Recent Submissions

  • Anetumab ravtansine versus vinorelbine in patients with relapsed, mesothelin-positive malignant pleural mesothelioma (ARCS-M): a randomised, open-label phase 2 trial

    Fennell, Dean (2022-04)
    Background: Few treatment options exist for second-line treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. We aimed to assess the antibody-drug conjugate anetumab ravtansine versus vinorelbine in patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic disease overexpressing mesothelin who had progressed on first-line platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab. Methods: In this phase 2, randomised, open-label study, done at 76 hospitals in 14 countries, we enrolled adults (aged ≥18 years) with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1, and who had progressed on first-line platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab. Participants were prospectively screened for mesothelin overexpression (defined as 2+ or 3+ mesothelin membrane staining intensity on at least 30% of viable tumour cells by immunohistochemistry) and were randomly assigned (2:1), using an interactive voice and web response system provided by the sponsor, to receive intravenous anetumab ravtansine (6·5 mg/kg on day 1 of each 21-day cycle) or intravenous vinorelbine (30 mg/m2 once every week) until progression, toxicity, or death. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival according to blinded central radiology review, assessed in the intention-to-treat population, with safety assessed in all participants who received any study treatment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02610140, and is now completed. Findings: Between Dec 3, 2015, and May 31, 2017, 589 patients were enrolled and 248 mesothelin-overexpressing patients were randomly allocated to the two treatment groups (166 patients were randomly assigned to receive anetumab ravtansine and 82 patients were randomly assigned to receive vinorelbine). 105 (63%) of 166 patients treated with anetumab ravtansine (median follow-up 4·0 months [IQR 1·4-5·5]) versus 43 (52%) of 82 patients treated with vinorelbine (3·9 months [1·4-5·4]) had disease progression or died (median progression-free survival 4·3 months [95% CI 4·1-5·2] vs 4·5 months [4·1-5·8]; hazard ratio 1·22 [0·85-1·74]; log-rank p=0·86). The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events were neutropenia (one [1%] of 163 patients for anetumab ravtansine vs 28 [39%] of 72 patients for vinorelbine), pneumonia (seven [4%] vs five [7%]), neutrophil count decrease (two [1%] vs 12 [17%]), and dyspnoea (nine [6%] vs three [4%]). Serious drug-related treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 12 (7%) patients treated with anetumab ravtansine and 11 (15%) patients treated with vinorelbine. Ten (6%) treatment-emergent deaths occurred with anetumab ravtansine: pneumonia (three [2%]), dyspnoea (two [1%]), sepsis (two [1%]), atrial fibrillation (one [1%]), physical deterioration (one [1%]), hepatic failure (one [1%]), mesothelioma (one [1%]), and renal failure (one [1%]; one patient had 3 events). One (1%) treatment-emergent death occurred in the vinorelbine group (pneumonia). Interpretation: Anetumab ravtansine showed a manageable safety profile and was not superior to vinorelbine. Further studies are needed to define active treatments in relapsed mesothelin-expressing malignant pleural mesothelioma. Funding: Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.
  • Results of a single-arm pilot study of 32 P microparticles in unresectable locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma with gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel or FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy

