Publications by authors named "Savino Di Stasi"

50 Publications

How Can the COVID-19 Pandemic Lead to Positive Changes in Urology Residency?

Front Surg 2020 24;7:563006. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Urology, IEO European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

The COVID-19 outbreak, in a few weeks, overloaded Italian hospitals, and the majority of medical procedures were postponed. During the pandemic, with hospital reorganization, clinical and learning activities performed by residents suffered a forced remodulation. The objective of this study is to investigate how urology training in Italy has been affected during the COVID-19 era. In this multi-academic study, we compared residents' training during the highest outbreak level with their previous activity. Overall 387 (67.1%) of the 577 Italian Urology residents participated in a 72-h anonymous online survey with 36 items sent via email. The main outcomes were clinical/surgical activities, social distancing, distance learning, and telemedicine. Clinical and learning activity was significantly reduced for the overall group, and after categorizing residents as those working only in COVID hospitals, both "junior" and "senior" residents, and those working in any of three geographical areas created (Italian regions were clustered in three major zones according to the prevalence of COVID-19). A significant decrease in outpatient activity, invasive diagnostic procedures, and endoscopic and major surgeries was reported. Through multivariate analysis, the specific year of residency has been found to be an independent predictor for all response modification. Being in zone 3 and zone 2 and having "senior" resident status were independent predictors associated with a lower reduction of the clinical and learning activity. Working in a COVID hospital and having "senior" resident status were independent predictors associated with higher reduction of the outpatient activity. Working in zone 3 and having "senior" resident status were independent predictors of lower and higher outpatient surgical activity, respectively. Working in a COVID hospital was an independent predictor associated with robotic surgical activity. The majority of residents reported that distance teaching and multidisciplinary virtual meetings are still not used, and 44.8% reported that their relationships with colleagues decreased. The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge, including changes in the training and education of urology residents. The COVID era can offer an opportunity to balance and implement innovative solutions that can bridge the educational gap and can be part of future urology training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fsurg.2020.563006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732553PMC
November 2020

Athermal versus ultrasonic nerve-sparing laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: a comparison of functional and oncological outcomes.

World J Urol 2020 Aug 1. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Department of Urology, DETO, University "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy.

Purpose: Many urologists emphasize the concept of heat-related damage suggesting the avoidance of any energy to perform nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy. At our institution, both athermal and ultrasonic dissection have been used over the last years to perform a nerve-sparing laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (NSLRP). In this study, we compare functional and oncological outcomes of the two procedures.

Methods: All charts from patients undergoing NSLRP between January 2009 and June 2015 were reviewed. The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) was recorded preoperatively and 3, 12 and 24 months after surgery; continence was recorded at 3 and 12 months; PSA was recorded at last follow-up. Uni- and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the association of variables with functional and oncological outcomes.

Results: Ultrasonic NSLRP was used for 120 patients, while athermal NSLRP on 111. The impact of the cutting technique on erection recovery was different at 3 months, favoring athermal dissection (p = 0.002); however, significance was lost at 12 (p = 0.09) and 24 (p = 0.14) months. Continence recovery was comparable at 3 (p = 0.1) and 12 (p = 0.2) months; the rate of positive surgical margins and PSA recurrence were also similar (p = 0.2 and p = 0.06, respectively). At univariate analysis, age, Gleason sum, nerve-sparing laterality, and extension (intra- vs interfascial) were associated with overall erection recovery; only age and nerve-sparing laterality were independent predictors. Age and preoperative TRUS prostate volume were associated with continence recovery, both at uni- and multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: The use of an ultrasonic device compared to athermal dissection during NSLRP does not affect long-term potency, nor continence and early biochemical recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-020-03351-4DOI Listing
August 2020

Type 2 diabetes mellitus predicts worse outcomes in patients with high-grade T1 bladder cancer receiving bacillus Calmette-Guérin after transurethral resection of the bladder tumor.

Urol Oncol 2020 05 12;38(5):459-464. Epub 2020 Mar 12.

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

Objectives: The aim of this multicenter study was to investigate the prognostic role of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) comorbidity in a large multi-institutional cohort of patients with primary T1HG/G3 non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) treated with transurethral resection of the bladder (TURB).

Materials And Methods: A total of 1,172 patients with primary T1 HG/G3 who had NMIBC on re-TURB and who received adjuvant intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy with maintenance were included. Endpoints were recurrence-free survival and progression-free survival.

Results: A total of 231 (19.7%) of patients had T2DM prior to TURB. Five-year recurrence-free survival estimates were 12.5% in patients with T2DM compared to 36% in patients without T2DM, P < 0.0001. Five-year PFS estimates were 60.5% in patients with T2DM compared to 70.2% in patients without T2DM, P = 0.003. T2DM was independently associated with disease recurrence (hazard ratio = 1.41; 95% confidence interval = 1.20-1.66, P < 0.001) and progression (hazard ratio = 1.27; 95% confidence interval = 0.99-1.63, P < 0.001), after adjusting for other known predictive factors such as tumor size, multifocality, T1G3 on re-TURB, body mass index, lymphovascular invasion, and neutrophil-to-lymphocytes ratio.

Conclusions: Given the potential implications for management, prospective validation of this finding along with translational studies designed to investigate the underlying biology of such an association are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.02.016DOI Listing
May 2020

Systemic Inflammatory Markers and Oncologic Outcomes in Patients with High-risk Non-muscle-invasive Urothelial Bladder Cancer.

Eur Urol Oncol 2018 10 13;1(5):403-410. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

Division of Urology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Background: Serum levels of neutrophils, platelets, and lymphocytes have been recognized as factors related to poor prognosis for many solid tumors, including bladder cancer (BC).

Objective: To evaluate the prognostic role of the combination of the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and lymphocyte/monocyte ratio (LMR) in patients with high-risk non-muscle-invasive urothelial BC (NIMBC).

Design, Setting, And Participants: A total of 1151 NMIBC patients who underwent first transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT) at 13 academic institutions between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2012 were included in this analysis. The median follow-up was 48 mo.

Intervention: TURBT with intravesical chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Multivariable Cox regression analysis was performed to identify factors predictive of recurrence, progression, cancer-specific mortality, and overall mortality. A systemic inflammatory marker (SIM) score was calculated based on cutoffs for NLR, PLR, and LMR.

