Urethral strictures or fistulas are common complications after phalloplasty. Neourethral defects pose a difficult reconstructive challenge using standard techniques as there is generally insufficient ventral tissue to support a graft urethroplasty. We report our experience with local fasciocutaneous flaps for support of ventrally-placed buccal mucosal grafts (BMGs) in phalloplasty.
A retrospective review of patients who underwent phalloplasty and subsequently required revision urethroplasty using BMGs between 2011 and 2015 was completed. Techniques, complications, additional procedures, and outcomes were examined.
A total of three patients previously underwent phalloplasty with sensate radial forearm free flaps (RFFFs): two female-to-male (FTM) gender reassignment, and one oncologic penectomy. Mean age at revision urethroplasty was 41 years (range 31–47). Indications for surgery were: one meatal stenosis, four urethral strictures (mean length 3.6 ± 2.9 cm), and two urethrocutaneous fistulas. The urethral anastomosis at the base of the neophallus was the predominant location for complications: 3/4 strictures, and 2/2 fistulas. Medial thigh (2) or scrotal (1) fasciocutaneous flaps were used to support the BMG for urethroplasty. One stricture recurrence at 3 years required single-stage ventral BMG urethroplasty supported by a gracilis musculocutaneous flap. All patients were able to void from standing at mean follow up of 8.7 months (range 6–13). A total of two patients (66%) subsequently had successful placement of a penile prosthesis.
Our early results indicate that local or regional fasciocutaneous flaps enable ventral placement of BMGs for revision urethroplasty after phalloplasty.
The treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) is rapidly changing. During first-line treatment with targeted therapy, patients ultimately develop resistance to therapy and the disease progresses. Recently, cabozantinib has demonstrated a better response rate, progression-free survival and overall survival compared with everolimus after failure of prior targeted therapy in patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Cabozantinib is a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). It exerts inhibition of MET, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor type 2, AXL, and many other receptor tyrosine kinases that are also implicated in tumor pathobiology, including RET, KIT, and FLT3. MET drives tumor survival, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis through several downstream signaling pathways. AXL has recently been described as an essential mediator of cancer metastasis that mediates crosstalk and resistance to TKIs. MET and AXL are thought to be anti-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGF) resistance pathways and thus cabozantinib represents a logical choice after progression on initial VEGF therapy. Subgroup analyses examining those with good performance status or visceral and bone metastases indicate that the hazard ratios may be better when using cabozantinib versus everolimus. However, there were no clear statistically significant differences between any subgroups.
Sunitinib is an oral multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) that targets various receptors, including vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFRs). Sunitinib received approval in 2006 and became a standard treatment option in the first-line treatment of metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) after a phase III trial showed superiority compared with interferon alpha (IFN-α). Sunitinib has also shown activity in second-line treatment in several trials. Most of the combination trials with sunitinib with various agents have led to considerable toxicity without improving efficacy. Sunitinib alone causes significant side effects and has a distinct profile with diarrhoea, hypertension, skin effects hypothyroidism, fatigue and nausea of special interest. The recommended dose of sunitinib in mRCC is 50 mg orally daily for 4 weeks, followed by 2 weeks off treatment (4/2 schedule). An alternative 2 weeks on, 1 week off schedule (2/1 schedule) seems to be of similar efficacy and better tolerability and could be more widely used in the future. An intermittent treatment strategy with a stop in remission and re-induction after progression showed efficacy in smaller trials and is currently being evaluated in a phase III trial. Direct comparison of sunitinib with pazopanib in first-line treatment showed a similar efficacy for both TKIs with a distinct toxicity profile. Data from two phase II trials showed that sunitinib has also activity in non-clear cell cancer and is an option due to a lack of better alternatives. Currently, after immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown very promising results in the second-line treatment of RCC, they are being tested in a number of phase III trials in the first-line setting. The future will show the position of sunitinib in the first-line treatment of RCC in the era of the immune checkpoint inhibitors.
‘UroLift’ has emerged as a new minimally-invasive nonablative surgical technique for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). We discuss the procedure, cost, evidence, advantages and disadvantages of this procedure. It is a novel technology suitable for a selected group of patients that allows for a bespoke treatment for men with BPH.
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