Recent Submissions

  • Clinical significance and resource burden of double duct sign in non-jaundiced patients

    Chavda, Rishi; Chung, Wen; Dennison, Ashley; Garcia, Guiseppe; Hussain, Wajith; Isherwood, John; Issa, Eyad (2024-03-16)
    Aim The study aims to determine the incidence of malignancy at presentation and subsequent risk of malignancy (at 12 months follow-up) in a cohort of patients with double duct sign (DDS) on cross-sectional imaging but no visible stigmata of jaundice. The study also correlates malignancy with liver enzyme dysfunction and estimates the resource burden incurred during the investigation of these patients. Methods A search for the key term "double duct sign" was undertaken in the radiological database of a tertiary hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) centre between March 2017 and March 2022. Radiological reports, clinic letters, blood results, and multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT) outcomes were reviewed during this period and at one year. The national tariff payment system was reviewed to identify tariffs for different investigations required for the cohort and to calculate the total cost incurred. Results Ninety-seven patients with DDS were identified. Sixty-four patients (66%) had a normal bilirubin (0-21 µmol/L) at presentation and were included in the analysis. Seven patients (10.9%) were diagnosed with malignant peri-ampullary tumours, and 21 (32.8%) were diagnosed with benign diseases. In 34 patients (53%) with DDS, the underlying cause remained uncharacterised. Most patients had mild abnormalities of liver enzymes, but two patients (4.3%) were diagnosed with malignant peri-ampullary tumours despite having normal serological values. Patients who had a benign diagnosis and/or who had cancer excluded without a definitive diagnosis did not go on to develop a malignancy at 12 months follow-up. However, in those patients where the underlying aetiology could not be characterised, extended surveillance was required with a total of 80 MDT discussions and multiple surveillance scans (103 CT and 65 MRI scans). Twenty-six patients underwent endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with three patients requiring more than one EUS examination (29 investigations in total). The cost of these investigations was £38,926.89. Conclusion This study confirms that DDS even in patients without clinical jaundice or with normal liver enzymes requires careful investigation to exclude malignancy despite the resource burden this entails. This supports previously reported results in the literature, and despite the increased use of cross-sectional imaging, DDS remains a clinically significant finding. Large cohort risk stratification studies would be useful to determine clinical urgency and allow the appropriate allocation of resources.
  • Genetic imputation of kidney transcriptome, proteome and multi-omics illuminates new blood pressure and hypertension targets

    Dormer, John P (2024-03-19)
    Genetic mechanisms of blood pressure (BP) regulation remain poorly defined. Using kidney-specific epigenomic annotations and 3D genome information we generated and validated gene expression prediction models for the purpose of transcriptome-wide association studies in 700 human kidneys. We identified 889 kidney genes associated with BP of which 399 were prioritised as contributors to BP regulation. Imputation of kidney proteome and microRNAome uncovered 97 renal proteins and 11 miRNAs associated with BP. Integration with plasma proteomics and metabolomics illuminated circulating levels of myo-inositol, 4-guanidinobutanoate and angiotensinogen as downstream effectors of several kidney BP genes (SLC5A11, AGMAT, AGT, respectively). We showed that genetically determined reduction in renal expression may mimic the effects of rare loss-of-function variants on kidney mRNA/protein and lead to an increase in BP (e.g., ENPEP). We demonstrated a strong correlation (r = 0.81) in expression of protein-coding genes between cells harvested from urine and the kidney highlighting a diagnostic potential of urinary cell transcriptomics. We uncovered adenylyl cyclase activators as a repurposing opportunity for hypertension and illustrated examples of BP-elevating effects of anticancer drugs (e.g. tubulin polymerisation inhibitors). Collectively, our studies provide new biological insights into genetic regulation of BP with potential to drive clinical translation in hypertension.
  • Patient-reported outcomes after monitoring, surgery, or radiotherapy for prostate cancer