Results And Limitations: The 48-mo recurrence-free survival was 80.8%, 47.35%, 20.67%, and 17.06% for patients with an SIM score of 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively (p<0.01, log-rank test) while the corresponding 48-mo progression free-survival was 92.0%, 75.67%, 72.85%, and 63.1% (p<0.01, log-rank test). SIM scores of 1, 2, and 3 were associated with recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] 3.73, 7.06, and 7.88) and progression (HR 3.15, 4.41, and 5.83). Limitations include the lack of external validation and comparison to other clinical risk models.

Conclusions: Patients with high-grade T1 stage NMIBC with high SIM scores have worse oncologic outcomes in terms of recurrence and progression. Further studies should be conducted to stratify patients according to SIM scores to identify individuals who might benefit from early cystectomy.

Patient Summary: In this study, we defined a risk score (the SIM score) based on the measurement of routine systemic inflammatory markers. This score can identify patients with high-grade bladder cancer not invading the muscular layer who are more likely to suffer from tumor recurrence and progression. Therefore, the score could be used to select patients who might benefit from early bladder removal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2018.06.006DOI Listing
October 2018

Feasibility of mirabegron in the treatment of overactive bladder in patients affected by Parkinson's disease: A pilot study.

Ther Adv Neurol Disord 2019 8;12:1756286419843458. Epub 2019 May 8.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Neurosciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Background: We investigated the effectiveness and safety of mirabegron oral treatment in a group of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and overactive bladder (OAB), refractory to antimuscarinics.

Materials And Methods: Thirty patients with PD and refractory OAB were prospectively included in the study. At baseline, motor symptoms, severity of disease and cognitive status were assessed with the Hoehn-Yahr Scale, the Unified Parkinson's disease Rating Scale, the Mini Mental State examination and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. At baseline, urinary symptoms, satisfaction with treatment and the impact of urinary incontinence on quality of life (QoL) were assessed with the 3-day voiding diary, the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), the Incontinence-QoL questionnaire and urodynamics. Patients started assuming mirabegron 50 mg tablets once daily. Evaluation of urinary symptoms and related questionnaires, motor symptoms, severity of PD and uroflowmetry with postvoid residual volume measurement were then repeated at the 3- and 6-month follow up. Side effects were also noted.

Results: At baseline, the most frequently reported urinary symptoms were: urinary urgency (present in all the patients), urge urinary incontinence in 28/30 (93.3%) and increased daytime urinary frequency in 25 (83.3%) patients. At the 3-month follow up, 7 out of the 30 patients achieved a complete urinary continence. Significant improvements in VAS and Incontinence-QoL scores were observed in 24 patients. These benefits were maintained for the whole observation period. Four patients discontinued treatment due to poor efficacy, and two due to the cost of the drug.

Conclusions: Mirabegron is a safe and effective treatment in patients with PD and OAB refractory to anticholinergics in the short-term follow up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1756286419843458DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515844PMC
May 2019

Predictors of Residual T1 High Grade on Re-Transurethral Resection in a Large Multi-Institutional Cohort of Patients with Primary T1 High-Grade/Grade 3 Bladder Cancer.

J Cancer 2018 20;9(22):4250-4254. Epub 2018 Oct 20.

Division of Urology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

The aim of this multi-institutional study was to identify predictors of residual high-grade (HG) disease at re-transurethral resection (reTUR) in a large cohort of primary T1 HG/Grade 3 (G3) bladder cancer patients. A total of 1155 patients with primary T1 HG/G3 bladder cancer from 13 academic institutions that underwent a reTUR within 6 weeks after first TUR were evaluated. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association of predictive factors with residual HG at reTUR. Residual HG cancer was found in 288 (24.9%) of patients at reTUR. Patients presenting residual HG cancer were more likely to have carcinoma in situ (CIS) at first resection (p<0.001), multiple tumors (p=0.02), and tumor size larger than 3 cm (p=0.02). Residual HG disease at reTUR was associated with increased preoperative neutrophil-to-lymphocytes ratio (NLR) (p=0.006) and body mass index (BMI)>=25 kg/m. On multivariable analysis, independent predictors for HG residual disease at reTUR were tumor size >3cm (OR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.02-1.84, p=0.03), concomitant CIS (OR 1.92; 95% CI: 1.32-2.78, p=0.001), being overweight (OR= 2.08; 95% CI: 1.44-3.01, p<0.001) and obesity (OR 2.48; 95% CI: 1.64-3.77, p<0.001). A reTUR in high grade T1 bladder cancer is mandatory as about 25% of patients, presents residual high grade disease. Independent predictors to identify patients at risk of residual high grade disease after a complete TUR include tumor size, presence of carcinoma in situ, and BMI >=25 kg/m.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/jca.26129DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6277616PMC
October 2018

Validation of Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte Ratio in a Multi-institutional Cohort of Patients With T1G3 Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2018 12 6;16(6):445-452. Epub 2018 Jul 6.

Department of Urology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Karl Landsteiner Institute of Urology and Andrology, Vienna, Austria; Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX; Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY.

Introduction: The aim of this multicenter study was to investigate the prognostic role of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and to validate the NLR cutoff of 3 in a large multi-institutional cohort of patients with primary T1 HG/G3 non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Patients And Methods: The study period was from January 2002 through December 2012. A total of 1046 patients with primary T1 HG/G3 who had NMIBC on re-transurethral bladder resection (TURB) who received adjuvant intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy with maintenance from 13 academic institutions were included. Endpoints were time to disease, and recurrence-free (RFS), progression-free (PFS), overall (OS), and cancer-specific survival (CSS).

Results: A total of 512 (48.9%) of patients had NLR ≥ 3 prior to TURB. High pretreatment NLR was associated with female gender and residual T1HG/G3 on re-TURB. The 5-year RFS estimates were 9.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.8%-12.4%) in patients with NLR ≥ 3 compared with 58.8% (95% CI, 54%-63.2%) in patients with NLR < 3; the 5-year PFS estimates were 57.1% (95% CI, 51.5%-62.2%) versus 79.2% (95% CI, 74.7%-83%; P < .0001); the 10-year OS estimates were 63.6% (95% CI, 55%-71%) versus 66.5% (95% CI, 56.8%-74.5%; P = .03); the 10-year CSS estimates were 77.4% (95% CI, 68.4%-84.2%) versus 84.3% (95% CI, 76.6%-89.7%; P = .004). NLR was independently associated with disease recurrence (hazard ratio [HR], 3.34; 95% CI, 2.82-3.95; P < .001), progression (HR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.71-2.78; P < .001) and CSS (HR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.02-2.66; P = .03). The addition of NLR to a multivariable model that included established features increased its discrimination for predicting of RFS (+6.9%), PFS (+1.8%), and CSS (+1.7%).

