Thursday, 8 June 2017

Updates from the European Association of Urology Guidelines 2017

Bladder Cancer - Updates from the European Association of Urology Guidelines:

The Synergo® treatment has become a common practice in leading centers both as a prophylactic treatment (after TUR) and ablative treatment (for tumour eradication). The prophylactic induction phase includes 6 weekly sessions followed by 6 in a maintenance phase, once every 6 weeks. The clinical outcomes of this adjuvant protocol were recently included in the European Association of Urology Guidelines. A multinational randomised controlled trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Synergo® vs. BCG, presents better results in the Synergo® group (Disease free patients: 81.8% vs. 64.8% respectively in 2-yr follow-up). 

With the new recommendations, Synergo®’s level of evidence makes it the only non-experimental device for the treatment of NMIBC.
The following is taken from the EAU 2017 guidelines:


7.3.3.Treatment of BCG failure and recurrences after BCG

Treatment recommendations are provided in Sections 7.5 and 7.7. They reflect the categories mentioned in Table 7.2 and tumour characteristics at the time of recurrence.
Patients with BCG failure are unlikely to respond to further BCG therapy; RC is therefore the preferred option. Various studies suggest that repeat BCG therapy is appropriate for non-high-grade and even for some high-grade recurrent tumours [232,233] (LE: 3). Additionally, there are now several bladder preservation strategies available that can be categorised as intravesical immunotherapy [234], intravesical chemotherapy, device-assisted therapy (see Section, and combination therapy (see Section 7.2.3) [235]. Changing from BCG to these options can yield responses in selected cases with BCG treatment failure [232,234-242] (LE: 3).
Treatments other than RC must be considered oncologically inferior in patients with BCG failure at the present time [150,229,230] (LE: 3).
Little is known about the optimal treatment in patients with high-risk tumours who could not complete BCG instillations because of intolerance.
Non-high-grade recurrence after BCG is not considered as BCG failure. Treatment decision should be individualised according to tumour characteristics. It could include chemotherapy or repeat BCG instillations, but the published evidence is very low.
Synergo® Technology
The Synergo® device delivers radiofrequency local radiation: a synergistic tri-modality of local, non-ionising Radiofrequency, RF, a chemotherapy instillation, and tissue hyperthermia – all in one, powerful combination, for treating intermediate and high risk Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer. A special catheter, carrying an embedded small radio-frequency (RF 915 MHz) antenna and thermocouples (special temperature measuring sensors), is introduced into the urinary bladder.
The distal end of the catheter is connected to the Synergo® computer-embedded device that enables the physician to monitor and control the system activity in real-time.
The antenna controllably radiates the bladder walls, while the thermocouples monitor the bladder wall temperature to help ensure that it is kept at a safe range. Chemotherapeutic agent is instilled through the same catheter and constantly circulated and cooled by the heat exchanger unit of the Synergo® device.
Selective effects of RF on cancer cells include phenotypical changes, the formation of micropores on their membranes, and the loss of adhesion between malignant cells – an influential parameter of tumour growth. The drug can now easily penetrate into, and in between these cells, reaching deeper hidden locations. Studies reveal that with RF, even the more resistant cancer cells, become susceptible to chemotherapy, whereas, the effects of RF are negligible on healthy cells. Tissue heating, hyperthermia, is a welcomed by-product of RF. It causes changes in blood perfusion and ruptures in blood supply to malignant cells, as well as unfolding and denaturing of proteins, causing irreparable damages to the DNA selectively in cancer cells. Temperatures of approximately 42 degrees Centigrade, 107 Fahrenheit, are monitored and maintained throughout the treatment.
Temperature elevation of the bladder walls to 42±2ºC enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents through several mechanisms additional to those identified in-vitro, including improved tissue penetration and altered immunological response.

May 2017 was bladder cancer awareness month!
Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the Western world and the second most frequent malignancy of the urinary tract after prostate cancer.