    Iwuji, Chinenye (2022-02)
    Background: Unresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) is generally managed with chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy, but prognosis is poor with a median survival of ∼13 months (or up to 19 months in some studies). We assessed a novel brachytherapy device, using phosphorous-32 (32P) microparticles, combined with standard-of-care chemotherapy. Patients and methods: In this international, multicentre, single-arm, open-label pilot study, adult patients with histologically or cytologically proven unresectable LAPC received 32P microparticles, via endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle implantation, planned for week 4 of 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan and oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) or gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel chemotherapy, per investigator's choice. The primary endpoint was safety and tolerability measured using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0. The lead efficacy endpoint was local disease control rate at 16 weeks. Results: Fifty patients were enrolled and received chemotherapy [intention-to-treat (ITT) population]. Forty-two patients received 32P microparticle implantation [per protocol (PP) population]. A total of 1102 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were reported in the ITT/safety population (956 PP), of which 167 (139 PP) were grade ≥3. In the PP population, 41 TEAEs in 16 (38.1%) patients were possibly or probably related to 32P microparticles or implantation procedure, including 8 grade ≥3 in 3 (7.1%) patients, compared with 609 TEAEs in 42 (100%) patients attributed to chemotherapy, including 67 grade ≥3 in 28 patients (66.7%). The local disease control rate at 16 weeks was 82.0% (95% confidence interval: 68.6% to 90.9%) (ITT) and 90.5% (95% confidence interval: 77.4% to 97.3%) (PP). Tumour volume, carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels, and metabolic tumour response at week 12 improved significantly. Ten patients (20.0% ITT; 23.8% PP) had surgical resection and median overall survival was 15.2 and 15.5 months for ITT and PP populations, respectively. Conclusions: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided 32P microparticle implantation has an acceptable safety profile. This study also suggests clinically relevant benefits of combining 32P microparticles with standard-of-care systemic chemotherapy for patients with unresectable LAPC.
  • Obinutuzumab as consolidation after chemo-immunotherapy: Results of the UK National Cancer Research Institute phase II/III GALACTIC trial

    Kennedy, Ben (2022-08)
    The GA101 (obinutuzumab) monocLonal Antibody as Consolidation Therapy In chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) (GALACTIC) was a seamless phase II/III trial designed to test whether consolidation with obinutuzumab is safe and eradicates minimal residual disease (MRD) and, subsequently, whether this leads to prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with CLL who have recently responded to chemo-immunotherapy. Patients with a response 3-24 months after chemotherapy were assessed for MRD. MRD-positive patients were randomised to receive consolidation therapy with obinutuzumab or no consolidation. The trial closed after the phase II part due to slow recruitment. In all, 48 patients enrolled of whom 19 were MRD negative and were monitored. Of the 29 MRD-positive patients, 14 were randomised to receive consolidation and 15 to no consolidation. At 6 months after randomisation, 10 and 13 consolidated patients achieved MRD negativity by flow cytometry (sensitivity 10-4 ) in bone marrow and peripheral blood respectively. PFS was significantly better in consolidated patients compared to non-consolidated patients (p = 0.001). No difference was observed in PFS, overall survival or duration of MRD negativity when comparing the 10 MRD-negative patients after consolidation with the 19 MRD-negative patients in the monitoring group. Common adverse events in the consolidation arm were thrombocytopenia, infection, and cough. Only 1% of events were infusion-related reactions. This observation provides further evidence that consolidation to achieve MRD negativity improves outcomes in CLL and that obinutuzumab is well tolerated in patients with low levels of disease.
  • Depth of response and response kinetics of isatuximab plus carfilzomib and dexamethasone in relapsed multiple myeloma

    Garg, Mamta (2022-08)
    The IKEMA study (Randomized, Open Label, Multicenter Study Assessing the Clinical Benefit of Isatuximab Combined With Carfilzomib [Kyprolis®] and Dexamethasone Versus Carfilzomib With Dexamethasone in Patients With Relapse and/or Refractory Multiple Myeloma Previously Treated With 1 to 3 Prior Lines; #NCT03275285) was a randomized, open-label, multicenter phase 3 study investigating isatuximab plus carfilzomib and dexamethasone (Isa-Kd) vs Kd in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. This subanalysis analyzed the depth of response of Isa-Kd vs Kd. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary end points included overall response rate, very good partial response or better (≥VGPR) rate, complete response (CR) rate, and minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity rate (assessed in patients with ≥VGPR by next-generation sequencing at a 10-5 sensitivity level). At a median follow-up of 20.7 months, deeper responses were observed in the Isa-Kd arm vs the Kd arm, with ≥VGPR 72.6% vs 56.1% and CR of 39.7% vs 27.6%, respectively. MRD negativity occurred in 53 (29.6%) of 179 patients in the Isa-Kd arm vs 16 (13.0%) of 123 patients in the Kd arm, with 20.1% (Isa-Kd, 36 of 179 patients) vs 10.6% (Kd, 13 of 123 patients) reaching MRD-negative CR status. Achieving MRD negativity resulted in better PFS in both arms. A positive PFS treatment effect was seen with Isa-Kd in both MRD-negative patients (hazard ratio, 0.578; 95% CI, 0.052-6.405) and MRD-positive patients (hazard ratio, 0.670; 95% CI, 0.452-0.993). Exploratory analysis indicates that both current CR and MRD-negative CR rates are underestimated due to M-protein interference (potential adjusted CR rate, 45.8%; potential adjusted MRD-negative CR rate, 24.0%). In conclusion, there was a clinically meaningful improvement in depth of response with Isa-Kd. The CR rate in Isa-Kd was 39.7%. Mass spectrometry suggests that the potential adjusted CR rate could reach an unprecedented 45.8% of patients treated with Isa-Kd.
  • Mast cell activation syndrome and the link with long COVID