    Kynaston, H (2016-10-13)
    Background: Robust data on patient-reported outcome measures comparing treatments for clinically localized prostate cancer are lacking. We investigated the effects of active monitoring, radical prostatectomy, and radical radiotherapy with hormones on patient-reported outcomes. Methods: We compared patient-reported outcomes among 1643 men in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial who completed questionnaires before diagnosis, at 6 and 12 months after randomization, and annually thereafter. Patients completed validated measures that assessed urinary, bowel, and sexual function and specific effects on quality of life, anxiety and depression, and general health. Cancer-related quality of life was assessed at 5 years. Complete 6-year data were analyzed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Results: The rate of questionnaire completion during follow-up was higher than 85% for most measures. Of the three treatments, prostatectomy had the greatest negative effect on sexual function and urinary continence, and although there was some recovery, these outcomes remained worse in the prostatectomy group than in the other groups throughout the trial. The negative effect of radiotherapy on sexual function was greatest at 6 months, but sexual function then recovered somewhat and was stable thereafter; radiotherapy had little effect on urinary continence. Sexual and urinary function declined gradually in the active-monitoring group. Bowel function was worse in the radiotherapy group at 6 months than in the other groups but then recovered somewhat, except for the increasing frequency of bloody stools; bowel function was unchanged in the other groups. Urinary voiding and nocturia were worse in the radiotherapy group at 6 months but then mostly recovered and were similar to the other groups after 12 months. Effects on quality of life mirrored the reported changes in function. No significant differences were observed among the groups in measures of anxiety, depression, or general health-related or cancer-related quality of life. Conclusions: In this analysis of patient-reported outcomes after treatment for localized prostate cancer, patterns of severity, recovery, and decline in urinary, bowel, and sexual function and associated quality of life differed among the three groups. (Funded by the U.K. National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Program; ProtecT Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN20141297 ; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02044172 .).
  • Anticancer actions of carnosine in cellular models of prostate cancer

    Khan, M A (2023-11-29)
    Treatments for organ-confined prostate cancer include external beam radiation therapy, radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy/brachytherapy, cryoablation and high-intensity focused ultrasound. None of these are cancer-specific and are commonly accompanied by side effects, including urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Moreover, subsequent surgical treatments following biochemical recurrence after these interventions are either limited or affected by the scarring present in the surrounding tissue. Carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) is a histidine-containing naturally occurring dipeptide which has been shown to have an anti-tumorigenic role without any detrimental effect on healthy cells; however, its effect on prostate cancer cells has never been investigated. In this study, we investigated the effect of carnosine on cell proliferation and metabolism in both a primary cultured androgen-resistant human prostate cancer cell line, PC346Flu1 and murine TRAMP-C1 cells. Our results show that carnosine has a significant dose-dependent inhibitory effect in vitro on the proliferation of both human (PC346Flu1) and murine (TRAMP-C1) prostate cancer cells, which was confirmed in 3D-models of the same cells. Carnosine was also shown to decrease adenosine triphosphate content and reactive species which might have been caused in part by the increase in SIRT3 also shown after carnosine treatment. These encouraging results support the need for further human in vivo work to determine the potential use of carnosine, either alone or, most likely, as an adjunct therapy to surgical or other conventional treatments.
  • A repurposing programme evaluating repurposing transdermal oestradiol patches for the treatment of prostate cancer within the PATCH and STAMPEDE Trials: current results and adapting trial design

    Kockelbergh, Roger (2023-11-08)
    Aims: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), usually achieved with luteinising hormone releasing hormone analogues (LHRHa), is central to prostate cancer management. LHRHa reduce both testosterone and oestrogen and are associated with significant long-term toxicity. Previous use of oral oestrogens as ADT was curtailed because of cardiovascular toxicity. Transdermal oestrogen (tE2) patches are a potential alternative ADT, supressing testosterone without the associated oestrogen-depletion toxicities (osteoporosis, hot flushes, metabolic abnormalities) and avoiding cardiovascular toxicity, and we here describe their evaluation in men with prostate cancer. Materials and methods: The PATCH (NCT00303784) adaptive trials programme (incorporating recruitment through the STAMPEDE [NCT00268476] platform) is evaluating the safety and efficacy of tE2 patches as ADT for men with prostate cancer. An initial randomised (LHRHa versus tE2) phase II study (n = 251) with cardiovascular toxicity as the primary outcome measure has expanded into a phase III evaluation. Those with locally advanced (M0) or metastatic (M1) prostate cancer are eligible. To reflect changes in both management and prognosis, the PATCH programme is now evaluating these cohorts separately. Results: to date: Recruitment is complete, with 1362 and 1128 in the M0 and M1 cohorts, respectively. Rates of androgen suppression with tE2 were equivalent to LHRHa, with improved metabolic parameters, quality of life and bone health indices (mean absolute change in lumbar spine bone mineral density of -3.0% for LHRHa and +7.9% for tE2 with an estimated difference between arms of 9.3% (95% confidence interval 5.3-13.4). Importantly, rates of cardiovascular events were not significantly different between the two arms and the time to first cardiovascular event did not differ between treatment groups (hazard ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval 0.80-1.53; P = 0.54). Oncological outcomes are awaited. Future: Efficacy results for the M0 cohort (primary outcome measure metastases-free survival) are expected in the final quarter of 2023. For M1 patients (primary outcome measure - overall survival), analysis using restricted mean survival time is being explored. Allied translational work on longitudinal samples is underway.
  • Bladder pain syndrome and pregnancy

