Surgery (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications

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    Cribriform pattern disease over-represented in pelvic lymph node metastases identified on 68GA PSMA-PET/CT.
    Bolton, D ; Hong, A ; Papa, N ; Perera, M ; Kelly, B ; Duncan, C ; Clouston, D ; Lawrentschuk, N (Wiley, 2022-09)
    Objectives: To determine whether any specific histologic subtype of prostate cancer was preferentially represented in pelvic lymph node metastases identified on 68GA-PSMA-PET/CT. Subjects and Methods: A consecutive series of 66 men with biochemical recurrent prostate cancer was evaluated with 68GA-PSMA-PET/CT. Where disease was confined to pelvic lymph nodes, patients were offered salvage extended pelvic lymph node dissection. Twenty patients ultimately proceeded to extended bilateral template pelvic lymph node dissection. Lymph node positivity and the histologic subtype of apparent cancer were assessed, as was PSA response to this intervention. Results: Mean PSA at time of PSMA scanning for patients undergoing lymphadenectomy was 2.49 (n = 20, range 0.21-12.0). In 16 of 20 patients, there was evidence of metastatic cribriform pattern prostate cancer in excised nodes (100% cribriform pattern in 11/16). Only four of 20 patients had no evidence of this histologic subtype of disease. PSA response was not related to the presence or proportional amount of cribriform pattern disease identified. Conclusions: Cribriform pattern adenocarcinoma appears to be the histologic subtype preferentially identified in pelvic lymph nodes on 68GA-PSMA-PET/CT. The use of PSMA-PET may be particularly valuable in staging of primary or biochemically recurrent prostate cancer in patients with cribriform pattern disease detected on initial biopsy or radical prostatectomy. Further research is required to further confirm the observed association.
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    3D printed patient-specific prostate cancer models to guide nerve-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy: a systematic review
    Coles-Black, J ; Ong, S ; Teh, J ; Kearns, P ; Ischia, J ; Bolton, D ; Lawrentschuk, N (SPRINGERNATURE, 2022-03-29)
    Precise knowledge of each patient's index cancer and surrounding anatomy is required for nerve-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (NS-RARP). Complementary to this, 3D printing has proven its utility in improving the visualisation of complex anatomy. This is the first systematic review to critically assess the potential of 3D printed patient-specific prostate cancer models in improving visualisation and the practice of NS-RARP. A literature search of PubMed and OVID Medline databases was performed using the terms "3D Printing", "Robot Assisted Radical Prostatectomy" and related index terms as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Eight articles were included; six were identified via database searches, to which a further two articles were located via a snowballing approach. Eight papers were identified for review. There were five prospective single centre studies, one case series, one technical report and one letter to the editor. Of these articles, five publications (62.5%) reported on the utility of 3D printed models for NS-RARP planning. Two publications (25%) utilised 3D printed prostate models for simulation and training, and two publications (25%) used the models for patient engagement. Despite the nascency of the field, 3D printed models are emerging in the uro-oncological literature as a useful tool in visualising complex anatomy. This has proven useful in NS-RARP for preoperative planning, simulation and patient engagement. However, best practice guidelines, the future regulatory landscape, and health economic considerations need to be addressed before this synergy of new technologies is ready for the mainstream.
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    Review of the use of prophylactic drain tubes post-robotic radical prostatectomy: Dogma or decent practice?
    Nzenza, TC ; Ngweso, S ; Eapen, R ; Rajarubendra, N ; Bolton, D ; Murphy, D ; Lawrentschuk, N (Wiley, 2020-09)
    Objective: To assess the necessity of routine prophylactic drain tube use following robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP). Method: We performed a literature review using the Medline, Scopus, and Web of Science databases with no restriction of language from January 1900 to January 2020. The following terms we used in the literature search: prostatectomy, radical prostatectomy, robot assisted, drainage, and drain tube. Results: We identified six studies that examined the use of routine prophylactic drain tubes following RARP. One of these studies was a randomized study that included 189 patients, with 97 in the pelvic drain (PD) arm and 92 in the no pelvic drain (ND) arm. This non-inferiority showed an early (90-day) complication rate of 17.4% in the ND arm versus 26.8% in the PD arm (P < .001). Another non-inferiority randomized control trial (RCT) showed a complication rate of 28.9% in the PD group versus 20.4% in the ND group (P = .254). Similarly, the other studies found no benefit of routine use of prophylactic drain tube after RARP. Conclusion: Drain tubes play a role during robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy, however, following a review of the current available literature, they can be safely omitted and we suggest that clinicians may be selective in their use.