    Myers, Bethan (2022-07)
    Mast cells are innate immune cells found in connective tissues throughout the body, most prevalent at tissue-environment interfaces. They possess multiple cell-surface receptors which react to various stimuli and, after activation, release many mediators including histamine, heparin, cytokines, prostaglandins, leukotrienes and proteases. In mast cell activation syndrome, excessive amounts of inflammatory mediators are released in response to triggers such as foods, fragrances, stress, exercise, medications or temperature changes. Diagnostic markers may be difficult to assess because of their rapid degradation; these include urinary N-methyl histamine, urinary prostaglandins D2, DM and F2α and serum tryptase (which is stable) in the UK. Self-management techniques, medications and avoiding triggers may improve quality of life. Treatments include mast cell mediator blockers, mast cell stabilisers and anti-inflammatory agents. 'Long COVID' describes post-COVID-19 syndrome when symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks after initial infection with no alternative diagnosis. Both mast cell activation syndrome and long COVID cause multiple symptoms. It is theorised that COVID-19 infection could lead to exaggeration of existing undiagnosed mast cell activation syndrome, or could activate normal mast cells owing to the persistence of viral particles. Other similarities include the relapse-remission cycle and improvements with similar treatments. Importantly, however, aside from mast cell disorders, long COVID could potentially be attributed to several other conditions.
  • Laboratory methods for monitoring argatroban in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia

    Hopkins, Barbara; Chunara, Zunaid (2022-04)
    Introduction: The Summary of Product Characteristics for the direct thrombin inhibitor argatroban states monitoring should be by activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), with a target range of 1.5-3.0 times the patients' baseline APTT. APTT may be influenced by coagulopathies, lupus anticoagulant and raised FVIII levels. Previous studies have shown sensitivity differences of APTT reagents to argatroban. Some recent publications have favoured the use of anti-IIa methods to determine the plasma drug concentration of argatroban. This study aims to compare the anti-IIa assays: Hemoclot thrombin inhibitor assay (HTI) and Ecarin chromogenic assay (ECA) alongside the APTT. Methods: Residual plasma of 25 samples from 8 patients (3 with COVID-19 and HIT: n = 18, 5 with HIT: n = 7) was tested at two sites: site A: Sysmex CS5100 by HTI and APTT (Actin FS and SynthASil), and also on Stago STA Compact Max: ECA and APTT (CK Prest); and site B: Stago STA R Max 2 by ECA and APTT (Cephascreen). Results: Mean APTT ratio was 1.96 (Actin FS), 1.84 (SynthASil), 1.59 (CK Prest) and 2.48 (Cephascreen). Mean argatroban concentration by HTI was 0.60 µg/mL and by ECA was 0.65 µg/mL (site A) and 0.70 µg/mL (site B). There was a poor correlation to HTI in APTT ratios (range r2 = .0235-0.4181) with stronger correlations between ECA methods to HTI (r2 = .8998 site A, r2 = .8734 site B). Conclusion: This study confirms previous publications on the unsuitability of APTT and expands this by being multisited and included APTT reagents that use mechanical clot detection. Both anti-IIa methods are more suitable.
  • A retrospective real-world study of the current treatment pathways for myelofibrosis in the United Kingdom: the REALISM UK study