Conclusions: Pretreatment NLR ≥ 3 was a strong predictor for RFS, PFS, and CSS in patients with primary T1 HG/G3 NMIBC. It could help in the decision-making regarding intensity of therapy and follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2018.07.003DOI Listing
December 2018

The Splicing Factor PTBP1 Promotes Expression of Oncogenic Splice Variants and Predicts Poor Prognosis in Patients with Non-muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2018 11 16;24(21):5422-5432. Epub 2018 Jul 16.

Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is a malignant disease characterized by high heterogeneity, which corresponds to dysregulated gene expression and alternative splicing (AS) profiles. Bioinformatics analyses of splicing factors potentially linked to bladder cancer progression identified the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein I (i.e., PTBP1) as candidate. This study aimed at investigating whether PTBP1 expression associates with clinical outcome in patients with NMIBC. A cohort of 152 patients presenting with primary NMIBC (pTa-pT1) was enrolled. Primary NMIBCs were assessed for PTBP1 expression by IHC, and the results were correlated with clinical data using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression analyses. Cell proliferation and survival assays were performed to assess the function of PTBP1. Furthermore, the impact of PTBP1 on the AS pattern of specific bladder cancer-related genes was investigated in cancer cell lines and in patients' specimens. Public datasets querying highlighted a positive correlation between PTBP1 expression and NMIBC progression, which was then confirmed by IHC analysis. High PTBP1 expression was associated with worse clinical outcome in terms of incidence of tumor relapse and survival in patients with NMIBC. Interestingly, downregulation of PTBP1 in bladder cancer cell lines affected prosurvival features. Accordingly, PTBP1 modulated AS of bladder cancer-related genes in cell lines and patient's specimens. PTBP1 expression correlates with disease progression, poor prognosis, and worse survival in patients with NMIBC. Downregulation of PTBP1 expression affects prosurvival features of bladder cancer cells and modulates AS of genes with relevance for bladder cancer, suggesting its role as an outcome-predictor in this disease. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-3850DOI Listing
November 2018

An increased body mass index is associated with a worse prognosis in patients administered BCG immunotherapy for T1 bladder cancer.

World J Urol 2019 Mar 10;37(3):507-514. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

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

Purpose: The body mass index (BMI) may be associated with an increased incidence and aggressiveness of urological cancers. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the impact of the BMI on survival in patients with T1G3 non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Methods: A total of 1155 T1G3 NMIBC patients from 13 academic institutions were retrospectively reviewed and patients administered adjuvant intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy with maintenance were included. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was performed to identify factors predictive of recurrence and progression.

Results: After re-TURBT, 288 patients (27.53%) showed residual high-grade NMIBC, while 867 (82.89%) were negative. During follow-up, 678 (64.82%) suffered recurrence, and 303 (30%) progression, 150 (14.34%) died of all causes, and 77 (7.36%) died of bladder cancer. At multivariate analysis, tumor size (hazard ratio [HR]:1.3; p = 0.001), and multifocality (HR:1.24; p = 0.004) were significantly associated with recurrence (c-index for the model:55.98). Overweight (HR: 4; p < 0.001) and obesity (HR:5.33 p < 0.001) were significantly associated with an increased risk of recurrence. Addition of the BMI to a model that included standard clinicopathological factors increased the C-index by 9.9. For progression, we found that tumor size (HR:1.63; p < 0.001), multifocality (HR:1.31; p = 0.01) and concomitant CIS (HR: 2.07; p < 0.001) were significant prognostic factors at multivariate analysis (C-index 63.8). Overweight (HR: 2.52; p < 0.001) and obesity (HR: 2.521 p < 0.001) were significantly associated with an increased risk of progression. Addition of the BMI to a model that included standard clinicopathological factors increased the C-index by 1.9.

Conclusions: The BMI could have a relevant role in the clinical management of T1G3 NMIBC, if associated with bladder cancer recurrence and progression. In particular, this anthropometric factor should be taken into account at initial diagnosis and in therapeutic strategy decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-018-2397-1DOI Listing
March 2019

High-Grade T1 on Re-Transurethral Resection after Initial High-Grade T1 Confers Worse Oncological Outcomes: Results of a Multi-Institutional Study.

Urol Int 2018 4;101(1):7-15. Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Department of Urology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Introduction: The aim of this multicenter study was to investigate the prognostic impact of residual T1 high-grade (HG)/G3 tumors at re-transurethral resection (TUR of bladder tumor) in a large multi-institutional cohort of patients with primary T1 HG/G3 bladder cancer (BC).

Patients And Methods: The study period was from January 2002 to -December 2012. A total of 1,046 patients with primary T1 HG/G3 and who had non-muscle invasive BC (NMIBC) on re-TUR followed by adjuvant intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) therapy with maintenance were included. Endpoints were time to disease recurrence, progression, and overall and cancer-specific death.

Results: A total of 257 (24.6%) patients had residual T1 HG/G3 tumors. The presence of concomitant carcinoma in situ, multiple and large tumors (> 3 cm) at first TUR were associated with residual T1 HG/G3. Five-year recurrence-free survival (RFS), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and cancer-specific survival (CSS) were 17% (CI 11.8-23); 58.2% (CI 50.7-65); 73.7% (CI 66.3-79.7); and 84.5% (CI 77.8-89.3), respectively, in patients with residual T1 HG/G3, compared to 36.7% (CI 32.8-40.6); 71.4% (CI 67.3-75.2); 89.8% (CI 86.6-92.3); and 95.7% (CI 93.4-97.3), respectively, in patients with NMIBC other than T1 HG/G3 or T0 tumors. Residual T1 HG/G3 was independently associated with RFS, PFS, OS, and CSS in multivariable analyses.

Conclusions: Residual T1 HG/G3 tumor at re-TUR confers worse prognosis in patients with primary T1 HG/G3 treated with maintenance BCG. Patients with residual T1 HG/G3 for primary T1 HG/G3 are very likely to fail BCG therapy alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000490765DOI Listing
January 2019

Diagnostic Accuracy of Hexaminolevulinate in a Cohort of Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy.

J Endourol 2017 04 1;31(4):405-411. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

5 Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, University of Foggia , Foggia, Italy .

