MedUni Vienna: Prognostic factor indicates risk of cancer recurrence following radical prostatectomy

Slightly more than 10% of all patients who undergo successful surgery for prostate cancer have an elevated risk of tumor recurrence afterwards – especially as metastases. Under the microscope, it is possible to identify invasion of the tumour into the lymph and blood vessels, this being the tumour behaviour responsible for the formation of metastases, so that it can be used as a prognostic factor. This has now been demonstrated by Harun Fajkovic of MedUni Vienna's Department of Urology in a study involving 7,000 patients in "Urologic Oncology". Fajkovic will also report on the latest research findings at the largest international congress on prostate cancer "PROSCA", currently taking place in Vienna.

Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) means that malignant cancer cells "invade" the blood vessels and lymphatic system, from whence they can be transported onwards. "They can implant themselves, for example as micro-metastases in the lung or spine and then slowly replicate to form a new tumour at another site in the body," explains Fajkovic.

Detection of LVI, in combination with other characteristics in the pathological analysis of the resected tumour, therefore acts as a sort of alert, even if the patient's post-operative PSA value, the current marker for prostate cancer, is below the critical limit. Fajkovic: "Patients could then conceivably be offered additional supportive treatment straightaway, for example, radiotherapy or chemotherapy – rather than waiting to see." LVI has also been identified as an independent prognostic factor in other types of cancer, such as breast cancer or bladder cancer.

According to Statistik Austria (status 2013), around 5,000 men in Austria develop prostate cancer (adenocarcinoma) every year. Approximately 1,150 of those affected die over the same period. Prostate cancer is the third commonest male cancer worldwide.

The largest international congress on prostate cancer "PROSCA" (Global Congress on Prostate Cancer) is taking place in the Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna from 29 June to 1 July. The  local organizing committee is led by Shahrokh Shariat, Head of the Department of Urology at the Medical University of Vienna. For information:

Five research clusters at MedUni Vienna
In total, five research clusters have been established at MedUni Vienna. In these clusters, MedUni Vienna is increasingly focusing on fundamental and clinical research. The research clusters include medical imaging, cancer research/oncology, cardiovascular medicine, medical neurosciences and immunology. The above-mentioned paper falls within the remit of the Cluster for Cancer Research/Oncology.

Service: Urologic Oncology
„Validation of lymphovascular invasion is an independent prognostic factor for biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy.“ H. Fajkovic, R. Mathieu, I. Lucca, M. Hiess, N. Hübner, B. Awamleh, R. Lee, A. Briganti, P. Karakiewicz, Y. Lotan, M. Roupret, M. Rink, L. Kluth, W. Loidl, C. Seitz, T. Klatte, G. Kramer, M. Susani, S. Shariat. Urologic Oncology,

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