    Garg, Mamta (2022-03)
    Background: Myelofibrosis (MF) is a blood cancer associated with splenomegaly, blood count abnormalities, reduced life expectancy and high prevalence of disease-associated symptoms. Current treatment options for MF are diverse, with limited data on management strategies in real-world practice in the United Kingdom. Methods: The REALISM UK study was a multi-center, retrospective, non-interventional study, which documented the early management of patients with MF. The primary endpoint was the time from diagnosis to active treatment. Discussion: Two hundred patients were included (63% [n = 126/200] with primary MF; 37% [n = 74/200] with secondary MF). Symptoms and prognostic scores at diagnosis were poorly documented, with infrequent use of patient reported outcome measures. 'Watch and wait' was the first management strategy for 53.5% (n = 107/200) of patients, while the most commonly used active treatments were hydroxycarbamide and ruxolitinib. Only 5% of patients proceeded to allogeneic transplant. The median (IQR) time to first active treatment was 46 days (0-350); patients with higher risk disease were prescribed active treatment sooner. Conclusion: These results provide insight into real-world clinical practice for patients with MF in the United Kingdom. Despite the known high prevalence of disease-associated symptoms in MF, symptoms were poorly documented. Most patients were initially observed or received hydroxycarbamide, and ruxolitinib was used as first-line management strategy in only a minority of patients.
  • A novel RUNX1 exon 3 - 7 deletion causing a familial platelet disorder

    Myers, Bethan (2022-02)
    Familial Platelet Disorder with associated Myeloid Malignancy (FPDMM) is a rare inherited disorder confirmed with the presence of a pathogenic germline RUNX1 variant and is thought to be heavily underdiagnosed. RUNX1 has also been found to be mutated in up to 10% of adult AML cases and other cell malignancies. We performed targeted next-generation sequencing and subsequent MLPA analysis in a kindred with multiple affected individuals with low platelet counts and a bleeding history. We detected a novel heterozygous exon 3-7 large deletion in the RUNX1 gene in all affected family members which is predicted to remove all of the Runt-homology DNA-binding domain and a portion of the Activation domain. Our results show that the combination of targeted NGS and MLPA analysis is an effective way to detect copy number variants (CNVs) which would be missed by conventional sequencing methods. This precise diagnosis offers the possibility of accurate counseling and clinical management in such patients who could go onto develop other cell malignancies.
  • SWATH-MS identification of CXCL7, LBP, TGFβ1 and PDGFRβ as novel biomarkers in human systemic mastocytosis

    Myers, Bethan (2022-03)
    Mastocytosis is a rare myeloproliferative disease, characterised by accumulation of neoplastic mast cells in one or several organs. It presents as cutaneous or systemic. Patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis have a median survival of 3.5 years. The aetiology of mastocytosis is poorly understood, patients present with a broad spectrum of varying clinical symptoms that lack specificity to point clearly to a definitive diagnosis. Discovery of novel blood borne biomarkers would provide a tractable method for rapid identification of mastocytosis and its sub-types. Moving towards this goal, we carried out a clinical biomarker study on blood from twenty individuals (systemic mastocytosis: n = 12, controls: n = 8), which were subjected to global proteome investigation using the novel technology SWATH-MS. This identified several putative biomarkers for systemic mastocytosis. Orthogonal validation of these putative biomarkers was achieved using ELISAs. Utilising this workflow, we identified and validated CXCL7, LBP, TGFβ1 and PDGF receptor-β as novel biomarkers for systemic mastocytosis. We demonstrate that CXCL7 correlates with neutrophil count offering a new insight into the increased prevalence of anaphylaxis in mastocytosis patients. Additionally, demonstrating the utility of SWATH-MS for the discovery of novel biomarkers in the systemic mastocytosis diagnostic sphere.
  • Immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants after two and three doses of vaccine in B-cell malignancies: UK PROSECO study