Purpose: To compare the accuracy of white light cystoscopy (WLC) and blue light cystoscopy (BLC) in a cohort of patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC) for previously resected urothelial bladder cancer.

Patients And Methods: A cohort of patients undergoing RC received WLC and BLC prior radical surgery. To evaluate the residual tumor rate, the bladder was inspected after its removal and normal appearing mucosa sampled for histologic analysis. Lesions detected under WLC, BLC, or both, and biopsy samples from normal appearing mucosa, were all recorded separately.

Results: Starting 2011, 64 patients underwent WLC and BLC prior cystectomy. Overall, 540 tissue samples were collected during cystoscopy and from normal appearing mucosa. Residual disease was found in 31/64 (48.4%) patients, including 27 (42.1%) cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS). The accuracy of BLC was much higher than WLC, both in the diagnosis of any residual disease (87.1% vs 32.3%, and 87.9% vs 51.5%, for sensitivity and specificity, respectively), as of CIS only (92.6% vs 29.6% and 83.8% vs 51.4%). We further evaluated the diagnostic accuracy as a result of the analysis on all specimens collected during the study. A total of 535 specimens were analyzed, and 58 specimens with residual disease were found, including 48 CIS foci. Again, detection rates and measures of accuracy were much better for BLC vs WLC, both overall (86.2% vs 31%, and 98.3% vs 93.3%, for sensitivity and specificity, respectively), and when CIS only was considered (89.6% vs 31.2% and 96.9% vs 92.8%).

Conclusions: Although BLC missed 12.9% of positive patients, and 7.4% of those with CIS, the agreement between BLC diagnostic accuracy and the definitive pathology was very robust.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/end.2016.0804DOI Listing
April 2017

Detection and Clinical Significance of Circulating Tumor Cells in Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy for Urothelial Bladder Cancer.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2017 08 1;15(4):455-462. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Urology and Andrology Unit, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy.

Introduction: Estimation of prognosis is patients undergoing radical cystectomy is often unreliable, as occult disease remains undetected by conventional diagnostic tools. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and the clinical significance of a polymerase chain reaction assay to detect cytokeratin 7 (CK7) mRNA expression in peripheral blood cells of patients undergoing radical cystectomy for clinically nonmetastatic bladder cancer.

Patients And Methods: From 2005 to 2009, 59 patients undergoing radical cystectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection were prospectively investigated. Peripheral blood was collected prior to surgery, and a nested polymerase chain reaction assay was developed to identify patients with circulating cells expressing CK7 mRNA. Preoperative, histopathologic data and clinical outcome were compared with CK7 findings.

Results: CK7 expression was detected in 23 (38.9%) of 59 patients and correlated to T stage and lymph node status. After a median follow-up of 42 months, 29 patients experienced a recurrence, whereas 36 died. The presence of CK7-positive cells was significantly associated with an increased risk for recurrence and decreased survival as compared with patients who were CK7-negative (P < .001 and P < .001, respectively; hazard ratios of 8.77 and 5.2 for recurrence and overall death, respectively). The detection of CK7-positive cells was an independent predictor of recurrence and death in a multivariable analysis.

Conclusion: The detection of CK7 mRNA in the circulating cells of patients undergoing radical cystectomy for urothelial cancer identifies those with significantly increased risk of cancer recurrence and death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2016.11.005DOI Listing
August 2017

Intravesical electro-osmotic administration of mitomycin C.

Urologia 2016 Oct 1;83(Suppl 2):18-23. Epub 2016 Oct 1.

Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Bari - Italy.

Bladder cancer is very common and most cases are diagnosed as nonmuscle invasive disease, which is characterized by its propensity to recur and progress. Intravesical therapy is used to delay recurrence and progression, while cystectomy is reserved for patients who are refractory to transurethral resection and intravesical therapy. There is an increasing interest in methods to enhance the delivery of intravesical chemotherapeutic agents to improve efficacy. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that electro-osmosis of mitomycin C (MMC) is more effective in delivering this drug into the urothelium, lamina propria, and superficial muscle layers of the bladder wall than is passive transport. Higher MMC tissue concentrations might have a clinical impact in the treatment of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). In randomized trials, intravesical electro-osmotic MMC was associated with superior response rate in high-risk NMIBC cancer, compared with passive diffusion MMC transport. New strategies such as intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) combined with electro-osmotic MMC as well as intravesical pre-operative electro-osmotic MMC provided promising results in terms of higher remission rates and longer remission times.Device-assisted intravesical chemotherapy may be a useful ancillary procedure in the treatment of NMIBC. Its evaluation must be planned with respect to the technical functioning of equipment and their use for a clear purpose to avoid the financial and human costs associated with incorrect therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5301/uro.5000202DOI Listing
October 2016

The efficacy of BCG TICE and BCG Connaught in a cohort of 2,099 patients with T1G3 non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Urol Oncol 2016 11 14;34(11):484.e19-484.e25. Epub 2016 Sep 14.

Formerly Department of Biostatistics, EORTC Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: Potential differences in efficacy of different bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) strains are of importance for daily practice, especially in the era of BCG shortage.

Objective: To retrospectively compare the outcome with BCG Connaught and BCG TICE in a large study cohort of pT1 high-grade non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Individual patient data were collected for 2,451 patients with primary T1G3 tumors from 23 centers who were treated with BCG for the first time between 1990 and 2011.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Using Cox multivariable regression and adjusting for the most important prognostic factors in this nonrandomized comparison, BCG Connaught and TICE were compared for time to recurrence, progression, and the duration of cancer specific survival and overall survival.

Results And Limitations: Information on the BCG strain was available for 2,099 patients: 957 on Connaught and 1,142 on TICE. Overall, 765 (36%) patients received some form of maintenance BCG, 560 (59%) on Connaught and 205 (18%) on TICE. Without maintenance, Connaught was more effective than TICE only for the time to first recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.48; 95% CI: 1.20-1.82; P<0.001). With maintenance, TICE was more effective than Connaught for the time to first recurrence (HR = 0.66; 95% CI: 0.47-0.93; P = 0.019) with a trend for cancer specific survival (HR = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.14-0.92; P = 0.033). For time to progression and overall survival, Connaught and TICE had a similar efficacy. Compared to no maintenance therapy, maintenance BCG significantly reduced the risk of recurrence, progression and death, both overall, and disease specific, for TICE, but not for Connaught.