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    Detection and localisation of primary prostate cancer using (68)gallium prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography/computed tomography compared with multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging and radical prostatectomy specimen pathology
    Kalapara, AA ; Nzenza, T ; Pan, HYC ; Ballok, Z ; Ramdave, S ; O'Sullivan, R ; Ryan, A ; Cherk, M ; Hofman, MS ; Konety, BR ; Lawrentschuk, N ; Bolton, D ; Murphy, DG ; Grummet, JP ; Frydenberg, M (WILEY, 2020-07-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To compare the accuracy of 68 gallium prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography/computed tomography (68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT) with multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) in detecting and localising primary prostate cancer when compared with radical prostatectomy (RP) specimen pathology. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospective review of men who underwent 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT and mpMRI for primary prostate cancer before RP across four centres between 2015 and 2018. Patients undergoing imaging for recurrent disease or before non-surgical treatment were excluded. We defined pathological index tumour as the lesion with highest International Society of Urological Pathology Grade Group (GG) on RP specimen pathology. Our primary outcomes were rates of accurate detection and localisation of RP specimen pathology index tumour using 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT or mpMRI. We defined tumour detection as imaging lesion corresponding with RP specimen tumour on any imaging plane, and localisation as imaging lesion matching RP specimen index tumour in all sagittal, axial, and coronal planes. Secondary outcomes included localisation of clinically significant and transition zone (TZ) index tumours. We defined clinically significant disease as GG 3-5. We used descriptive statistics and the Mann-Whitney U-test to define and compare demographic and pathological characteristics between detected, missed and localised tumours using either imaging modality. We used the McNemar test to compare detection and localisation rates using 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT and mpMRI. RESULTS: In all, 205 men were included in our analysis, including 133 with clinically significant disease. There was no significant difference between 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT and mpMRI in the detection of any tumour (94% vs 95%, P > 0.9). There was also no significant difference between localisation of all index tumours (91% vs 89%, P = 0.47), clinically significant index tumours (96% vs 91%, P = 0.15) or TZ tumours (85% vs 80%, P > 0.9) using 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT and mpMRI. Limitations include retrospective study design and non-central review of imaging and pathology. CONCLUSION: We found no significant difference in the detection or localisation of primary prostate cancer between 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT and mpMRI. Further prospective studies are required to evaluate a combined PET/MRI model in minimising tumours missed by either modality.
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    Declining use of radical prostatectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy despite more robotics: National population data over 15 years
    Roberts, MJ ; Papa, N ; Perera, M ; Joshi, A ; Scott, S ; Bolton, D ; Lawrentschuk, N ; Yaxley, J (WILEY, 2020-04-01)
    AIM: To describe national surgical patterns of prostate cancer (PCa) care considering radical prostatectomy with or without pelvic lymphadenectomy and consideration of robotic-assisted techniques. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of publicly accessible Medicare claims data was performed for the period 2001-2016 and included patients undergoing radical prostatectomy with or without pelvic lymphadenectomy relative to total and PCa-specific populations among men aged 45-84 years. Proportion of cases performed robotically was considered. RESULTS: Total procedures performed increased from 2001, peaked in 2009 and subsequently decreased until 2016. Since 2009, the age-specific rate of surgery in men aged 75-84 increased by 2.3-fold, whereas the rates for men aged 55-64 and 45-54 reduced by 44% and 55%, respectively. Rates of concurrent pelvic lymphadenectomy fell until 2009 with subsequent stabilization (ratio 1.05-1.14) through to 2016. Significant regional practice patterns were observed, as was an increasing trend toward a robotic-assisted laparoscopic approach, comprising more than 80% of radical prostatectomies in 2016. CONCLUSION: Since the peak in 2009, radical prostatectomy is performed less in men <65 years and more in men ≥65 years. An increasing proportion of cases omit concurrent pelvic lymphadenectomy and are performed robotically.
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    Cancer in Lockdown: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients with Cancer
    Moraliyage, H ; De Silva, D ; Ranasinghe, W ; Adikari, A ; Alahakoon, D ; Prasad, R ; Lawrentschuk, N ; Bolton, D (WILEY, 2020-11-26)
    The lockdown measures of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have disengaged patients with cancer from formal health care settings, leading to an increased use of social media platforms to address unmet needs and expectations. Although remote health technologies have addressed some of the medical needs, the emotional and mental well-being of these patients remain underexplored and underreported. We used a validated artificial intelligence framework to conduct a comprehensive real-time analysis of two data sets of 2,469,822 tweets and 21,800 discussions by patients with cancer during this pandemic. Lung and breast cancer are most prominently discussed, and the most concerns were expressed regarding delayed diagnosis, cancellations, missed treatments, and weakened immunity. All patients expressed significant negative sentiment, with fear being the predominant emotion. Even as some lockdown measures ease, it is crucial that patients with cancer are engaged using social media platforms for real-time identification of issues and the provision of informational and emotional support.
