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1.  Photodynamic diagnosis of shed prostate cancer cells in voided urine treated with 5-aminolevulinic acid 
BMC Urology  2014;14:59.
Past attempts at detecting prostate cancer (PCa) cells in voided urine by traditional cytology have been impeded by undesirably low sensitivities but high specificities. To improve the sensitivities, we evaluate the feasibility and clinical utility of photodynamic diagnosis (PDD) of prostate cancer by using 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) to examine shed prostate cancer cells in voided urine samples.
One hundred thirty-eight patients with an abnormal digital rectal exam (DRE) and/or abnormal prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were recruited between April 2009 and December 2010. Voided urine specimens were collected before prostate biopsy. Urine specimens were treated with 5-ALA and imaged by fluorescence microscopy and reported as protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) positive (presence of cells demonstrating simultaneous PPIX fluorescence) or PPIX negative (lack of cells demonstrating fluorescence).
Of the 138 patients, PCa was detected on needle biopsy in 81 patients (58.7%); of these 81 patients with PCa, 60 were PPIX-positive (sensitivity: 74.1%). Although 57 patients did not harbor PCa by conventional diagnostic procedures, 17 of these at-risk patients were found to be PPIX-positive (specificity: 70.2%). PPIX–PDD was more sensitive compared with DRE and transrectal ultrasound and more specific compared with PSA and PSA density. The incidence of PPIX–PDD positivity did not increase with increasing total PSA levels, tumor stage or Gleason score.
To our knowledge, this is the first successful demonstration of PPIX in urine sediments treated with 5-ALA used to detect PCa in a noninvasive yet highly sensitive manner. However, further studies are warranted to determine the role of PPIX–PPD for PCa detection.
PMCID: PMC4130698  PMID: 25086448
5-aminolevulinic acid; Prostate cancer; Photodynamic diagnosis; Urine cytology
2.  Nadir PSA level and time to nadir PSA are prognostic factors in patients with metastatic prostate cancer 
BMC Urology  2014;14:33.
Primary androgen deprivation therapy (PADT) is the most effective systemic therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Nevertheless, once PSA progression develops, the prognosis is serious and mortal. We sought to identify factors that predicted the prognosis in a series of patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
Two-hundred eighty-six metastatic prostate cancer patients who received PADT from 1998 to 2005 in Nara Uro-Oncology Research Group were enrolled. The log-rank test and Cox’s proportional hazards model were used to determine the predictive factors for prognosis; rate of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and overall survival.
The median age, follow-up period and PSA level at diagnosis were 73 years, 47 months and 174 ng/mL, respectively. The 5-year overall survival rate was 63.0%. The multivariable analysis showed that Gleason score (Hazard ratio [HR]:1.362; 95% confidence interval [C.I.], 1.023-1.813), nadir PSA (HR:6.332; 95% C.I., 4.006-9.861) and time from PADT to nadir (HR:4.408; 95% C.I., 3.099-6.271) were independent prognostic factors of the incidence of CRPC. The independent parameters in the multivariate analysis that predicted overall survival were nadir PSA (HR:5.221; 95% C.I., 2.757-9.889) and time from PADT to nadir (HR:4.008; 95% C.I., 2.137-7.517).
Nadir PSA and time from PADT to nadir were factors that affect both CRPC and overall survival in a cohort of patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Lower nadir PSA level and longer time from PADT to nadir were good for survival and progression.
PMCID: PMC4018264  PMID: 24773608
Prostate cancer; Metastasis; Risk factors
3.  Inhibition of COX-2 expression by topical diclofenac enhanced radiation sensitivity via enhancement of TRAIL in human prostate adenocarcinoma xenograft model 
BMC Urology  2013;13:1.
COX-2 inhibitors have an antitumor potential and have been verified by many researchers. Treatment of cancer cells with external stressors such as irradiation can stimulate the over-expression of COX-2 and possibly confer radiation resistance. In this study, we tested if topical diclofenac, which inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2, administration rendered prostate tumor cells sensitize to the effects of radiation.
LNCaP-COX-2 and LNCaP-Neo cells were treated with 0 to 1000 μM diclofenac. Next, a clonogenic assay was performed in which cells were subjected to irradiation (0 to 4 Gy) with or without diclofenac. COX-2 expression and other relevant molecules were measured by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry after irradiation and diclofenac treatment. In addition, we assessed the tumor volumes of xenograft LNCaP-COX-2 cells treated with topical diclofenac with or without radiation therapy (RT).
