186 research outputs found

    identification of peri prostatic neurovascular fibers before and after radical prostatectomy by means of diffusion tensor imaging dti with clinical correlations initial experience

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    Aim: To evaluate if Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is able to detect morphological changes of peri-prostatic neurovascular fibers (PNF) before and after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) and if these changes are related to urinary incontinence (UI) and erectile dysfunction (ED). Materials and methods: From October 2014 and August 2017 26 patients with biopsy-proven prostate cancer underwent prostatic multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mp-MRI) including DTI sequencing before and six months after, RARP. Images were analyzed by placing six regions of interest (ROI) respectively at the base, mid-gland and apex, one for each side, to obtain tractography reconstruction of the PNF. Patients were asked to complete an International Consultation Incontinence Questionnaire – Short Form (ICIQ-SF) and International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaires before RARP and 6 months postoperatively. Fractional anisotropy (FA), number (N) and length (L) of PNF before and after RARP were compared by means of Student's t-test; Spearman test was used to evaluate the correlation between DTI parameters and questionnaires scores. We observed a significant difference in N values before and after RARP (p<0.001) and a negative correlation between IIEF-5 score and post-operative FA values at both the right (rho=-0.42; p= 0.0456) and left (rho=- 0.66; p=0.0006) base of the prostate. DTI with tractography of PNF is able to detect quantitative changes in N, L and FA values in PNF after RARP. In particular we observed an inverse correlation between FA of PNF and ED at 6 months after RARP. Further investigations are needed to confirm this trend

    Flammability reduction in a pressurised water electrolyser based on a thin polymer electrolyte membrane through a Pt-alloy catalytic approach

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    Various Pt-based materials (unsupported Pt, PtRu, PtCo) were investigated as catalysts for recombining hydrogen and oxygen back into water. The recombination performance correlated well with the surface Pt metallic state. Alloying cobalt to platinum was observed to produce an electron transfer favouring the occurrence of a large fraction of the Pt metallic state on the catalyst surface. Unsupported PtCo showed both excellent recombination performance and dynamic behaviour. In a packed bed catalytic reactor, when hydrogen was fed at 4% vol. in the oxygen stream (flammability limit), 99.5% of the total H 2 content was immediately converted to water in the presence of PtCo thus avoiding safety issues. The PtCo catalyst was thus integrated in the anode of the membrane-electrode assembly of a polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis cell. This catalyst showed good capability to reduce the concentration of hydrogen in the oxygen stream under differential pressure operation (1-20 bar), in the presence of a thin (90 µm) Aquivion® membrane. The modified system showed lower hydrogen concentration in the oxygen flow than electrolysis cells based on state-of-the-art thick polymer electrolyte membranes and allowed to expand the minimum current density load down to 0.15 A cm -2 . The electrolysis cell equipped with a dual layer PtCo/IrRuOx oxidation catalyst achieved a high operating current density (3 A cm -2 ) as requested to decrease the system capital costs, under high efficiency conditions (about 77% efficiency at 55°C and 20 bar). Moreover, the electrolysis system showed reduced probability to reach the flammability limit under both high differential pressure (20 bar) and partial load operation (5%), as needed to properly address grid-balancing service

    The proliferation marker Ki67, but not neuroendocrine expression, is an independent factor in the prediction of prognosis of primary prostate cancer patients

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    Background. Neuroendocrine markers, which could indicate for aggressive variants of prostate cancer and Ki67 (a well-known marker in oncology for defining tumor proliferation), have already been associated with clinical outcome in prostate cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of those markers in primary prostate cancer patients. Patients and methods. NSE (neuron specific enolase), ChrA (chromogranin A), Syp (Synaptophysin) and Ki67 stain- ing were performed by immunohistochemistry. Then, the prognostic impact of their expression on overall survival was investigated in 166 primary prostate cancer patients by univariate and multivariate analyses. Results. NSE, ChrA, Syp and Ki67 were positive in 50, 45, 54 and 146 out of 166 patients, respectively. In Kaplan-Meier analysis only diffuse NSE staining (negative vs associated with overall survival. Ki67 expression, but not NSE, resulted as an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in multivariate analysis. Conclusions. A prognostic model incorporating Ki67 expression with clinical-pathological covariates could provide additional prognostic information. Ki67 may thus improve prediction of prostate cancer outcome based on standard clinical-pathological parameters improving prognosis and management of prostate cancer patients

    Management of Biochemical Recurrence after Primary Curative Treatment for Prostate Cancer: A Review