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    Case series - Peritoneal and port-site metastasis following robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy
    O'Connor, E ; Timm, B ; Chislett, B ; Teh, J ; Lawrentschuk, N ; Murphy, DG ; Bolton, D (CANADIAN UROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, 2021-01-01)
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    Can online support groups address psychological morbidity of cancer patients? An artificial intelligence based investigation of prostate cancer trajectories
    Adikari, A ; de Silva, D ; Ranasinghe, WKB ; Bandaragoda, T ; Alahakoon, O ; Persad, R ; Lawrentschuk, N ; Alahakoon, D ; Bolton, D ; Kim, IY (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2020-03-04)
    Background Online Cancer Support Groups (OCSG) are becoming an increasingly vital source of information, experiences and empowerment for patients with cancer. Despite significant contributions to physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing of patients, OCSG are yet to be formally recognised and used in multidisciplinary cancer support programs. This study highlights the opportunity of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in OCSG to address psychological morbidity, with supporting empirical evidence from prostate cancer (PCa) patients. Methods A validated framework of AI techniques and Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods, was used to investigate PCa patient activities based on conversations in ten international OCSG (18,496 patients- 277,805 conversations). The specific focus was on activities that indicate psychological morbidity; the reasons for joining OCSG, deep emotions and the variation from joining through to milestones in the cancer trajectory. Comparative analyses were conducted using t-tests, One-way ANOVA and Tukey-Kramer post-hoc analysis. Findings PCa patients joined OCSG at four key phases of psychological distress; diagnosis, treatment, side-effects, and recurrence, the majority group was ‘treatment’ (61.72%). The four groups varied in expression of the intense emotional burden of cancer. The ‘side-effects’ group expressed increased negative emotions during the first month compared to other groups (p<0.01). A comparison of pre-treatment vs post-treatment emotions showed that joining pre-treatment had significantly lower negative emotions after 12-months compared to post-treatment (p<0.05). Long-term deep emotion analysis reveals that all groups except ‘recurrence’ improved in emotional wellbeing. Conclusion This is the first empirical study of psychological morbidity and deep emotions expressed by men with a new diagnosis of cancer, using AI. PCa patients joining pre-treatment had improved emotions, and long-term participation in OCSG led to an increase in emotional wellbeing, indicating a decrease in psychological distress. It is opportune to further investigate AI in OCSG for early psychological intervention as an adjunct to conventional intervention programs.
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    Patterns of primary staging for newly diagnosed prostate cancer in the era of prostate specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography: A population-based analysis
    Papa, N ; Perera, M ; Murphy, DG ; Lawrentschuk, N ; Evans, M ; Millar, JL ; Bolton, D (WILEY, 2021-03-05)
    INTRODUCTION: There has been a growing body of evidence highlighting the improved sensitivity and specificity for prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography (PET) in advanced prostate cancer imaging. We aimed to assess prostate cancer staging practice patterns in Australia using population-based data. SUBJECT AND METHODS: We extracted data on men diagnosed with prostate cancer between October 2016 and December 2018 from the Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry-Victoria (PCOR-Vic). We evaluated trends and comparisons between patients receiving PET/CT (with or without conventional imaging (CImg)), and CImg alone, and analysed imaging modality as predictor of clinical regional node positive disease (cN1 vs cN0/X), metastatic disease (cM1 vs cM0/X), and treatment received. RESULTS: In total, 6139 patients in the registry had either a staging PET scan (n = 889, 14%), CImg without PET scan (n = 2464, 40%), or no recorded PET or CImg (n = 2786, 45%). The proportion of allimaged patients who received staging PET increased from 19% to 36% from the first to last three-month period, and in the high-risk category the increase was 23-43%. After adjustment for grade group, PET vs CImg-only patients were observed to have a higher proportion of cN1 disease (OR = 2.46, 95% CI: 1.90-3.20) but not cM1 disease (OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.84-1.44). CONCLUSIONS: Our registry data highlights the rapid uptake of PET imaging, particularly in high-risk disease. Based on this data, we highlight the increased diagnosis of nodal disease, thus potentially optimizing patient selection prior to definitive treatment for prostate cancer.