LNCaP-COX-2 and LNCaP-Neo cell lines experienced cytotoxic effects of diclofenac in a dose related manner. Clonogenic assays demonstrated that LNCaP-COX-2 cells were significantly more resistant to RT than LNCaP-Neo cells. Furthermore, the addition of diclofenac sensitized LNCaP-COX-2 not but LNCaP-Neo cells to the cytocidal effects of radiation. In LNCaP-COX-2 cells, diclofenac enhanced radiation-induced apoptosis compared with RT alone. This phenomenon might be attributed to enhancement of RT-induced TRAIL expression as demonstrated by real-time PCR analysis. Lastly, tumor volumes of LNCaP-COX-2 cells xenograft treated with diclofenac or RT alone was >4-fold higher than in mice treated with combined diclofenac and radiation (p<0.05).
These in vitro and in vivo findings suggest that conventional COX inhibitor, diclofenac enhances the effect of RT on prostate cancer cells that express COX-2. Thus, diclofenac may have potential as radiosensitizer for treatment of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3561196  PMID: 23289871
Prostate cancer; Radiation therapy; COX-2; TRAIL; Apoptosis; Topical therapy; Radiosensitizer; Diclofenac; Radioresistance
4.  Minimal percentage of dose received by 90% of the urethra (%UD90) is the most significant predictor of PSA bounce in patients who underwent low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-brachytherapy) for prostate cancer 
BMC Urology  2012;12:28.
To clarify the significant clinicopathological and postdosimetric parameters to predict PSA bounce in patients who underwent low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-brachytherapy) for prostate cancer.
We studied 200 consecutive patients who received LDR-brachytherapy between July 2004 and November 2008. Of them, 137 patients did not receive neoadjuvant or adjuvant androgen deprivation therapy. One hundred and forty-two patients were treated with LDR-brachytherapy alone, and 58 were treated with LDR-brachytherapy in combination with external beam radiation therapy. The cut-off value of PSA bounce was 0.1 ng/mL. The incidence, time, height, and duration of PSA bounce were investigated. Clinicopathological and postdosimetric parameters were evaluated to elucidate independent factors to predict PSA bounce in hormone-naïve patients who underwent LDR-brachytherapy alone.
Fifty patients (25%) showed PSA bounce and 10 patients (5%) showed PSA failure. The median time, height, and duration of PSA bounce were 17 months, 0.29 ng/mL, and 7.0 months, respectively. In 103 hormone-naïve patients treated with LDR-brachytherapy alone, and univariate Cox proportional regression hazard model indicated that age and minimal percentage of the dose received by 30% and 90% of the urethra were independent predictors of PSA bounce. With a multivariate Cox proportional regression hazard model, minimal percentage of the dose received by 90% of the urethra was the most significant parameter of PSA bounce.
Minimal percentage of the dose received by 90% of the urethra was the most significant predictor of PSA bounce in hormone-naïve patients treated with LDR-brachytherapy alone.
PMCID: PMC3487947  PMID: 22974428
Prostate cancer; Brachytherapy; PSA bounce; Post-dosimetry; UD90 (%)
5.  ROS generation via NOX4 and its utility in the cytological diagnosis of urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder 
BMC Urology  2011;11:22.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production via NADPH oxidase (NOX) contributes to various types of cancer progression. In the present research, we examined the pathobiological role of NADPH oxidase (NOX)4-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the urinary bladder, and demonstrated the utility of ROS labeling in urine cytology.
NOX4 gene was silenced in vivo and in vitro by NOX4 siRNA transfection with or without atlocollagen. Cell cycle and measurement of ROS were analyzed by flowcytometry. Orthotopic implantation animal model was used in vivo experiment. NOX4 expression in urothelial carcinoma cells was observed by immunohistochemical analysis using surgical specimens of human bladder cancer. Urine cytology was performed after treatment with ROS detection reagents in addition to Papanicolaou staining.