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    How to manage patients with prostate cancer (PCa) with biochemical recurrence (BCR) following primary curative treatment is a controversial issue. Importantly, this prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-only recurrence is a surrogate neither of PCa-specific survival nor of overall survival. Physicians are therefore challenged with preventing or delaying the onset of clinical progression in those deemed at risk, while avoiding over-treating patients whose disease may never progress beyond PSA-only recurrence. Adjuvant therapy for radical prostatectomy (RP) or local radiotherapy (RT) has a role in certain at-risk patients, although it is not recommended in low-risk PCa owing to the significant side-effects associated with RT and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). The recommendations for salvage therapy differ depending on whether BCR occurs after RP or primary RT, and in either case, definitive evidence regarding the best strategy is lacking. Options for treatment of BCR after RP are RT at least to the prostatic bed, complete or intermittent ADT, or observation; for BCR after RT, salvage RP, cryotherapy, complete or intermittent ADT, brachytherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), or observation can be considered. Many patient- and cancer-specific factors need to be taken into account when deciding on the best strategy, and optimal management depends on the involvement of a multidisciplinary team, consultation with the patient themselves, and the adoption of an individualised approach. Improvements in imaging techniques may enable earlier detection of metastases, which will hopefully refine future management decisions

    Measuring thermal spread during bipolar cauterizing using an experimental pneumoperitoneum and thermal sensors

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    ObjectiveDuring nerve-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) bipolar electrocoagulation is often used but its use is controversial for the possible thermal damage of neurovascular bundles. Aim of the study was to evaluate the spatial-temporal thermal distribution in the tissue and the correlation with the electrosurgery-induced tissue damage in a controlled, CO2-rich environment modelling the laparoscopy conditions..MethodsWe manufactured a sealed plexiglass chamber (SPC) equipped with sensors to reproduce experimentally the environmental conditions of pneumoperitoneum during RARP. We evaluated in 64 pig musculofascial tissues (PMTs) of approximately 3 cm3 × 3 cm3 × 2 cm3 the spatial-temporal thermal distribution in the tissue and the correlation with the electrosurgery-induced tissue damage in a controlled CO2-rich environment modeling the laparoscopy conditions. Critical heat spread of bipolar cauterizing during surgical procedure was assessed by the employment of a compact thermal camera (C2) with a small core sensor (60 × 80 microbolometer array in the range 7–14 μm).ResultsBipolar instruments used at 30 W showed a thermal spread area of 18 mm2 when applied for 2 s and 28 mm2 when applied for 4 s. At 60 W, bipolar instruments showed a mean thermal spread and 19 mm2 when applied for 2 s; and 21 mm2 when applied for 4 s. Finally, histopathological analysis showed that thermal damage is distributed predominantly on the surface rather than in depth.ConclusionsThe application of these results is very interesting for the definition of an accurate use of bipolar cautery during nerve-sparing RARP. It demonstrates the feasibility of using miniaturized thermal sensors, thus addressing the potential for next developments regarding the design of thermal endoscopic devices for robotic use

    Prostate volume index and prostatic chronic inflammation have an effect on tumor load at baseline random biopsies in patients with normal DRE and PSA values less than 10\u2009ng/ml: results of 564 consecutive cases

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    Background: To assess the association of prostate volume index (PVI), defined as the ratio of the central transition zone volume (CTZV) to the peripheral zone volume (PZV), and prostatic chronic inflammation (PCI) as predictors of prostate cancer (PCA) load in patients presenting with normal digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) &lt;= 10 ng/ml at baseline random biopsies. Methods: Parameters evaluated included age, PSA, total prostate volume (TPV), PSA density (PSAD), PVI and PCI. All patients underwent 14 core transperineal randomized biopsies. We considered small and high PCA load patients with no more than three (limited tumor load) and greater than three (extensive tumor load) positive biopsy cores, respectively. The association of factors with the risk of PCA was evaluated by logistic regression analysis, utilizing different multivariate models. Results: 564 Caucasian patients were included. PCA and PCI were detected in 242 (42.9%) and 129 (22.9%) cases, respectively. On multivariate analysis, PVI and PCI were independent predictors of the risk of detecting limited or extensive tumor load. The risk of detecting extensive tumor load at baseline biopsies was increased by PSAD above the median and third quartile as well as PVI &lt;= 1 [odds ratio (OR)=1.971] but decreased by PCI (OR=0.185; 95% CI: 0.088-0.388). Conclusions: Higher PVI and the presence of PCI predicted decreased PCA risk in patients presenting with normal DRE, and a PSA &lt;= 10 ng/ml at baseline random biopsy. In this subset of patients, a PVI &lt;= or &gt;1 is able to differentiate patients with PCA or PCI

    High surgeon volume and positive surgical margins can predict the risk of biochemical recurrence after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy

