. In general, these tumours can metastasise early and even small tumours lead to distant metastases. Nonetheless, primary tumour size and grading are important prognostic factors. On the basis of a systematic literature research and the formulation of key issues according to the PICO system, therapeutic concepts were established. These concepts were evaluated with a Delphi process among the members of the pancreas research group and the indications for surgery group of the German Society of General and Visceral Surgery. Thus this article gives an overview of the surgical treatment modalities and indications for the treatment of pNEN. Surgery is still the gold standard in treatment and the only potential chance of cure. Surgery is indicated for sporadic as well as hereditary pNEN > 2 cm independent of the functional activity. A so called "wait and see" strategy might be indicated in smaller pNEN; however, there is little evidence for this approach. In this respect, pNEN of 1 - 2 cm represent a surgical indication. The treatment of hereditary pNEN is challenging and should be interdisciplinary. Even in the case of distant metastases, a curative approach might be feasible and multimodal treatment is indicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1168-7103DOI Listing
August 2020

[Indications for Surgical and Interventional Therapy of Acute Pancreatitis].

Zentralbl Chir 2020 Aug 18;145(4):374-382. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Klinik für Allgemein-, Viszeral- und Thoraxchirurgie, Städtisches Klinikum Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Deutschland.

Background: 15 to 20% of patients with acute pancreatitis develop necrosis of the pancreatic parenchyma or extrapancreatic tissue. The disease is associated with a mortality rate of up to 20%. The mainstays of treatment consist of intensive medical care and surgical and interventional therapy.

Methods: A systematic literature search focused on indications for surgical and interventional therapy of necrotising pancreatitis. 85 articles were analysed for this review. By using the Delphi method, the results were presented to the quality committee for pancreas diseases of the German Society for General and Visceral Surgery and to expert pancreatologists in an interactive conference using plenary voting during the visceral medicine congress 2019 in Wiesbaden. For the finalised recommendations, an agreement of 84% of participants was achieved.

Results: Documented or clinical suspicion of infected, necrotising pancreatitis are indications for surgical and interventional therapy (recommendation grade: strong; evidence grade; low). Sterile necrosis is a less common indication for intervention due to late complications or persistent severe pancreatitis. Invasive interventions should be delayed when possible until four weeks after onset of pancreatitis. Optimal treatment strategy consists of a "step-up approach" (evidence grade: high; recommendation grade: strong). The first step is catheter drainage, followed, if necessary, by minimally invasive surgical or interventional necrosectomy. If minimally invasive techniques do not result in clinical improvement, open necrosectomy is necessary. 35 to 50% of patients are successfully treated with drainage alone. Indications for emergency intervention are bowel perforation, bowel ischemia and bleeding. Surgical decompression of abdominal compartment syndrome is indicated if the patient is refractory to medical treatment and percutaneous drainage. Abscesses and symptomatic pseudocysts are indications for interventional drainage. Early cholecystectomy during index admission is recommended for patients with mild biliary pancreatitis. Cholecystectomy should be delayed after severe, biliary pancreatitis.

Conclusion: The recommendations for surgical an interventional therapy of necrotising pancreatitis address the basis of current indications in literature. They should serve in daily practice as a reference standard for decision making in multidisciplinary teams.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1164-7099DOI Listing
August 2020

Cinematic Rendering in Anatomy: A Crossover Study Comparing a Novel 3D Reconstruction Technique to Conventional Computed Tomography.

Anat Sci Educ 2021 Jan 7;14(1):22-31. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Klinik für Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Integration of medical imaging into preclinical anatomy courses is already underway in many medical schools. However, interpretation of two-dimensional grayscale images is difficult and conventional volume rendering techniques provide only images of limited quality. In this regard, a more photorealistic visualization provided by Cinematic Rendering (CR) may be more suitable for anatomical education. A randomized, two-period crossover study was conducted from July to December 2018, at the University Hospital of Erlangen, Germany to compare CR and conventional computed tomography (CT) imaging for speed and comprehension of anatomy. Sixteen students were randomized into two assessment sequences. During each assessment period, participants had to answer 15 anatomy-related questions that were divided into three categories: parenchymal, musculoskeletal, and vascular anatomy. After a washout period of 14 days, assessments were crossed over to the respective second reconstruction technique. The mean interperiod differences for the time to answer differed significantly between the CR-CT sequence (-204.21 ± 156.0 seconds) and the CT-CR sequence (243.33 ± 113.83 seconds; P < 0.001). Overall time reduction by CR was 65.56%. Cinematic Rendering visualization of musculoskeletal and vascular anatomy was higher rated compared to CT visualization (P < 0.001 and P = 0.003), whereas CT visualization of parenchymal anatomy received a higher scoring than CR visualization (P < 0.001). No carryover effects were observed. A questionnaire revealed that students consider CR to be beneficial for medical education. These results suggest that CR has a potential to enhance knowledge acquisition and transfer from medical imaging data in medical education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ase.1989DOI Listing
January 2021

[Indications for the Surgical Management of Pancreatic Cystic Lesions].

Zentralbl Chir 2020 Aug 4;145(4):344-353. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Klinik für Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Deutschland.

