Last year on October 13th ended the 88th edition of the National Congress of the Italian Society of Urology (SIU). Humanitas urologists, along with colleagues from Mater Domini, took part in this congress and discussed over 13 interventions. Below are some of the most important research studies presented by Prof. Giorgio Guazzonis team.


A customized approach to kidney cancer

Dr. Nicolò Buffi presented a comparative approach and explained the differences between partial resection of small renal masses and minimally invasive laser therapy. “In Humanitas – explains Dr. Buffi – a wide range of treatments are available, each customized according the different types of patients.” Dr. Buffi also focused on the results of a recent study on laparoscopic renal cryoablation (a surgical technique that involves the destruction of a tumor mass by freezing the tumor cells and transforming them into scar tissue). The work of Humanitas urologists has confirmed the safety and effectiveness of cryoablation for the treatment of small renal tumors even in the long run.


New treatment options for bladder cancer

The SIU Congress was also an opportunity to present the results of a research on the removal of superficial bladder tumors with technique “en-bloc”. These results were also submitted during the American Urological Association meeting. The research, conducted by Dr. Rodolfo Hurle, confirmed the efficacy of this treatment by presenting widespread and worldwide case studies and follow-up appointments.


Dr. Luisa Pasini presented her results on a study based on active monitoring as an alternative to surgery in patients with recurrent bladder tumors.  The patient is tested regularly and no surgical technique is performed if the disease is asymptomatic or does not progress. The research, marked by strong innovation, has produced encouraging results. It confirms the validity of observational therapy for monitoring of the disease, which is characterized by a high recurrence rate.


“Frozen section” to ensure a proper surgical approach and patient function

The “intraoperative frozen section” refers to the intraoperative analysis of prostate margins for the purpose of excluding the presence of malignant growths. To ensure the removal of the entire tumor mass, the adjacent healthy tissue must be immediately removed as well. This is done in order to avoid any local recurrence.  However, there is a risk associated with the invasiveness of the procedure. It can compromise the neurovascular bundles, causing urinary incontinence and sexual impotency. This important diagnostic tool, presented by Dr. Giovanni Lughezzani, is already being applied to surgical procedures. It excludes or confirms the need for a more radical intervention.


A blood test to predict the recurrence of prostate cancer

During the SIU Congress, Dr. Massimo Lazzeri presented another major study on the use of new markers for early diagnosis of recurrent cancer in patients who have already undergone radical prostatectomy (removal of the entire prostate gland). “Our research – explains Dr. Lazzeri – has shown that, with a simple blood test, the PHI (Prostate Health Index) is able to predict the risk of recurrence with accuracy far greater than the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen). It has allowed us to identify a concentration threshold beyond which the patient is considered a subject at risk. The data are part of a longitudinal study – continues Dr. Lazzeri – which will end in the spring of 2016. If confirmed, it can be integrated in follow-up programs after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer.”


Dr. Gian luigi Taverna, currently working in the Department of Urology at Mater Domini, presented his results on a study which aimed to assess angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels from other pre-existing blood vessels). He linked this process to the prognosis of prostate cancer. Lastly, Dr. Mauro Seveso presented his results on the effectiveness of urethral strictures for treating urinary incontinence from stress. He was able to approve that the department of Urology was successful in achieving results of the highest standard.