Conclusions: We found that BCG Connaught results in a lower recurrence rate as compared with BCG TICE when no maintenance is used. However, the opposite is true when maintenance is given.

Patient Summary: As there is currently a BCG shortage, information on the efficacy of different BCG strains is important. In this nonrandomized retrospective comparison in over 2,000 patients, we found that BCG Connaught reduces the recurrence rate compared to BCG TICE when no maintenance is used, but the opposite is true when maintenance is given.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urolonc.2016.05.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5515280PMC
November 2016

Hexaminolevulinate hydrochloride in the detection of nonmuscle invasive cancer of the bladder.

Ther Adv Urol 2015 Dec;7(6):339-50

Department of Urology, Landesklinikum Baden-Mödling, Baden, Austria.

Clinical trials have shown that hexaminolevulinate (HAL) fluorescence cystoscopy improves the detection of bladder tumors compared with standard white-light cystoscopy, resulting in more efficacious treatment. However, some recent meta-analyses report controversially on recurrence-free rates with this procedure. A systematic review of literature was performed from December 2014 to January 2015 using the PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases for controlled trials on photodynamic diagnosis (PDD) with HAL. A total of 154 publications were found up to January 2015. Three of the authors separately reviewed the records to evaluate eligibility and methodological quality of clinical trials. A total of 16 publications were considered eligible for analysis. HAL-PDD-guided cystoscopy increased overall tumor detection rate (proportion difference 19%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.152-0.236) although the benefit was particularly significant in patients with carcinoma in situ (CIS) lesion (proportion difference 15.7%, 95% CI 0.069-0.245) and was reduced in papillary lesions (Ta proportion difference 5.9%, 95% CI 0.014-0.103 and T1 proportion difference 1.2%, 95% CI 0.033-0.057). Moreover, there were 15% of patients (95% CI 0.098-0.211) with at least one additional tumor seen with PDD. With regard to recurrence rates, the data sample was insufficient for a statistical analysis, although the evaluation of raw data showed a trend in favor of HAL-PDD. This meta-analysis confirms the increased tumor detection rate by HAL-PDD with a most pronounced benefit for CIS lesion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1756287215603274DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4647142PMC
December 2015

Celecoxib for the prevention of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer: results from a matched control study.

Ther Adv Urol 2015 Dec;7(6):303-11

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

Objectives: New targets and approaches are under investigation for the treatment of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Preclinical data suggest cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) as a promising target. Celecoxib, a COX-2 selective inhibitor, inhibits tumor development and enhances survival, both in vitro and in vivo models of bladder cancer. Therefore, we conducted a pilot study of celecoxib to prevent recurrence in patients with intermediate risk NMIBC.

Methods: Treatment with celecoxib was administered orally for 12 months and compared with a contemporary series of patients treated with intravesical mitomycin C (MMC), given weekly for 4 weeks and then monthly for 11 months. Primary endpoints were time to first recurrence and adverse events.

Results: From 2003 through 2006, 58 patients were treated with celecoxib and compared with 66 patients receiving MMC. After a median follow up of 75 months, 49 patients were disease free, including 23 (34.85%) in the MMC group and 26 (44.8%) in the celecoxib group. Median disease-free interval was 67 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 35.8 to NA] versus 41 months (95% CI 27.1-67.1; log-rank p = 0.25) for patients treated with MMC and celecoxib, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, treatment was not found to be an independent predictor for recurrence [hazard ratio (HR) 0.76, 95% CI 0.47-1.22, p = 0.25). Overall, 45 AEs were recorded in 35/124 patients. There were no differences between the two groups.

Conclusions: Our data support a clinical benefit of celecoxib and encourage future trials in which COX-2 inhibitors may be tested in selected patients with NMIBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1756287215599695DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4647141PMC
December 2015

The impact of re-transurethral resection on clinical outcomes in a large multicentre cohort of patients with T1 high-grade/Grade 3 bladder cancer treated with bacille Calmette-Guérin.

BJU Int 2016 Jul 6;118(1):44-52. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Department of Urology, Fundacio Puigvert, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Objectives: To determine if a re-transurethral resection (TUR), in the presence or absence of muscle at the first TUR in patients with T1-high grade (HG)/Grade 3 (G3) bladder cancer, makes a difference in recurrence, progression, cancer specific (CSS) and overall survival (OS).

Patients And Methods: In a large retrospective multicentre cohort of 2451 patients with T1-HG/G3 initially treated with bacille Calmette-Guérin, 935 (38%) had a re-TUR. According to the presence or absence of muscle in the specimen of the primary TUR, patients were divided in four groups: group 1 (no muscle, no re-TUR), group 2 (no muscle, re-TUR), group 3 (muscle, no re-TUR) and group 4 (muscle, re-TUR). Clinical outcomes were compared across the four groups.

Results: Re-TUR had a positive impact on recurrence, progression, CSS and OS only if muscle was not present in the primary TUR specimen. Adjusting for the most important prognostic factors, re-TUR in the absence of muscle had a borderline significant effect on time to recurrence [hazard ratio (HR) 0.67, P = 0.08], progression (HR 0.46, P = 0.06), CSS (HR 0.31, P = 0.07) and OS (HR 0.48, P = 0.05). Re-TUR in the presence of muscle in the primary TUR specimen did not improve the outcome for any of the endpoints.

Conclusions: Our retrospective analysis suggests that re-TUR may not be necessary in patients with T1-HG/G3, if muscle is present in the specimen of the primary TUR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.13354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5502757PMC
July 2016

Localised prostate cancer and hemophilia A (AHA): Case report and management of the disease.

Arch Ital Urol Androl 2014 Sep 30;86(3):227-8. Epub 2014 Sep 30.

Urologic Oncology Unit, Policlinico Casilino, Rome.

Acquired Hemophilia A (AHA) is a rare bleeding diathesis characterized by the development of autoantibodies against factor VIII (FVIII). About half of the cases are idiopathic and the other half are associated with autoimmune diseases, postpartum problems, infections, inflammatory bowel disease, drugs, lymphoproliferative disorders or solid tumors . AHA is associated with malignancies in 7-15% of cases. We report a case of AHA in a 65 year old patient with prostatic carcinoma, who underwent retropubic radical prostatectomy (RP).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/aiua.2014.3.227DOI Listing
September 2014

Retropubic, laparoscopic, and robot-assisted radical prostatectomy: surgical, oncological, and functional outcomes: a systematic review.