    Ivare, Amy; Oblozo, Aneta (2023-06-22)
    Bladder pain syndrome (BPS) is a poorly understood condition. In pregnancy, lower urinary tract symptoms and pain are common, but the possibility of BPS is rarely considered and almost never explored. The consequences of BPS on pregnancy and vice versa are poorly understood, and management options appear to be limited. This article reviews the current evidence to allow us to better counsel, investigate, diagnose and manage patients with suspected or known BPS who fall pregnant or who are considering pregnancy. MEDLINE, EMBASE and PubMed were searched for a combination of mesh terms of keywords: 'cystitis', 'interstitial', 'bladder', 'pain' and 'pregnancy'. Relevant articles were identified, reviewed and further relevant articles identified from the references. CONCLUSION: BPS symptoms are very common in pregnancy, with limited data suggesting significant negative effects on the woman and pregnancy. There are safe options for investigation, diagnosis and management in pregnancy. There is a need to raise awareness of the impact of BPS symptoms in pregnancy and the available options for diagnoses and management, improving patient experience and outcomes. PATIENT SUMMARY: Patients with BPS or symptoms akin to BPS need not be abandoned in pregnancy. There is data to support them in making decisions around investigation and management in pregnancy.
  • The sex gap in bladder cancer survival - a missing link in bladder cancer care?

    Kockelbergh, Roger (21/08/2023)
    The differences in bladder cancer outcomes between the sexes has again been highlighted. Uncommon among cancers, bladder cancer outcomes are notably worse for women than for men. Furthermore, bladder cancer is three to four times more common among men than among women. Factors that might explain these sex differences include understanding the importance of haematuria as a symptom of bladder cancer by both clinicians and patients, the resultant delays in diagnosis and referral of women with haematuria, and health-care access. Notably, these factors seem to have geographical variation and are not consistent across all health-care systems. Likewise, data relating to sex-specific treatment responses for patients with non-muscle-invasive or muscle-invasive bladder cancer are inconsistent. The influence of differences in the microbiome, bladder wall thickness and urine dwell times remain to be elucidated. The interplay of hormone signalling, gene expression, immunology and the tumour microenvironment remains complex but probably underpins the sexual dimorphism in disease incidence and stage and histology at presentation. The contribution of these biological phenomena to sex-specific outcome differences is probable, albeit potentially treatment-specific, and further understanding is required. Notwithstanding these aspects, we identify opportunities to harness biological differences to improve treatment outcomes, as well as areas of fundamental and translational research to pursue. At the level of policy and health-care delivery, improvements can be made across the domains of patient awareness, clinician education, referral pathways and guideline-based care. Together, we aim to highlight opportunities to close the sex gap in bladder cancer outcomes.
  • The sex gap in bladder cancer survival - a missing link in bladder cancer care?

    Kockelbergh, Roger (12/08/2023)
    The differences in bladder cancer outcomes between the sexes has again been highlighted. Uncommon among cancers, bladder cancer outcomes are notably worse for women than for men. Furthermore, bladder cancer is three to four times more common among men than among women. Factors that might explain these sex differences include understanding the importance of haematuria as a symptom of bladder cancer by both clinicians and patients, the resultant delays in diagnosis and referral of women with haematuria, and health-care access. Notably, these factors seem to have geographical variation and are not consistent across all health-care systems. Likewise, data relating to sex-specific treatment responses for patients with non-muscle-invasive or muscle-invasive bladder cancer are inconsistent. The influence of differences in the microbiome, bladder wall thickness and urine dwell times remain to be elucidated. The interplay of hormone signalling, gene expression, immunology and the tumour microenvironment remains complex but probably underpins the sexual dimorphism in disease incidence and stage and histology at presentation. The contribution of these biological phenomena to sex-specific outcome differences is probable, albeit potentially treatment-specific, and further understanding is required. Notwithstanding these aspects, we identify opportunities to harness biological differences to improve treatment outcomes, as well as areas of fundamental and translational research to pursue. At the level of policy and health-care delivery, improvements can be made across the domains of patient awareness, clinician education, referral pathways and guideline-based care. Together, we aim to highlight opportunities to close the sex gap in bladder cancer outcomes.
  • Pulling the plug on a pseudomonas outbreak: ancillary equipment as vectors of infection

