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1.  Interdisciplinary decision making in prostate cancer therapy – 5-years’ time trends at the Interdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Center (IPC) of the Charité Berlin 
Patients with prostate cancer face the difficult decision between a wide range of therapeutic options. These men require elaborate information about their individual risk profile and the therapeutic strategies´ risks and benefits to choose the best possible option. In order to detect time trends and quality improvements between an early patient population (2003/2004) and a later reference group (2007/2008) data was analysed with regards to epidemiologic parameters, differences in diagnostics and the type and ranking of the recommended therapies taking into account changes to Gleason Grading System and implementation of new therapeutic strategies, particularly Active surveillance, in 2005.
Data from all 496 consecutive patients who received consultation in 2003/2004 (n = 280) and 2007/2008 (n = 216) was retrospectively evaluated. Categorical variables were compared using the Chi-square test. Dependent variables were analysed using the unpaired Students´ t-test and the Mann–Whitney U-test.
The cohorts were comparable concerning clinical stage, initial PSA, prostate volume, comorbidities and organ confined disease. Patients in Cohort I were younger (66.44 vs. 69.31y; p < .001) and had a longer life expectancy (17.22 vs. 14.75y; p < .001). 50.9%, 28.2% and 20.9% in Cohort I and 37.2%, 39.6% and 23.2% in Cohort II showed low-, intermediate- and high-risk disease (D´Amico) with a trend towards an increased risk profile in Cohort II (p = .066). The risk-adapted therapy recommended as first option was radical prostatectomy for 91.5% in Cohort I and 69.7% in Cohort II, radiation therapy for 83.7% in Cohort I and 50.7% in Cohort II, and other therapies (brachytherapy, Active surveillance, Watchful waiting, high-intensity focused ultrasound) for 6.5% in Cohort I and 6.9% in Cohort II (p < .001). Radiation therapy was predominant in both cohorts as second treatment option (p < .001). Time trends showing quality improvement involved an increase in biopsy cores (9.95 ± 2.38 vs. 8.43 ± 2.29; p < .001) and an increased recommendation for bilateral nerve sparing (p < .001).
In the earlier years, younger patients with a more favourable risk profile presented for interdisciplinary consultation. A unilateral recommendation for radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy was predominant. In the later years, the patient population was considerably older. However, this group may have benefitted from optimised diagnostic possibilities and a wider range of treatment options.
PMCID: PMC3751298  PMID: 23915212
Prostate cancer; Interdisciplinary consultation; Medical decision making; Time trends
2.  Laparoscopic and open postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection in patients with advanced testicular cancer – a single center analysis 
BMC Urology  2012;12:15.
The open approach represents the gold standard for postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (O-PCLND) in patients with residual testicular cancer. We analyzed laparoscopic postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (L-PCLND) and O-PCLND at our institution.
Patients underwent either L-PCLND (n = 43) or O-PCLND (n = 24). Categorical and continuous variables were compared using the Fisher exact test and Mann–Whitney U test respectively. Overall survival was evaluated with the log-rank test.
Primary histology was embryonal cell carcinomas (18 patients), pure seminoma (2 cases) and mixed NSGCTs (47 patients). According to the IGCCCG patients were categorized into “good”, “intermediate” and “poor prognosis” disease in 55.2%, 14.9% and 20.8%, respectively. Median operative time for L-PCLND was 212 min and 232 min for O-PCLND (p = 0.256). Median postoperative duration of drainage and hospital stay was shorter after L-PCLND (0.0 vs. 3.5 days; p < 0.001 and 6.0 vs. 11.5 days; p = 0.002). Intraoperative complications occurred in 21.7% (L-PCLND) and 38.0% (O-PCLND) of cases with 19.5% and 28.5% of Clavien Grade III complications for L-PCLND and O-PCLND, respectively (p = 0.224). Significant blood loss (>500 ml) was almost equally distributed (8.6% vs. 14.2%: p = 0.076). No significant differences were observed for injuries of major vessels and postoperative complications (p = 0.758; p = 0.370). Tumor recurrence occurred in 8.6% following L-PCLND and in 14.2% following O-PCLND with a mean disease-free survival of 76.6 and 89.2 months, respectively. Overall survival was 83.3 and 95.0 months for L-PCNLD and O-PCLND, respectively (p = 0.447).
L-PCLND represents a safe surgical option for well selected patients at an experienced center.
PMCID: PMC3431976  PMID: 22651395
Advanced testicular cancer; Postchemotherapy; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Laparoscopy; Metastasis
3.  Intrinsic resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors is associated with poor clinical outcome in metastatic renal cell carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:295.
Data on sequential therapy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) and intrinsic resistance to receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (rTKI) treatment remains vague.