Urol Int 2014 23;93(4):373-83. Epub 2014 Sep 23.

Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

Objectives: Despite the wide diffusion of minimally invasive approaches, such as laparoscopic (LRP) and robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RALP), few studies compare the results of these techniques with the retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP) approach. The aim of this study is to compare the surgical, functional, and oncological outcomes and cost-effectiveness of RRP, LRP, and RALP.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed in the PubMed and Embase databases in December 2013. A 'free-text' protocol using the term 'radical prostatectomy' was applied. A total of 16,085 records were found. The authors reviewed the records to identify comparative studies to include in the review.

Results: 44 comparative studies were identified. With regard to the perioperative outcome, LRP and RALP were more time-consuming than RRP, but blood loss, transfusion rates, catheterisation time, hospitalisation duration, and complication rates were the most optimal in the laparoscopic approaches. With regard to the functional and oncological results, RALP was found to have the best outcomes.

Conclusion: Our study confirmed the well-known perioperative advantage of minimally invasive techniques; however, available data were not sufficient to prove the superiority of any surgical approach in terms of functional and oncologic outcomes. On the contrary, cost comparison clearly supports RRP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000366008DOI Listing
August 2015

Concordance and clinical significance of uncommon variants of bladder urothelial carcinoma in transurethral resection and radical cystectomy specimens.

Urology 2014 Nov 18;84(5):1141-6. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Department of Urology, Santa Maria Annunziata Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate the concordance and prognostic role of histologic variants of bladder urothelial carcinoma in transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) and radical cystectomy (RC) specimens.

Methods: Clinicopathologic information available at the time of RC and follow-up data from 4110 RC specimens, collected between January 2000 and December 2009 at 17 tertiary referral centers were retrospectively analyzed and evaluated for the presence or absence of uncommon variants of bladder urothelial carcinoma. The presence or absence of uncommon variants of bladder urothelial carcinoma was evaluated on previous TURBT specimens of patients undergoing RC. Cox regression was used to assess the impact of these parameters on cancer-specific survival, and the Kaplan-Meier test for disease-free survival was plotted for survival estimate.

Results: Of 4110 patients, 579 were found to have uncommon variants of bladder urothelial carcinoma at RC (14.1%), whereas 266 (6.4%) at TURBT. A lack of agreement about uncommon variants was observed between TURBT and RC specimens in the entire population (P <.001). The presence of uncommon variants at TURBT was associated with an increased risk of pathologic upstage (hazard ratio, 3.24; confidence interval, 1.19-6.37; P <.003) and significant decrease in cancer-specific survival and recurrence-free survival (P <.001).

Conclusion: Although the concordance of presence of uncommon histologic variants of urothelial bladder carcinoma between TURBT and RC is low, the presence of uncommon histologic variants of urothelial bladder carcinoma at TURBT is associated with a less favorable clinical outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2014.06.032DOI Listing
November 2014

Gender identity rather than sexual orientation impacts on facial preferences.

J Sex Med 2014 Oct 27;11(10):2500-7. Epub 2014 Jul 27.

School of Sexology, Department of Clinical; Applied and Biotechnological Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Germany.

Introduction: Differences in facial preferences between heterosexual men and women are well documented. It is still a matter of debate, however, how variations in sexual identity/sexual orientation may modify the facial preferences.

Aim: This study aims to investigate the facial preferences of male-to-female (MtF) individuals with gender dysphoria (GD) and the influence of short-term/long-term relationships on facial preference, in comparison with healthy subjects.

Methods: Eighteen untreated MtF subjects, 30 heterosexual males, 64 heterosexual females, and 42 homosexual males from university students/staff, at gay events, and in Gender Clinics were shown a composite male or female face. The sexual dimorphism of these pictures was stressed or reduced in a continuous fashion through an open-source morphing program with a sequence of 21 pictures of the same face warped from a feminized to a masculinized shape.

Main Outcome Measures: An open-source morphing program (gtkmorph) based on the X-Morph algorithm.

Results: MtF GD subjects and heterosexual females showed the same pattern of preferences: a clear preference for less dimorphic (more feminized) faces for both short- and long-term relationships. Conversely, both heterosexual and homosexual men selected significantly much more dimorphic faces, showing a preference for hyperfeminized and hypermasculinized faces, respectively.

Conclusions: These data show that the facial preferences of MtF GD individuals mirror those of the sex congruent with their gender identity. Conversely, heterosexual males trace the facial preferences of homosexual men, indicating that changes in sexual orientation do not substantially affect preference for the most attractive faces.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jsm.12633DOI Listing
October 2014

Prognostic factors and risk groups in T1G3 non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients initially treated with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin: results of a retrospective multicenter study of 2451 patients.

Eur Urol 2015 Jan 16;67(1):74-82. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Department of Urology, Fundacio Puigvert, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: The impact of prognostic factors in T1G3 non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (BCa) patients is critical for proper treatment decision making.

Objective: To assess prognostic factors in patients who received bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) as initial intravesical treatment of T1G3 tumors and to identify a subgroup of high-risk patients who should be considered for more aggressive treatment.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Individual patient data were collected for 2451 T1G3 patients from 23 centers who received BCG between 1990 and 2011.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Using Cox multivariable regression, the prognostic importance of several clinical variables was assessed for time to recurrence, progression, BCa-specific survival, and overall survival (OS).

Results And Limitations: With a median follow-up of 5.2 yr, 465 patients (19%) progressed, 509 (21%) underwent cystectomy, and 221 (9%) died because of BCa. In multivariable analyses, the most important prognostic factors for progression were age, tumor size, and concomitant carcinoma in situ (CIS); the most important prognostic factors for BCa-specific survival and OS were age and tumor size. Patients were divided into four risk groups for progression according to the number of adverse factors among age ≥ 70 yr, size ≥ 3 cm, and presence of CIS. Progression rates at 10 yr ranged from 17% to 52%. BCa-specific death rates at 10 yr were 32% in patients ≥ 70 yr with tumor size ≥ 3 cm and 13% otherwise.

Conclusions: T1G3 patients ≥ 70 yr with tumors ≥ 3 cm and concomitant CIS should be treated more aggressively because of the high risk of progression.

Patient Summary: Although the majority of T1G3 patients can be safely treated with intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin, there is a subgroup of T1G3 patients with age ≥ 70 yr, tumor size ≥ 3 cm, and concomitant CIS who have a high risk of progression and thus require aggressive treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2014.06.040DOI Listing
January 2015

Platelet-derived growth factor regulation of type-5 phosphodiesterase in human and rat penile smooth muscle cells.