    Veater, James; Manning, Claire; Mellon, John; Collins, Elizabeth; Jenkins, David (2023-08-08)
    Objectives: Outbreaks of infection related to flexible endoscopes are well described. However, flexible endoscopy also requires the use of ancillary equipment such as irrigation plugs. These are potential vectors of infection but are infrequently highlighted in the literature. We report a cystoscopy associated outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from contaminated irrigation plugs, in a UK tertiary care centre. Methods: Laboratory, clinical, and decontamination unit records were reviewed, and audits of the decontamination unit were performed. The flexible cystoscopes and irrigation plugs were assessed for contamination. Retrospective and prospective case finding was performed utilising the microbiology laboratory information management system. Available P.aeruginosa isolates underwent Variable Nucleotide Tandem Repeat (VNTR) typing. Confirmed cases were defined as P.aeruginosa infection with an identical VNTR profile to an outbreak strain. Results: Three strains of P.aeruginosa were isolated from five irrigation plugs, but none of the flexible cystoscopes. No acquired resistance mechanisms were detected. Fifteen confirmed infections occurred, including bacteraemia, septic arthritis and urinary tract infection. While failure of decontamination likely occurred because the plugs were not dismantled prior to reprocessing, the manufacturer's reprocessing instructions were also incompatible with standard UK practice. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) were informed. A field safety notice was issued, and the manufacturer issued updated reprocessing instructions. Conclusions: Ancillary equipment are important vectors for infection, and should be considered during outbreakinvestigations. Users should review the manufacturer's instructions for reprocessing ancillary equipment to ensure they are compatible with available procedures.
  • Fifteen-year outcomes after monitoring, surgery, or radiotherapy for prostate cancer

    Kockelbergh, Roger (2023-04-27)
    Background: Between 1999 and 2009 in the United Kingdom, 82,429 men between 50 and 69 years of age received a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Localized prostate cancer was diagnosed in 2664 men. Of these men, 1643 were enrolled in a trial to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments, with 545 randomly assigned to receive active monitoring, 553 to undergo prostatectomy, and 545 to undergo radiotherapy. Methods: At a median follow-up of 15 years (range, 11 to 21), we compared the results in this population with respect to death from prostate cancer (the primary outcome) and death from any cause, metastases, disease progression, and initiation of long-term androgen-deprivation therapy (secondary outcomes). Results: Follow-up was complete for 1610 patients (98%). A risk-stratification analysis showed that more than one third of the men had intermediate or high-risk disease at diagnosis. Death from prostate cancer occurred in 45 men (2.7%): 17 (3.1%) in the active-monitoring group, 12 (2.2%) in the prostatectomy group, and 16 (2.9%) in the radiotherapy group (P = 0.53 for the overall comparison). Death from any cause occurred in 356 men (21.7%), with similar numbers in all three groups. Metastases developed in 51 men (9.4%) in the active-monitoring group, in 26 (4.7%) in the prostatectomy group, and in 27 (5.0%) in the radiotherapy group. Long-term androgen-deprivation therapy was initiated in 69 men (12.7%), 40 (7.2%), and 42 (7.7%), respectively; clinical progression occurred in 141 men (25.9%), 58 (10.5%), and 60 (11.0%), respectively. In the active-monitoring group, 133 men (24.4%) were alive without any prostate cancer treatment at the end of follow-up. No differential effects on cancer-specific mortality were noted in relation to the baseline PSA level, tumor stage or grade, or risk-stratification score. No treatment complications were reported after the 10-year analysis. Conclusions: After 15 years of follow-up, prostate cancer-specific mortality was low regardless of the treatment assigned. Thus, the choice of therapy involves weighing trade-offs between benefits and harms associated with treatments for localized prostate cancer. (Funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research; ProtecT Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN20141297; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02044172.).
  • Healthcare systems data in the context of clinical trials - A comparison of cardiovascular data from a clinical trial dataset with routinely collected data

    Kockelbergh, Roger (2023-03-16)
    Background: Routinely-collected healthcare systems data (HSD) are proposed to improve the efficiency of clinical trials. A comparison was undertaken between cardiovascular (CVS) data from a clinical trial database with two HSD resources. Methods: Protocol-defined and clinically reviewed CVS events (heart failure (HF), acute coronary syndrome (ACS), thromboembolic stroke, venous and arterial thromboembolism) were identified within the trial data. Data (using pre-specified codes) was obtained from NHS Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR) HF and myocardial ischaemia audits for trial participants recruited in England between 2010 and 2018 who had provided consent. The primary comparison was trial data versus HES inpatient (APC) main diagnosis (Box-1). Correlations are presented with descriptive statistics and Venn diagrams. Reasons for non-correlation were explored. Results: From 1200 eligible participants, 71 protocol-defined clinically reviewed CVS events were recorded in the trial database. 45 resulted in a hospital admission and therefore could have been recorded by either HES APC/ NICOR. Of these, 27/45 (60%) were recorded by HES inpatient (Box-1) with an additional 30 potential events also identified. HF and ACS were potentially recorded in all 3 datasets; trial data recorded 18, HES APC 29 and NICOR 24 events respectively. 12/18 (67%) of the HF/ACS events in the trial dataset were recorded by NICOR. Conclusion: Concordance between datasets was lower than anticipated and the HSD used could not straightforwardly replace current trial practices, nor directly identify protocol-defined CVS events. Further work is required to improve the quality of HSD and consider event definitions when designing clinical trials incorporating HSD.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • VinCaP: a phase II trial of vinflunine in locally advanced and metastatic squamous carcinoma of the penis