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    Background: The aim of this study was to determine whether any clinical factors are independent predictors of positive surgical margins (PSM), and to assess the association of PSM and biochemical recurrence (BR) after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP). Methods: The population included cases with negative surgical margins (control group) and patients with PSM (study group). Tumor grade was evaluated according to the International Society of Urologic Pathology (ISUP) system. A logistic regression model assessed the independent association of factors with the risk of PSM. The risk of BR was assessed by Cox\u2019s multivariate proportional hazards. Results: A total of 732 consecutive patients were evaluated. Extend pelvic lymph node dissection (ePLND) was performed in 342 cases (46.7%). Overall, 192 cases (26.3%) had PSM. The risk of PSM was positively associated with the percentage of biopsy positive cores (BPC; odds ratio, OR = 1.012; p = 0.004), extracapsular extension (pT3a; OR=2.702; p &lt; 0.0001), invasion of seminal vesicle (pT3b; OR = 2.889; p &lt; 0.0001), but inversely with body mass index (OR = 0.936; p = 0.021), and high surgeon volume (OR = 0.607; p = 0.006). Independent clinical factors associated with the risk of BR were baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA; hazard ratio, HR = 1.064; p = 0.004), BPC (HR = 1.015; p = 0.027), ISUP biopsy grade group (BGG) 2/3 (HR = 2.966; p = 0.003), and BGG 4/5 (HR = 3.122; p = 0.022). Pathologic factors associated with the risk of BR were ISUP group 4/5 (HR = 3.257; p = 0.001), pT3b (HR = 2.900; p = 0.003), and PSM (HR = 2.096; p = 0.045). Conclusions: In our cohort, features related to host, tumor, and surgeon volume are associated with the risk of PSM, which is also an independent parameter predicting BR after RARP. The surgical volume of the operating surgeon is an independent factor that decreases the risk of PSM, and, as such, the risk of BR

    The Cardiovascular Toxicity of Abiraterone and Enzalutamide in Prostate Cancer

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    We analyzed the cardiovascular toxicities related to the use of abiraterone and enzalutamide in prostate cancer. We found that these agents are associated with an increased risk of all- and high-grade cardiac toxicity as well as an increased risk of all- and high-grade hypertension. Follow-up for the onset of treatment-related cardiovascular events should be considered in these patients treated with abiraterone and enzalutamide.Introduction: The cardiovascular toxicity related to abiraterone and enzalutamide has been previously studied by our group. In this analysis, we aim to update our previous findings related to abiraterone and enzalutamide, including the new available evidence, both in castration-resistant and hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Patients and Methods: Prospective studies were identified by searching the MEDLINE/PubMed, Cochrane Library, and ASCO Meeting abstracts. Combined relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (Cis) were calculated using fixed- or random-effects methods. Results: We included 7 articles in this meta-analysis, covering a total of 8660 patients who were used to evaluate cardiovascular toxicity. The use of new hormonal agents was associated with an increased risk of all-grade (RR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.13-1.64; P = .001) and high-grade (RR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.21-2.80; P = .004) cardiac toxicity. The use of new hormonal agents was also associated with an increased risk of all-grade (RR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.62-2.43; P = .001) and high-grade (RR, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.84-2.77; P = .004) hypertension compared with the controls. Abiraterone was found to significantly increase the risk of both cardiac toxicity and hypertension, whereas enzalutamide significantly increases only the risk of hypertension. No differences were found based on the dose of prednisone used with abiraterone. The major limitation of this study is that data are available only as aggregate, and no single-patient information could be analyzed. Conclusions: Abiraterone and enzalutamide significantly increase the incidence and RR of cardiovascular toxicity in patients affected by metastatic prostate cancer. Follow-up for the onset of treatment-related cardiovascular events should therefore be considered in these patients. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

    Technical and Functional Validation of a Teleoperated Multirobots Platform for Minimally Invasive Surgery

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    Nowadays Robotic assisted Minimally Invasive Surgeries (R-MIS) are the elective procedures for treating highly accurate and scarcely invasive pathologies, thanks to their abil- ity to empower surgeons\u2019 dexterity and skills. The research on new Multi-Robots Surgery (MRS) platform is cardinal to the development of a new SARAS surgical robotic platform, which aims at carrying out autonomously the assistants tasks during R- MIS procedures. In this work, we will present the SARAS MRS platform validation protocol, framed in order to assess: (i) its technical performances in purely dexterity exercises, and (ii) its functional performances. The results obtained show a prototype able to put the users in the condition of accomplishing the tasks requested (both dexterity- and surgical-related), even with rea- sonably lower performances respect to the industrial standard. The main aspects on which further improvements are needed result to be the stability of the end effectors, the depth per- ception and the vision systems, to be enriched with dedicated virtual fixtures. The SARAS\u2019 aim is to reduce the main surgeon\u2019s workload through the automation of assistive tasks which would benefit both surgeons and patients by facilitating the surgery and reducing the operation time
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