J Sex Med 2014 Jul 19;11(7):1675-84. Epub 2014 May 19.

Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy.

Introduction: Relaxation of cavernous smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is a key component in the control of the erectile mechanism. SMCs can switch their phenotype from a contractile differentiated state to a proliferative and dedifferentiated state in response to a change of local environmental stimuli. Proliferation and contraction are both regulated by the intracellular second messengers cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which are degraded by phosphodiesterases (PDEs). The most abundant PDE present in corpora cavernosa is the electrolytic cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5).

Aim: We investigated the cellular localization of PDE5 in in vitro cultured corpora cavernosa cells and the effect of mitogenic stimulation on PDE5 expression.

Methods: Biochemical ad molecular techniques on cultured SMCs from human and rat penis.

Main Outcome Measures: We studied the ability of the quiescent SMC phenotype vs. the proliferating phenotype in modulation of PDE5 expression.

Results: We demonstrated that PDE5 is localized in the cytoplasm, in the perinuclear area, and in discrete cytoplasmic foci. As previously demonstrated in human myometrial cells, the cytoplasmic foci may correspond to centrosomes. In corpora cavernosa, PDE5 protein levels are strongly regulated by the mitotic activity of the SMCs, as they were increased in quiescent cultures. In contrast, treatment with platelet-derived grow factor (PDGF), one of the most powerful mitogenic factors for SMCs, reduces the expression of PDE5 after 24 hours of treatment.

Conclusion: We found that PDGF treatment downregulates PDE5 expression in proliferating SMCs, suggesting that PDE5 may represent one of the markers of the contractile phenotype of the SMCs of corpora cavernosa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jsm.12568DOI Listing
July 2014

The transcription factor FBI-1 inhibits SAM68-mediated BCL-X alternative splicing and apoptosis.

EMBO Rep 2014 Apr 10;15(4):419-27. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.

Alternative splicing (AS) is tightly coupled to transcription for the majority of human genes. However, how these two processes are linked is not well understood. Here, we unveil a direct role for the transcription factor FBI-1 in the regulation of AS. FBI-1 interacts with the splicing factor SAM68 and reduces its binding to BCL-X mRNA. This, in turn, results in the selection of the proximal 5' splice site in BCL-X exon 2, thereby favoring the anti-apoptotic BCL-XL variant and counteracting SAM68-mediated apoptosis. Conversely, depletion of FBI-1, or expression of a SAM68 mutant lacking the FBI-1 binding region, restores the ability of SAM68 to induce BCL-XS splicing and apoptosis. FBI-1's role in splicing requires the activity of histone deacetylases, whose pharmacological inhibition recapitulates the effects of FBI-1 knockdown. Our study reveals an unexpected function for FBI-1 in splicing modulation with a direct impact on cell survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/embr.201338241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3989673PMC
April 2014

The efficacy and safety of duloxetine in a multidrug regimen for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Urology 2014 Feb 12;83(2):400-5. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Department of Urology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of duloxetine hydrochloride in the treatment of patients affected by chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).

Methods: Thirty-eight CP/CPPS patients completed the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) and International Index of Erectile Function-Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5) questionnaires, uroflowmetry, and evaluation of psychologic status using Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) and Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D). Patients were randomly assigned to 2 treatments groups. Treatment in group 1 consisted of a simultaneous oral administration of tamsulosin (0.4 mg/d, 60 mg/d), saw palmetto (320 mg/d), and duloxetine (60 mg/d). Treatment in group 2 consisted of tamsulosin (0.4 mg/d) and saw palmetto (320 mg/d). NIH-CPSI and IIEF-5 questionnaires, uroflowmetry, and evaluation of the psychological status were repeated at 16 weeks of follow-up.

Results: At 16 weeks, a significant improvement in NIH-CPSI pain subscore, NIH-CPSI quality of life subscore, and NIH-CPSI total score were observed in group 1 patients compared with those in group 2 (P <.01, respectively), together with a significant improvement in HAM-A and HAM-D scores (P <.01, respectively). Patients in group 2 showed a significant improvement in NIH-CPSI total score, in the urinary symptoms subscore, and in the HAM-A total score. No significant differences were observed in IIEF-5 scores in the 2 groups. Maximum flow rate significantly increased in both groups. In group 1, 20% of patients stopped the study due to adverse effects.

Conclusion: The use of duloxetine in a multimodal treatment with an α-blocker medication and a saw palmetto extract allowed better results in controlling clinical symptoms, psychologic status and quality of life patients affected by CP/CPPS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2013.09.024DOI Listing
February 2014

[Intravesical therapy with mitomycin through electromotive drug administration].

Urologia 2013 Apr-Jun;80(2):105-11. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Unità Operative Semplice de Urologia Oncologia, Policlinico Casilino, Roma, Italy.

In the management of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), high-level evidence supports the widespread practice of intravesical therapy with mitomycin-C (MMC). Randomized trials showed a significant reduction in short-term recurrence compared with transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) alone, but little effect on long-term and no impact at all in preventing progression. Electromotive drug administration (EMDA®) offers a means of controlling and enhancing the tissue transport of certain drugs, in order to increase their efficacy. In both laboratory and clinical studies, intravesical electromotive drug administration (EMDA) increases MMC bladder uptake, resulting in an improved clinical efficacy in NMIBC without systemic side effects. New frameworks for treatment of NMIBC - e.g., sequential intravesical BCG and EMDA/MMC, as well as intravesical EMDA/MMC immediately before TURBT - have provided promising preliminary results with higher remission rates and longer remission times, and they are a priority to minimise the costs of disease management. These findings suggest EMDA-enhanced MMC efficacy against urothelial cancer could be a major therapeutic breakthrough in the treatment of NMIBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5301/RU.2013.11290DOI Listing
May 2014

Electromotive instillation of mitomycin immediately before transurethral resection for patients with primary urothelial non-muscle invasive bladder cancer: a randomised controlled trial.

Lancet Oncol 2011 Sep 8;12(9):871-9. Epub 2011 Aug 8.