    Ahearne, Matthew (2022-05)
    Patients with hematological malignancies are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes due to compromised immune responses, but the insights of these studies have been compromised due to intrinsic limitations in study design. Here we present the PROSECO prospective observational study ( NCT04858568 ) on 457 patients with lymphoma that received two or three COVID-19 vaccine doses. We show undetectable humoral responses following two vaccine doses in 52% of patients undergoing active anticancer treatment. Moreover, 60% of patients on anti-CD20 therapy had undetectable antibodies following full vaccination within 12 months of receiving their anticancer therapy. However, 70% of individuals with indolent B-cell lymphoma displayed improved antibody responses following booster vaccination. Notably, 63% of all patients displayed antigen-specific T-cell responses, which increased after a third dose irrespective of their cancer treatment status. Our results emphasize the urgency of careful monitoring of COVID-19-specific immune responses to guide vaccination schemes in these vulnerable populations.
  • Thulium laser vapo-enucleation treatment for prostates >100 cc following urinary retention

    Patel, Sheena; Khan, Masood (2022-08)
    Introduction: Practical advantages of Thulium in the endoscopic treatment of BPH include its technical versatility, precision and safety, offering reduced need for haemostasis and risk of injury. Evidence has shown Holmium laser to be effective in the treatment of chronic retention, however no studies address the use of Thulium laser for larger prostates after urinary retention. Objectives: We have selected this group in our retrospective analysis on the efficacy of Thulium laser vapo-enucleation for men with both urinary retention and large prostate volumes greater than 100 cc. Methods: We analysed a 10-year single centre operation database of 740 Thulium vapo-enucleation of prostates. An inclusion of 47 living patients with prostates over 100 cc who have undergone the procedure following urinary retention secondary to bladder outflow obstruction (BOO) from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Patients were sub grouped into Group 1: 100-149 cc and Group 2: >150 cc. Results: Number of patients in sub groups 1 (n = 27) and 2 (n = 20) had mean prostate volumes of 116 and 173 cc respectively, with the largest measuring 234 cc. Mean resected volumes were 26 g (range 15-50.5 g) and 28 g (range 2-57 g). The overall trial without catheter (TWOC) pass rate for all patients in our series was 96% with comparable results between the two groups. Overall known early and late complication rates for all patients was 17% (UTI 13%, urosepsis 2%, AUR 2%) and 12.5% (failure 5%, OAB symptoms 5%, significant haematuria requiring surgical intervention 2.5%) respectively. Success of surgery was 96%, with an average follow-up of 5 months and no re-referrals for lower urinary tract symptoms following discharge. Conclusion: We show the use of Thulium laser vapo-enucleation to be safe and effective in the treatment of retention for large prostates. Results have demonstrated signs of long-term efficacy with a low failure rate.
  • A BURST-BAUS consensus document for best practice in the conduct of scrotal exploration for suspected testicular torsion: the Finding consensus for orchIdopeXy In Torsion (FIX-IT) study

