Medicine (St Vincent's) - Theses

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    A health and economic impact analysis of robotic surgery for the treatment of localised prostate cancer in the Victorian public health system
    Basto, Marnique ( 2017)
    Background: The rising prevalence of prostate cancer in Australia will increasingly contribute significant morbidity, mortality and economic burden on society. Radical prostatectomy is the mainstay of treatment for localised prostate cancer, and robotic prostatectomy the dominant surgical approach to management in the United States and Europe. Large systematic reviews have demonstrated some perioperative and functional benefits of robotic over open and laparoscopic approaches, however no differences in oncological outcomes have been demonstrated to date. The cost of the robot is undoubtedly greater than open and laparoscopic approaches however studies have shown a significant cost offset due to reduced length of stay and other improved clinical outcomes. We aim to perform a comprehensive health and economic impact analysis of robotic surgery for the treatment of localised prostate cancer in the Victorian public health system since the introduction of the da Vinci surgical robot to Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) in July 2010. Methods: To compare patterns of care and perioperative outcomes of robotic prostatectomy to other approaches, we utilised a large dataset from the Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED) including all prostatectomy patients performed in the Victorian public sector since the installation of the da Vinci robot. Additionally the RARP series of perioperative, complication, oncological, functional and quality of life (QOL) outcomes at Peter Mac was compared to local, national and international literature. We then created an economic model to evaluate the incremental cost of robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) versus open radical prostatectomy (ORP) and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), incorporating the cost-offset from differences in length of stay and blood transfusion rate. The economic model constructs estimates of the diagnosis-related group (DRG) costs of ORP and LRP, adds the gross cost of the surgical robot (capital, consumables, maintenance and repairs), and manipulates these DRG costs to obtain a DRG cost per day, which can be used to estimate the cost-offset associated with RARP in comparison with ORP and LRP. Economic modelling was performed around a base-case scenario assuming a 7-year robot lifespan and 124 RARPs performed per financial year. One and two-way sensitivity analyses were performed for the four-arm da Vinci S HD, Si and Si dual console surgical systems. Results: The robotic surgical approach has become the dominant technique to radical prostatectomy for localised prostate cancer in the Victorian health system over ORP and LRP. The introduction of a surgical robot to the Victorian public system has resulted in centralisation of prostatectomy to Peter Mac with huge institutional growth since its instillation. Length of hospital stay and blood transfusion rates are significantly improved with the robotic approach. Positive surgical margin rates with RARP are improved compared to prior Victorian data consisting of primarily an ORP cohort. Complication and oncological outcomes of RARP are comparable between surgical approaches and to large international RARP series. Definitive comparison of RARP functional and QOL outcomes between approaches was difficult without a comparative cohort however compared favourably with previous literature. Improvements in length of stay and blood transfusion rates offset most of the additional cost of the robot in the base case scenario where 124 robotic cases are performed per year. RARP can become cost-equivalent with ORP where ~140 cases are performed in the base-case scenario. Increasing the surgical volume, lifespan of the robot and reducing the cost of the consumables can ameliorate cost. Conclusions: The da Vinci surgical robot has been safely introduced into the Victorian public health system at Peter Mac. The addition of the robot has significantly altered the way we treat patients with localised prostate cancer in Victoria. The robotic approach confers some clinical advantages compared to laparoscopic and open prostatectomy consistent with international literature, and the reduction in length of stay offsets much of the increased cost of the robotic procedure.
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    Selection and management of men for active surveillance in low risk prostate cancer
    Wong, Lih-Ming ( 2016)
    Aims: To investigate: 1. Selection of men for active surveillance of prostate cancer a. Validation of risk calculators b. Suitability for inclusion of Gleason 3+4 disease. 2. Performance of prostate biopsy during AS a. Differences in quality of diagnostic biopsy between academic and referral centres. b. Optimization of biopsy templates c. Examination of prognostic indicators for disease progression Methods: Data were obtained from several difference sources: • Men suitable for AS on prostate biopsy but undergoing upfront radical prostatectomy were pooled from 3 international academic institutions in Cambridge (UK), Toronto (Canada) and Melbourne (Australia). • Prospectively maintained AS prostate cancer database at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC) (1997-2012). Analyses performed: • Four risk calculators were assessed for their ability to predict different definitions of insignificant prostate cancer by area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristic curves and Brier scores for discrimination, calibration curves and decision curve analysis. • Men with biopsy Gleason 3+4 disease, suitable according to modified Royal Marsden, Sunnybrook Toronto and PRIAS selection criteria, were assessed for presence of adverse pathology at upfront radical prostatectomy. • Patients on AS at a tertiary referral centre (PMCC) were dichotomized depending on where their diagnostic biopsy was performed (interval versus external). Multivariate logistic regression was performed to examine for predictors of re-classification at the second, or confirmatory, biopsy. • Mapping of all patients with pathological progression at PMCC for location of disease progression enabled comparison of hypothetical biopsy templates (sextant and standard extended) to the institutional template used. • Men on AS at PMCC were evaluated for presence of disease progression at serial biopsy in the prostate transition zone (TZ). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression evaluated predictors of TZ progression. • At PMCC, men were dichotomized based on presence of cancer at their confirmatory biopsy. Pathological progression was investigated using a Cox proportional hazards regression model. Results: • All 4 models predicting presence of insignificant prostate cancer had weak discrimination at best (AUC 0.618-0.664). • Presence of Gleason 3+4 at biopsy, compared to 3+3 disease, increases risk of adverse pathology at radical prostatectomy if modified Sunnybrook Toronto criteria are used (19% versus 33%, p≤0.001). Using a stricter protocol such as PRIAS, there was no statistical difference between the groups. • External biopsy predicted both grade related re-classification (OR 4.14, C.I. 2.01-8.54, p<0.001) and volume related re-classification (OR 3.43, C.I. 1.87-6.25, p<0.001). • Sextant and standard extended biopsy templates were inferior to the institutional biopsy template in detecting presence of cancer (84% and 99% versus 100%), and pathological progression (47.9% and 81.9% versus 100%). • At each subsequent biopsy during AS, 2.7-6.7% of men had disease progression only in the TZ which would not have been detected if TZ biopsy was not performed. Predictors of TZ progression were maximum % single core (HR 1.99, C.I. 1.30-3.04, p=0.002), and MRI reporting cancer (HR 3.19, C.I. 1.23-8.27, p=0.02). • Men with no cancer at confirmatory biopsy were less likely to have pathological progression (HR 0.47, CI 0.29-0.77, p=0.003). Sub-analysis showed this was predictive of volume-related progression (HR=0.36, CI 0.20-0.62, p=0.0006) and not grade-related progression. Conclusions: • Utilization of models predicting suitability for AS should be used with caution as external validation in our cohort was weak. • If considering biopsy Gleason 3+4 disease for AS, a stricter protocol such as PRIAS must be utilized. • At PMCC, patients who had their initial diagnostic prostate biopsy for AS done externally, were more likely to have worse pathological features and re-classify on the second biopsy. • For men on AS, sextant and standard extended biopsy are less likely to detect prostate cancer or disease progression than the template used at PMCC. • TZ biopsy should be considered for all men having serial biopsy on AS, in particular those with high % core involvement or positive MRI findings. • Absence of cancer on B2 is associated with a significantly decreased risk of volume-related but not grade-related progression.