Department of Surgery/Urology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

Background: The clinical effect of intravesical instillation of chemotherapy immediately after transurethral resection of bladder tumours (TURBT) has recently been questioned, despite its recommendation in guidelines. Our aim was to compare TURBT alone with immediate post-TURBT intravesical passive diffusion (PD) of mitomycin and immediate pre-TURBT intravesical electromotive drug administration (EMDA) of mitomycin in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Methods: We did a multicentre, randomised, parallel-group study in patients with primary non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in three centres in Italy between Jan 1, 1994, and Dec 31, 2003. Patients were randomly assigned to receive treatment by means of stratified blocked randomisation across six strata. Patients and physicians giving the interventions were aware of assignment, but it was masked from outcome assessors and data analysts. Patients were randomly assigned to receive TURBT alone, immediate post-TURBT instillation of 40 mg PD mitomycin dissolved in 50 mL sterile water infused over 60 min, or immediate pre-TURBT instillation of 40 mg EMDA mitomycin dissolved in 100 mL sterile water with intravesical 20 mA pulsed electric current for 30 min. Our primary endpoints were recurrence rate and disease-free interval. Analyses were done by intention to treat. Follow-up for our trial is complete. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01149174.

Findings: 124 patients were randomly assigned to receive TURBT alone, 126 to receive immediate post-TURBT PD mitomycin, and 124 to receive immediate pre-TURBT EMDA mitomycin. 22 patients were excluded from our analyses because they did meet our eligibility criteria after TURBT: 11 had stage pT2 disease and 11 had carcinoma in situ. Median follow-up was 86 months (IQR 57-125). Patients assigned to receive EMDA mitomycin before TURBT had a lower rate of recurrence (44 [38%] of 117) than those assigned to receive PD mitomycin after TURBT (70 [59%] of 119) and TURBT alone (74 [64%] of 116; log-rank p<0·0001). Patients assigned to receive EMDA mitomycin before TURBT also had a higher disease-free interval (52 months, IQR 32-184) than those assigned to receive PD mitomycin after TURBT (16 months, 12-168) and TURBT alone (12 months, 12-37; log-rank p<0·0001). We recorded persistent bladder symptoms after TURBT in 18 (16%) of 116 patients in the TURBT-alone group (duration 3-7 days), 37 (31%) of 119 in the PD mitomycin post-TURBT group (duration 20-30 days), and 24 (21%) of 117 in the EMDA mitomycin pre-TURBT group (duration 7-12 days); haematuria after TURBT in eight (7%) of 116 patients in the TURBT-alone group, 16 (13%) of 119 in the PD mitomycin post-TURBT group, and 11 (9%) of 117 in the EMDA mitomycin pre-TURBT group; and bladder perforation after TURBT in five (4%) of 116 patients in the TURBT-alone group, nine (8%) of 119 in the PD mitomycin post-TURBT group, and seven (6%) of 117 in the EMDA mitomycin pre-TURBT group.

Interpretation: Intravesical EMDA mitomycin before TURBT is feasible and safe; moreover, it reduces recurrence rates and enhances the disease-free interval compared with intravesical PD mitomycin after TURBT and TURBT alone.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(11)70190-5DOI Listing
September 2011

Are referral centers for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer compliant to EAU guidelines? A report from the vesical antiblastic therapy Italian study.

Urol Int 2011 30;86(1):19-24. Epub 2010 Dec 30.

Urologia 1, Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Italy.

Introduction: Adherence to international guidelines is viewed as a prerequisite for optimal medical care delivery. Previously reported surveys for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) employed mailed questionnaires to urologists or patients resulting in conflicting degrees of agreement with existing guidelines. In the current study, contemporary information on the management of NMIBC was generated from a sample of italian centers.

Patients And Methods: Eight Italian referral centers for the treatment of NMIBC were asked to collect information relative to all consecutive patients with a histology-proven NMIBC undergoing a transurethral resection from January 1 to March 31, 2009. The primary study objective was to verify the level of adherence of disease management with European guidelines.

Results: 344 patients resulted in being evaluable. 49.2% of high-risk patients underwent a repeat transurethral resection. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin was employed in 35% of cases, while chemotherapy was in 22%. An early single regimen was adopted in 136 patients and only in 1 out of 3 low-risk patients. High-risk NMIBC received bacillus Calmette-Guérin and chemotherapy as first-line therapy in 66 and 12.5% respectively. After 3 months, cystoscopy had been reported for 82.5% of patients with a recurrence rate of 13%.

Conclusion: Adherence of Italian Institutions to EAU guidelines was optimal when reporting baseline variables. Significant degrees of discrepancy emerged in treatment choices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000321926DOI Listing
July 2011

An individual patient data meta-analysis of the long-term outcome of randomised studies comparing intravesical mitomycin C versus bacillus Calmette-Guérin for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Eur Urol 2009 Aug 24;56(2):247-56. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Uppsala University Hospital, Department of Urology, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: Patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer with an intermediate or high risk need adjuvant intravesical therapy after surgery. Based largely on meta-analyses of previously published results, guidelines recommend using either bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) or mitomycin C (MMC) in these patients. Individual patient data (IPD) meta-analyses, however, are the gold standard.

Objective: To compare the efficacy of BCG and MMC based on an IPD meta-analysis of randomised trials.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Trials were searched through Medline and review articles. The relevant trial investigators were contacted to provide IPD.

Measurements: The drugs were compared with respect to time to recurrence, progression, and overall and cancer-specific death.

Results And Limitations: Nine trials that included 2820 patients were identified, and IPD were obtained from all of them. Patient characteristics were 71% primary, 54% Ta, 43% T1, 25% G1, 58% G2, and 16% G3, and 7% had prior intravesical chemotherapy. Based on a median follow-up of 4.4 yr, 43% recurred. Overall, there was no difference in the time to first recurrence (p=0.09) between BCG and MMC. In the trials with BCG maintenance, a 32% reduction in risk of recurrence on BCG compared to MMC was found (p<0.0001), while there was a 28% risk increase (p=0.006) for BCG in the trials without maintenance. BCG with maintenance was more effective than MMC in both patients previously treated and those not previously treated with chemotherapy. In the subset of 1880 patients for whom data on progression, survival, and cause of death were available, 12% progressed and 24% died, and, of those, 30% of the deaths were due to bladder cancer. No statistically significant differences were found for these long-term end points.

Conclusions: For prophylaxis of recurrence, maintenance BCG is required to demonstrate superiority to MMC. Prior intravesical chemotherapy was not a confounder. There were no statistically significant differences regarding progression, overall survival, and cancer-specific survival between the two treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2009.04.038DOI Listing
August 2009