    Asif, Aqua; Summerton, Duncan (2022-06)
    Objectives: To produce a best practice consensus guideline for the conduct of scrotal exploration for suspected testicular torsion using formal consensus methodology. Materials and methods: A panel of 16 expert urologists, representing adult, paediatric, general, and andrological urology used the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Consensus Methodology to score a 184 statement pre-meeting questionnaire on the conduct of scrotal exploration for suspected testicular torsion. The collated responses were presented at a face-to-face online meeting and each item was rescored anonymously after a group discussion, facilitated by an independent chair with expertise in consensus methodology. Items were scored for agreement and consensus and the items scored with consensus were used to derive a set of best practice guidelines. Results: Statements scored as with consensus increased from Round 1 (122/184, 66.3%) to Round 2 (149/200, 74.5%). Recommendations were generated in ten categories: consent, assessment under anaesthetic, initial incision, intraoperative decision making, fixation, medical photography, closure, operation note, logistics and follow-up after scrotal exploration. Our statements assume that the decision to operate has already been made. Key recommendations in the consent process included the discussion of the possibility of orchidectomy and the possibility of subsequent infection of the affected testis or wound requiring antibiotic therapy. If after the examination under anaesthesia, the index of suspicion of testicular torsion is lower than previously thought, then the surgeon should still proceed to scrotal exploration as planned. A flow chart guiding decision making dependent on intraoperative findings has been designed. If no torsion is present on exploration and the bell clapper deformity is absent, the testis should not be fixed. When fixing a testis using sutures, 3 or 4-point is acceptable and non-absorbable sutures are preferred. Conclusions: We have produced consensus recommendations to inform best practice in the conduct of scrotal exploration for suspected testicular torsion.
  • A mutated prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) peptide-based vaccine induces PAP-specific CD8 + T cells with ex vivo cytotoxic capacities in HHDII/DR1 transgenic mice

    Khan, Masood (2022-04)
    Background: Current treatments for castrate (hormone)-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remain limited and are not curative, with a median survival from diagnosis of 23 months. The PAP-specific Sipuleucel-T vaccine, which was approved by the FDA in 2010, increases the Overall Survival (OS) by 4 months, but is extremely expensive. We have previously shown that a 15 amino accid (AA) PAP sequence-derived peptide could induce strong immune responses and delay the growth of murine TRAMP-C1 prostate tumors. We have now substituted one amino acid and elongated the sequence to include epitopes predicted to bind to several additional HLA haplotypes. Herein, we present the immunological properties of this 42mer-mutated PAP-derived sequence (MutPAP42mer). Methods: The presence of PAP-135-143 epitope-specific CD8+ T cells in the blood of patients with prostate cancer (PCa) was assessed by flow cytometry using Dextramer™ technology. HHDII/DR1 transgenic mice were immunized with mutated and non-mutated PAP-derived 42mer peptides in the presence of CAF®09 or CpG ODN1826 (TLR-9 agonist) adjuvants. Vaccine-induced immune responses were measured by assessing the proportion and functionality of splenic PAP-specific T cells in vitro. Results: PAP-135-143 epitope-specific CD8+ T cells were detected in the blood of patients with PCa and stimulation of PBMCs from patients with PCa with mutPAP42mer enhanced their capacity to kill human LNCaP PCa target cells expressing PAP. The MutPAP42mer peptide was significantly more immunogenic in HHDII/DR1 mice than the wild type sequence, and immunogenicity was further enhanced when combined with the CAF®09 adjuvant. The vaccine induced secretory (IFNγ and TNFα) and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and effector memory splenic T cells. Conclusions: The periphery of patients with PCa exhibits immune responsiveness to the MutPAP42mer peptide and immunization of mice induces/expands T cell-driven, wild-type PAP immunity, and therefore, has the potential to drive protective anti-tumor immunity in patients with PCa.
  • Functional and quality of life outcomes of localised prostate cancer treatments (Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment [ProtecT] study)