    Morgan, Bruno (2022)
    Background: We investigated the first-line activity of vinflunine in patients with penis cancer. Cisplatin-based combinations are commonly used, but survival is not prolonged; many patients are unfit for such treatment or experience toxicity that outweighs clinical benefit. Methods: Twenty-five patients with inoperable squamous carcinoma of the penis were recruited to a single-arm, Fleming-A'Hern exact phase II trial. Treatment comprised 4 cycles of vinflunine 320 mg/m2, given every 21 days. Primary endpoint was clinical benefit rate (CBR: objective responses plus stable disease) assessed after 4 cycles. Seven or more objective responses or disease stabilisations observed in 22 evaluable participants would exclude a CBR of <15%, with a true CBR of >40% being probable. Results: Twenty-two participants were evaluable. Ten objective responses or disease stabilisations were confirmed. CBR was 45.5%, meeting the primary endpoint; partial response rate was 27.3%. Seven patients received >4 cycles of vinflunine. Dose reduction or treatment delay was required for 20% of cycles. In all, 68% of patients experienced at least one grade 3 adverse event. Two deaths on treatment were not caused by disease progression. Conclusions: Pre-specified clinical activity threshold was exceeded. Toxicity was in keeping with experience in other tumours. Vinflunine merits further study in this disease. Trial registration: NCT02057913.
  • Prostate cancer: early detection and assessing clinical risk using deep machine learning of high dimensional peripheral blood flow cytometric phenotyping data

    Khan, Masood (2021)
    Detecting the presence of prostate cancer (PCa) and distinguishing low- or intermediate-risk disease from high-risk disease early, and without the need for potentially unnecessary invasive biopsies remains a significant clinical challenge. The aim of this study is to determine whether the T and B cell phenotypic features which we have previously identified as being able to distinguish between benign prostate disease and PCa in asymptomatic men having Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels < 20 ng/ml can also be used to detect the presence and clinical risk of PCa in a larger cohort of patients whose PSA levels ranged between 3 and 2617 ng/ml. The peripheral blood of 130 asymptomatic men having elevated Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels was immune profiled using multiparametric whole blood flow cytometry. Of these men, 42 were subsequently diagnosed as having benign prostate disease and 88 as having PCa on biopsy-based evidence. We built a bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory Deep Neural Network (biLSTM) model for detecting the presence of PCa in men which combined the previously-identified phenotypic features (CD8+CD45RA-CD27-CD28- (CD8+ Effector Memory cells), CD4+CD45RA-CD27-CD28- (CD4+ Effector Memory cells), CD4+CD45RA+CD27-CD28- (CD4+ Terminally Differentiated Effector Memory Cells re-expressing CD45RA), CD3-CD19+ (B cells), CD3+CD56+CD8+CD4+ (NKT cells) with Age. The performance of the PCa presence 'detection' model was: Acc: 86.79 ( ± 0.10), Sensitivity: 82.78% (± 0.15); Specificity: 95.83% (± 0.11) on the test set (test set that was not used during training and validation); AUC: 89.31% (± 0.07), ORP-FPR: 7.50% (± 0.20), ORP-TPR: 84.44% (± 0.14). A second biLSTM 'risk' model combined the immunophenotypic features with PSA to predict whether a patient with PCa has high-risk disease (defined by the D'Amico Risk Classification) achieved the following: Acc: 94.90% (± 6.29), Sensitivity: 92% (± 21.39); Specificity: 96.11 (± 0.00); AUC: 94.06% (± 10.69), ORP-FPR: 3.89% (± 0.00), ORP-TPR: 92% (± 21.39). The ORP-FPR for predicting the presence of PCa when combining FC+PSA was lower than that of PSA alone. This study demonstrates that AI approaches based on peripheral blood phenotyping profiles can distinguish between benign prostate disease and PCa and predict clinical risk in asymptomatic men having

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