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1.  Standardized follow-up program may reduce emergency room and urgent care visits for patients undergoing radical prostatectomy 
The objective of the current study was to determine the impact of a standardized follow-up program on the morbidity and rates of hospital visits following radical prostatectomy (RP) in a tertiary, non-teaching urologic centre.
Patients who underwent a RP in 2008 were retrospectively evaluated in this study. Postoperative morbidity for the entire cohort was assessed using the Modified Clavien Scale (MCS). Those patients readmitted to hospital or who visited an urban or rural emergency department (ED) within 90 days of surgery were further evaluated to determine the reason for readmission.
At our centre, 321 patients underwent RP in 2008 by 11 surgeons. Of the 321 patients, 77 (24.0%) visited an ED within 90 days, and 14 were readmitted to hospital, with an additional patient readmitted directly (with a total 15 readmissions, 4.7% overall). No patients died within the study period. In 2009 we launched a pilot study wherein 115 RP patients received scheduled and on-demand follow-up care by a dedicated nurse between May and November. We found that 90-day readmission rates among this cohort dropped to 5% and 2.6% for ED visits and hospital readmission, respectively.
At our tertiary non-teaching centre, a significant number of patients presented back to hospital within 90 days following RP. Most of these patients (80.8%) were managed entirely through an outpatient ED, and many visits were for routine postoperative care. Only 18.2% (4.7% of the 321 prostatectomy patients) were readmitted to hospital. These data point to a need for enhanced postoperative support of patients to reduce costly and often unnecessary visits to acute care EDs. This conclusion is supported by our early experience. Limitations include retrospective design, and variability in practice of surgeons in this study.
PMCID: PMC4113585  PMID: 25132899
2.  Development of a Nomogram Model Predicting Current Bone Scan Positivity in Patients Treated with Androgen-Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer 
Frontiers in Oncology  2014;4:296.
Purpose: To develop a nomogram predictive of current bone scan positivity in patients receiving androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for advanced prostate cancer; to augment clinical judgment and highlight patients in need of additional imaging investigations.
Materials and methods: A retrospective chart review of bone scan records (conventional 99mTc-scintigraphy) of 1,293 patients who received ADT at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 2000 to 2011. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify variables suitable for inclusion in the nomogram. The probability of current bone scan positivity was determined using these variables and the predictive accuracy of the nomogram was quantified by concordance index.
Results: In total, 2,681 bone scan records were analyzed and 636 patients had a positive result. Overall, the median pre-scan prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was 2.4 ng/ml; median PSA doubling time (PSADT) was 5.8 months. At the time of a positive scan, median PSA level was 8.2 ng/ml; 53% of patients had PSA <10 ng/ml; median PSADT was 4.0 months. Five variables were included in the nomogram: number of previous negative bone scans after initiating ADT, PSA level, Gleason grade sum, and history of radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy. A concordance index value of 0.721 was calculated for the nomogram. This was a retrospective study based on limited data in patients treated in a large cancer center who underwent conventional 99mTc bone scans, which themselves have inherent limitations.
Conclusion: This is the first nomogram to predict current bone scan positivity in ADT-treated prostate cancer patients, providing high predictive accuracy.
PMCID: PMC4209823  PMID: 25386410
non-steroidal anti-androgens; radionuclide imaging; nomogram; prostatic neoplasms; androgen-deprivation therapy; bone scan positivity
3.  Prognostic Impact of Muscular Venous Branch Invasion in Localized Renal Cell Carcinoma 
The Journal of urology  2010;185(1):37-42.
Beginning with the 2002 AJCC staging system, renal sinus muscular venous branch invasion has prognostic equivalence with renal vein invasion (RVI) in renal cell carcinoma. To validate this presumed equivalence, we compared patients with isolated MVBI to those with RVI and to those without any confirmed vascular invasion.
From routine cataloging at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, we identified 500 patients who underwent partial or radical nephrectomy from 2003 to 2008. After excluding patients with metastasis or non-cortical RCC pathology, 85 patients with MVBI (+) were identified. Patients with pT1-2 MVBI (−) (n = 259) or RVI (+) (n = 71) disease served as comparison groups. A multivariable Cox model was used to control for tumor characteristics, using the Kattan RCC nomogram.
In multivariable analysis, the risk of recurrence in the pT1-2 MVBI (−) group was lower than in the MVBI (+) group (HR 0.06, 95% CI 0.02–0.18; p <0.001). Patients with RVI (+) had similar recurrence rates to those with MVBI (+) (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.39–1.65; p = 0.6). Overall survival rates were higher in the MVBI (−) group than in the other groups.
Patients with MVBI have inferior outcomes compared to those with pT1-2 disease. This confirms the adverse prognosis of MVBI and supports pathologic upstaging. The prognosis of MVBI is similar to that of RVI, although we can’t exclude the possibility of a difference. Our findings underscore the importance of close patient follow-up and careful pathologic assessment of the nephrectomy specimen.
PMCID: PMC3437930  PMID: 21074196
renal cell carcinoma; muscular venous branch invasion; vascular; prognosis; TNM stage
4.  Peer-reviewed publications by CUA members: then and now 
The objective of this study was to assess the characteristics of publications by members of the Canadian Urological Association (CUA) over a 10-year period.
All publications by active CUA members during the periods January 1993-December 1994 and January 2003-December 2004 were reviewed.
Of the 487 active members in 1993–1994, 130 (26.7%) were authors a total of 649 times in 641 publications. External funding was acknowledged in 195 (30.4%). There were 131 observational studies (20.4%), 127 review articles (19.8%), 58 case reports (9.0%), 37 case series (5.8%), and 21 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (3.3%). Of the 454 active member in 2003–2004, 139 (30.6%) were authors a total of 748 times in 705 publications. External funding was acknowledged in 237 (33.6%). There were 153 observational studies (21.7%), 124 review articles (17.6%), 52 case reports (7.4%), 49 case series (7.0%), and 46 RCTs (6.5%). There were significantly more RCTs and clinical trials in 2003–2004. The most common journal was The Journal of Urology in both eras. There were significantly more publications in The Canadian Journal of Urology, the British Journal of Urology International and the Journal of Endourology in 2003–2004. There were significantly more publications acknowledging industry funding and more publications citing more than 1 CUA member in 2003–2004. Publication intensity increased significantly from 0.67 to 0.82 publications per member, per year for the CUA as a whole.
Scholarly activity has remained robust over the last decade with over 30% of active CUA members contributing to peer-reviewed literature. Higher levels of evidence are now observed with a greater number of RCTs. CUA members should be proud of their academic productivity.
PMCID: PMC2997827  PMID: 21191495
5.  Surgery for retroperitoneal relapse in the setting of a prior retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for germ cell tumor 
Recognition of the therapeutic role of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) in the setting of testicular germ cell tumors (GCTs) is of utmost importance. Although the histologic findings of RPLND provide diagnostic and prognostic information, the adequacy of initial RPLND is an independent predictor of clinical outcome. Despite the advent of effective cisplatin-based chemotherapy for testicular GCTs, patients who have undergone suboptimal surgery at the time of initial RPLND are compromised. Despite the initial enthusiasm surrounding anatomic mapping studies, the use of modified RPLND templates has the potential to leave a significant number of patients with unresected retroperitoneal disease. Teratomatous elements are particularly common. Patients with retroperitoneal relapse following initial RPLND should be treated with reoperative RPLND and chemotherapy and can expect long term survival rates nearing 70% when treated in tertiary centers by experienced surgeons.
PMCID: PMC2878419  PMID: 20535295
Recurrence; relapse; reoperative; retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; testicular cancer

Results 1-5 (5)