    Kockelbergh, Roger (2022-09)
    Objective: To investigate the functional and quality of life (QoL) outcomes of treatments for localised prostate cancer and inform treatment decision-making. Patients and methods: Men aged 50-69 years diagnosed with localised prostate cancer by prostate-specific antigen testing and biopsies at nine UK centres in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial were randomised to, or chose one of, three treatments. Of 2565 participants, 1135 men received active monitoring (AM), 750 a radical prostatectomy (RP), 603 external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) with concurrent androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) and 77 low-dose-rate brachytherapy (BT, not a randomised treatment). Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) completed annually for 6 years were analysed by initial treatment and censored for subsequent treatments. Mixed effects models were adjusted for baseline characteristics using propensity scores. Results: Treatment-received analyses revealed different impacts of treatments over 6 years. Men remaining on AM experienced gradual declines in sexual and urinary function with age (e.g., increases in erectile dysfunction from 35% of men at baseline to 53% at 6 years and nocturia similarly from 20% to 38%). Radical treatment impacts were immediate and continued over 6 years. After RP, 95% of men reported erectile dysfunction persisting for 85% at 6 years, and after EBRT this was reported by 69% and 74%, respectively (P < 0.001 compared with AM). After RP, 36% of men reported urinary leakage requiring at least 1 pad/day, persisting for 20% at 6 years, compared with no change in men receiving EBRT or AM (P < 0.001). Worse bowel function and bother (e.g., bloody stools 6% at 6 years and faecal incontinence 10%) was experienced by men after EBRT than after RP or AM (P < 0.001) with lesser effects after BT. No treatment affected mental or physical QoL. Conclusion: Treatment decision-making for localised prostate cancer can be informed by these 6-year functional and QoL outcomes.
  • RealTalk evidence-based communication training resources: development of conversation analysis-based materials to support training in end-of-life-related health and social care conversations

    Faull, Christina (2022-08)
    Training to enhance healthcare practitioners' capabilities in engaging people in sensitive and end-of life-related conversations is in demand. However, evaluations have either not measured, or found very limited impact on actual practice and patient experience. Training effectiveness is improved when it is based on in-depth evidence, reflects the complexity of real-life interactions, and instils principles adaptable to everyday practice. A relatively new source of in-depth evidence and practice-relevant insights on healthcare interactions is conversation analytic research, a form of observational analysis of real-life interactions. However, conversation analytic research findings have largely been disseminated by and for scientists, rather than clinicians and trainers. We used conversation analytic evidence to develop resources for use by healthcare trainers. The aim was to increase training's evidence-base and authenticity. We further aimed to develop resources applicable to working with learners ranging from novices to advanced practitioners. Methods: Using an intervention development approach, we created online video-clips and supplementary written materials for professionals who deliver training, supervision, and support in healthcare communication for staff and students. The materials were reviewed by an advisory group comprising clinicians, lay consultees, educators, and researchers, and piloted by trainers in UK universities, NHS organisations and independent hospices. We refined materials based on their feedback. Results: The resulting 'RealTalk' resources focus on practices for communicating with patients and their companions about end-of-life and prognosis. Two core training modules were developed, each comprising several patient case studies featuring video-clips from real-life healthcare consultations. The clips featured practices that patients and experienced practitioners use in approaching end-of-life matters. The case studies also included evidence-based descriptions of observable practices and the principles underlying these, alongside transcripts and case synopses. Conclusions: RealTalk training resources aim to facilitate evidence-based, experiential and reflective learning, focusing on communication challenges, practices and principles for end-of-life-related interactions. The resources are designed for use by trainers for delivering all levels of training, from introductory to advanced, in both formal and informal training settings. Our development process may serve as a blueprint for the production of future evidence-based training resources based on conversation analytic research.
  • Implementation of Whole-Body MRI (MY-RADS) within the OPTIMUM/MUKnine multi-centre clinical trial for patients with myeloma

    Rennie, Winston (2022-07)
    Background: Whole-body (WB) MRI, which includes diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and T1-w Dixon, permits sensitive detection of marrow disease in addition to qualitative and quantitative measurements of disease and response to treatment of bone marrow. We report on the first study to embed standardised WB-MRI within a prospective, multi-centre myeloma clinical trial (IMAGIMM trial, sub-study of OPTIMUM/MUKnine) to explore the use of WB-MRI to detect minimal residual disease after treatment. Methods: The standardised MY-RADS WB-MRI protocol was set up on a local 1.5 T scanner. An imaging manual describing the MR protocol, quality assurance/control procedures and data transfer was produced and provided to sites. For non-identical scanners (different vendor or magnet strength), site visits from our physics team were organised to support protocol optimisation. The site qualification process included review of phantom and volunteer data acquired at each site and a teleconference to brief the multidisciplinary team. Image quality of initial patients at each site was assessed. Results: WB-MRI was successfully set up at 12 UK sites involving 3 vendor systems and two field strengths. Four main protocols (1.5 T Siemens, 3 T Siemens, 1.5 T Philips and 3 T GE scanners) were generated. Scanner limitations (hardware and software) and scanning time constraint required protocol modifications for 4 sites. Nevertheless, shared methodology and imaging protocols enabled other centres to obtain images suitable for qualitative and quantitative analysis. Conclusions: Standardised WB-MRI protocols can be implemented and supported in prospective multi-centre clinical trials. Trial registration NCT03188172 clinicaltrials.gov; registration date 15th June 2017 https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT03188172.
  • Timing of elective surgery and risk assessment after SARS-CoV-2 infection: an update: A multidisciplinary consensus statement on behalf of the Association of Anaesthetists, Centre for Perioperative Care, Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Surgeons of England