NOX4 was overexpressed in several UC cell lines and the NOX inhibitor, diphenylene iodonium reduced intracellular ROS and induced p16-dependent cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. Moreover, silencing of NOX4 by siRNA significantly reduced cancer cell growth in vivo as assessed in an orthotopic mouse model. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated high expression of NOX4 in low grade/non-invasive and high grade/invasive UC including precancerous lesions such as dysplasia but not in normal urothelium. Then, we assessed the usefulness of cytological analysis of ROS producing cells in urine (ROS-C). Urine samples obtained from UC cases and normal controls were treated with fluorescent reagents labeling the hydrogen peroxide/superoxide anion and cytological atypia of ROS positive cells were analyzed. As a result, the sensitivity for detection of low grade, non-invasive UC was greatly increased (35% in conventional cytology (C-C) vs. 75% in ROS-C), and the specificity was 95%. Through ROS-C, we observed robust improvement in the accuracy of follow-up urine cytology for cases with previously diagnosed UC, especially in those with low grade/non-invasive cancer recurrence (0% in C-C vs. 64% in ROS-C).
This is the first report demonstrating that ROS generation through NOX4 contributes to an early step of urothelial carcinogenesis and cancer cell survival. In addition, cytology using ROS labeling could be a useful diagnostic tool in human bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC3215170  PMID: 22032647
6.  Cyclooxygenase 2-dependent and independent activation of Akt through casein kinase 2α contributes to human bladder cancer cell survival 
BMC Urology  2011;11:8.
Survival rate for patients presenting muscle invasive bladder cancer is very low, and useful therapeutic target has not been identified yet. In the present study, new COX2 downstream signals involved in urothelial carcinoma cell survival were investigated in vitro and in vivo.
COX2 gene was silenced by siRNA transfection. Orthotopic implantation animal model and transurethral instillation of siRNA with atelocollagen was constructed to examine the effects of COX2 knockdown in vivo. Cell cycle was examined by flowcytoketry. Surgical specimens derived from patients with urinary bladder cancer (all were initially diagnosed cases) were used for immunohistochemical analysis of the indicated protein expression in urothelial carcinoma cells.
Treatment with the COX2 inhibitor or knockdown of COX2 reduced expression of casein kinase (CK) 2 α, a phophorylated Akt and urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA), resulting in p27 induction, cell cycle arrest at G1 phase and cell growth suppression in human urothelial carcinoma cell lines expressing COX2. Silencing of CK2α exhibited the similar effects. Even in UMUC3 cells lacking the COX2 gene, COX2 inhibition also inhibited cell growth through down-regulation of the CK2α-Akt/uPA axis. The mouse orthotropic bladder cancer model demonstrated that the COX2 inhibitor, meloxicam significantly reduced CK2α, phosphorylated Akt and uPA expression, whereas induced p27 by which growth and invasiveness of bladder cancer cells were strongly inhibited. Immunohistochemically, high expression of COX2, CK2α and phosphorylated form of Akt was found in high-grade, invasive carcinomas as well as carcinoma in situ, but not in low-grade and noninvasive phenotypes.
COX2-dependent and independent activation of CK2α-Akt/uPA signal is mainly involved in urothelial carcinoma cell survival, moreover, not only COX2 but also CK2α could be direct targets of COX2 inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3111585  PMID: 21592330
cyclooxygenase 2; urothelial carcinoma; casein kinase 2α; Akt
7.  Utility of serial urinary cytology in the initial evaluation of the patient with microscopic hematuria 
BMC Urology  2009;9:12.
We determine the utility of serial urinary cytologies in patients presenting with microscopic hematuria who were evaluated with upper and lower urinary tract studies to rule out a malignancy.
Two hundred and thirty-seven patients with the diagnosis of microscopic hematuria were evaluated at an inner-city tertiary care hospital. Of these 239 patients, 182 patients had 405 cytologies obtained as part of their evaluation for hematuria. In addition, all patients had their lower urinary tract and upper tract thoroughly evaluated.
Two hundred and seventy four cytology samples were read as normal, 104 (26%) as atypia, 7 (2%) as suspicious/malignant, and 20 (5%) as unsatisfactory. Seventeen patients (9.3%) had biopsy confirmed bladder cancer. Of these 17 patients, 2 had normal cytology, 11 had atypia, and 5 had suspicious/malignant. No patient had a positive cytology and a negative biopsy. Overall the number of hematuric patients harboring bladder cancer was small (7%). Cytology #1 detected 4 cases of cancer, cytology #2 detected an additional case and cytology #3 did not detect any additional cancers.
Because of this low prevalence of bladder cancer in patients presenting with microscopic hematuria and the low sensitivity of detecting bladder cancers, the utility of urinary cytology in the initial evaluation of patients with hematuria may be minimal. The exact role of urinary cytology in the evaluation of hematuria is unknown.
PMCID: PMC2751768  PMID: 19744317

Results 1-7 (7)