We retrospectively studied treatment characteristics and outcome of mRCC patients refractory to first rTKI therapy.
Thirty-five mRCC patients (male, 18; female, 11) with primary resistance to first rTKI therapy (sunitinib, n = 28; sorafenib, n = 7) and a median treatment interval of 2.4 months (1 - 4.6) were identified. In 22 patients, progressive disease (PD) was determined by a new metastatic lesion. Of these, 16 patients received subsequent therapy with 12 patients remaining refractory and 4 patients achieving disease stabilization. In 13 patients continuous growth of existing metastatic lesions determined PD. Of these, 9 received sequential therapy with 6 achieving disease stabilization. Altogether, 25 patients were treated sequentially (rTKI: n = 15; mTOR-inhibitor: n = 10) and achieved a median PFS of 3.2 months (range, 1-16.6). Fifteen patients failed to respond to either line of therapy. Disease control was not associated with type of subsequent therapy. Median OS was 14.9 months (CI: 5.5-24.4).
Intrinsic resistance to rTKI is associated with a low chance of response to sequential therapy and a poor prognosis in mRCC patients.
PMCID: PMC3154177  PMID: 21756335
4.  Down-regulation of the pro-apoptotic XIAP associated factor-1 (XAF1) during progression of clear-cell renal cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:276.
Decreased expression of the interferon-stimulated, putative tumour suppressor gene XAF1 has been shown to play a role during the onset, progression and treatment failure in various malignancies. However, little is yet known about its potential implication in the tumour biology of clear-cell renal cell cancer (ccRCC).
This study assessed the expression of XAF1 protein in tumour tissue obtained from 291 ccRCC patients and 68 normal renal tissue samples, utilizing immunohistochemistry on a tissue-micro-array. XAF1 expression was correlated to clinico-pathological tumour features and prognosis.
Nuclear XAF1 expression was commonly detected in normal renal- (94.1%) and ccRCC (91.8%) samples, without significant differences of expression levels. Low XAF1 expression in ccRCC tissue, however, was associated with progression of tumour stage (p = 0.040) and grade (p < 0.001). Low XAF1 tumour levels were also prognostic of significantly shortened overall survival times in univariate analysis (p = 0.018), but did not provide independent prognostic information.
These data suggest down-regulation of XAF1 expression to be implicated in ccRCC progression and implies that its re-induction may provide a therapeutic approach. Although the prognostic value of XAF1 in ccRCC appears to be limited, its predictive value remains to be determined, especially in patients with metastatic disease undergoing novel combination therapies of targeted agents with Interferon-alpha.
PMCID: PMC3087333  PMID: 19664236
5.  Impact of hormonal therapy on the detection of promoter hypermethylation of the detoxifying glutathione-S-transferase P1 gene (GSTP1) in prostate cancer 
BMC Urology  2006;6:15.
In spite of excellent cure rates for prostate cancer patients with favorable tumor characteristics, patients with unfavorable characteristics after radical prostatectomy are still at a significantly increased risk of tumor progression. Early adjuvant hormonal therapy (AHT) has been shown to be of prognostic benefit in these patients. Unfortunately initiation and duration of early AHT in the individual patient is based on statistic data. PSA, as the standard prostate marker is neither able to reliably indicate minimal residual tumor disease in the early postoperative phase, nor can it be used for therapy monitoring due to the suppressive effect of hormonal therapy on PSA production. Promoter hypermethylation of the detoxifying glutathione-S-transferase P1 gene (GSTP1-HM) has been shown to be the most common DNA alteration of primary prostatic carcinoma which, when used as a marker, is supposed to be able to overcome some of the disadvantages of PSA. However until now information on the impact of hormonal therapy on the detection of GSTP1-HM is lacking. The purpose of our study was to assess the impact of endocrine therapy on the detection of GSTP1-HM by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) in prostate cancer.
Paraffin embedded tumor samples from the radical prostatectomy (RP) specimens from 15 patients after hormonal therapy (HT) (mean 8 months) were assessed by MSP. In 8 of the patients the GSTP-1 status of the tumors before HT was assessed on the corresponding initial diagnostic biopsies.
Following HT MSP showed GSTP1-HM in 13/15 of the RP specimens. In two patients analysis of the RP specimens failed to show GSTP1-HM. All initial tumor samples (8/8 biopsy specimens) showed GSTP1-HM, including both patients negative for GSTP1 HM in the corresponding RP specimen.
In most cases hormonal therapy appears to not alter GSTP1 HM detection. However the change from a positive to a negative GSTP1 HM status in a subset of the patients may point to an, at least partial androgen dependency. Further studies on a larger cohort of patients are necessary to assess its frequency and the exact hormonal interactions.
PMCID: PMC1540432  PMID: 16803634

Results 1-5 (5)