    Summerton, Duncan (2022-05)
    The impact of vaccination and new SARS-CoV-2 variants on peri-operative outcomes is unclear. We aimed to update previously published consensus recommendations on timing of elective surgery after SARS-CoV-2 infection to assist policymakers, administrative staff, clinicians and patients. The guidance remains that patients should avoid elective surgery within 7 weeks of infection, unless the benefits of doing so exceed the risk of waiting. We recommend individualised multidisciplinary risk assessment for patients requiring elective surgery within 7 weeks of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This should include baseline mortality risk calculation and assessment of risk modifiers (patient factors; SARS-CoV-2 infection; surgical factors). Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection with previous variants increased peri-operative mortality risk three-fold throughout the 6 weeks after infection, and assumptions that asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic omicron SARS-CoV-2 infection does not add risk are currently unfounded. Patients with persistent symptoms and those with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 may require a longer delay than 7 weeks. Elective surgery should not take place within 10 days of diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, predominantly because the patient may be infectious, which is a risk to surgical pathways, staff and other patients. We now emphasise that timing of surgery should include the assessment of baseline and increased risk, optimising vaccination and functional status, and shared decision-making. While these recommendations focus on the omicron variant and current evidence, the principles may also be of relevance to future variants. As further data emerge, these recommendations may be revised.
  • Infliximab: a single-centre, prospective, observational evaluation of TDM data in patients with IBD

    Gadsby, Jessica; Hall, Karen; Shah, Fatima; Pattni, Sanjeev; Gethins, Sharon; Mulla, Hussain
    Objectives: Therapeutic drug monitoring of infliximab (IFX) is important to optimise treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A recent IBD consensus statement recommends targeting trough serum concentrations of >3 μg/mL, higher than our local recommendation of >1 μg/mL. We therefore investigated the relationship between IFX trough concentrations and C reactive protein (CRP), faecal calprotectin (FCP), clinical outcomes and anti-IFX antibody (AB) development as well as the influence of concomitant thiopurine treatment. Methods: Observational data, prospectively collected in a cohort of adult patients with IBD newly initiated on IFX at a single centre. Results: IFX concentrations >3 μg/mL were associated with a greater reduction in CRP (% change from baseline) and lower FCP; mean (SD) 47 (33.8) % vs 102.3 (136.9) % and 233.9 (505.1) μg/g vs 416.3 (613.5) μg/g, respectively. Lower IFX concentrations were observed in patients who developed AB than those who did not, mean (range) 6.2 (1.1-10) μg/mL vs 0.9 (0.4-4.9) μg/mL, respectively, and also in patients who stopped/switched therapy compared with those who continued, 2.4 (2.9) μg/mL vs 6.5 (2.8) μg/mL; p=0.0002. Patients taking a concomitant thiopurine were found to have higher IFX concentrations; mean (range) 6.4 (0.7-10) μg/mL vs 3.9 (0.4-10) μg/mL. Conclusions: IFX concentrations are correlated with biomarkers, clinical response and AB development in patients with IBD. Concomitant thiopurine therapy appears to be associated with higher IFX concentrations and reduced likelihood of AB development.

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