A steady improvement in modern imaging as well as increasing age in society have led to an increasing number of cystic pancreatic tumours being detected. Pancreatic cysts are a clinically challenging entity because they span a broad biological spectrum and their differentiation is often difficult, especially in small tumours. Therefore, they require a differentiated indication for indication of surgery. To determine recommendations for the surgical indication in cystic tumours of the pancreas, a quality committee for pancreatic diseases of the German Society for General and Visceral Surgery performed a systematic literature search and created this review. Based on the current evidence, signs of malignancy and high-risk criteria (icterus due to cystic pancreatic duct obstruction in the bile duct, enhancing mural nodules ≥ 5 mm or solid components in the cyst or pancreatic duct ≥ 10 mm), as well as symptoms, are a surgical indication, independently of the cyst entity (except pseudocysts). If the entity of the pancreatic cyst is detectable by diagnostic imaging, all main duct IPMN and IPMN of the mixed type, all MCN > 4 cm and all SPN should be resected. SCN and branch-duct IPMN without worrisome features do not constitute an indication for surgery. The indication of operation in branch-duct IPMN with relative risk criteria and MCN < 4 cm is the subject of current discussions and should be individualised. By defining indication recommendations, the present work aims to improve the indication quality in cystic pancreatic tumours. However, the surgical indication should always be individualised, taking into account age, comorbidities and the patient's wishes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1158-9536DOI Listing
August 2020

Interdisciplinary Surgical Approaches in Vaginal and Perineal Reconstruction of Advanced Rectal and Anal Female Cancer Patients.

Front Oncol 2020 13;10:719. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University Hospital Erlangen-Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuernberg FAU, Erlangen, Germany.

Relapsing or far advanced rectal and anal cancers remain difficult to treat and require interdisciplinary approaches. Due to modern standard protocols all patients receive irradiation and neoadjuvant chemotherapy-and in case of a relapse a second irradiation-rendering the surgical site prone to surgical site infections and oftentimes long lasting sinus and septic complications after exenteration in the pelvis. Despite an improved overall survival rate in these patients the downside of radical tumor surgery in the pelvis is a major loss of quality of life, especially in women when parts of the vagina need to be resected. Derived from our experince with over 300 patients receiving pelvic and perineal reconstruciton with a transpelvic vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous (tpVRAM) flap we studied the impact of this surgical technique on the outcomes of female patients with or without vaginal reconstruction following pelvic exenteration. We found out that the tpVRAM flap is reliably perfused and helps to reduce long term wound healing desasters in the irradiated perineal/vaginal/gluteal region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.00719DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7237715PMC
May 2020

HNF4A and GATA6 Loss Reveals Therapeutically Actionable Subtypes in Pancreatic Cancer.

Cell Rep 2020 05;31(6):107625

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, 370 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst and Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia; St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) can be divided into transcriptomic subtypes with two broad lineages referred to as classical (pancreatic) and squamous. We find that these two subtypes are driven by distinct metabolic phenotypes. Loss of genes that drive endodermal lineage specification, HNF4A and GATA6, switch metabolic profiles from classical (pancreatic) to predominantly squamous, with glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) a key regulator of glycolysis. Pharmacological inhibition of GSK3β results in selective sensitivity in the squamous subtype; however, a subset of these squamous patient-derived cell lines (PDCLs) acquires rapid drug tolerance. Using chromatin accessibility maps, we demonstrate that the squamous subtype can be further classified using chromatin accessibility to predict responsiveness and tolerance to GSK3β inhibitors. Our findings demonstrate that distinct patterns of chromatin accessibility can be used to identify patient subgroups that are indistinguishable by gene expression profiles, highlighting the utility of chromatin-based biomarkers for patient selection in the treatment of PDAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107625DOI Listing
May 2020

The Prognostic Value of the Number of Harvested Negative Lymph Nodes in Patients Treated by Esophagectomy With or Without Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation.

Anticancer Res 2020 May;40(5):2833-2840

Department of General and Visceral Surgery, Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany.

Background/aim: The prognostic value of the number of harvested negative lymph nodes (NLNs) in patients with node-negative esophageal carcinoma treated by esophagectomy with or without neoadjuvant chemoradiation is unclear.

Patients And Methods: A total of 136 patients who underwent oncological esophagectomy with two-field lymphadenectomy from 1995 to 2014 were analyzed regarding the prognostic impact of NLNs. 86 patients received primary surgery (group 1) and 50 patients had preoperative chemoradiation followed by surgery (group 2).

Results: The 5-year overall survival (OS) was 61.1%. Median lymph node harvest was significantly higher in group 1 (39 vs. 34 in group 2, p=0.007). In group 1, patients with a higher number of negative lymph nodes (>40) had a better OS [57.6% vs. 78.9%, HR=0.5 (0.3-0.9), p=0.026], whereas there was no significant difference in group 2 using the same cutoff (47.6% vs. 66.7%, p=0.476).

Conclusion: The number of NLNs is an independent prognostic factor for patients with esophageal carcinoma treated by primary esophagectomy, but not in patients after neoadjuvant chemoradiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.14257DOI Listing
May 2020