Turku Prostate Cancer Consortium, TPCC, was founded in 2013 as a research initiative between University of Turku, Turku University Hospital and The Hospital District of Southwest Finland. The aim of TPCC is to bring together academic research groups and clinical professionals of urology and pathology dedicated in research and clinical care of urological cancers, especially prostate and bladder cancer to innovate and initiate multidisciplinary research projects.
The core function of TPCC is to organize collection and storage management of tissue and liquid samples. Samples include blood samples (plasma (from EDTA and heparin samples), serum and PAXgene (=RNA from blood)), urine samples as well as fresh and formalin-fixed tissue samples. Samples for research purposes can be requested from TPCC, see Sample Request form. Detailed clinical information is collected utilizing REDCap platform (https://www.project-redcap.org/).
This meticulous collection with high quality samples was initiated in 2013, and today the collection consists samples from robotic assisted radical prostatectomies (RALP), transurethral prostate resections (TURP), radical cystectomies, and transurethral resections of bladder tumor (TUR-BT):
The suitability of conditionally reprogrammed (CR) cells were investigated for the characterization of bladder cancer (BC) properties and their feasibility for personalized drug sensitivity screening. The CR cultures were established from BC tumors with varying histology and stage and propagated for genomic, transcriptomic, and protein expression profiling and compared to the parental tumors. CR cells were proved to be feasible platform for personalized drug sensitivity testing and might thus add to the approaches used to personalize BC treatment strategies.
Both in patient and region level, a heterogeneous increase of PSMA uptake was observed post-ADT, observed most evidently in bone metastases. The highest response on PSMA uptake was observed 3 to 4 weeks after ADT. Although the impact of ADT on 68Ga-PSMA PET staging performance was minor in this small patient cohort, more research is needed to investigate whether ADT could significantly improve detection rate and have clinical impact in patients with oligometastatic disease. Moreover, results were encouraging that short-term usage of ADT does not seem to represent a contraindication to perform 68Ga- PSMA PET for staging purpose, since none of the lesions disappeared.
The prognostic value of anoctamin 7 (ANO7) rs77559646 on docetaxel response was tested in a prospective PROSTY randomized trial and a retrospective Auria Biobank set. The variant rs77559646 was genotyped and its association with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was tested. The rs77559646 was shown to be a prognostic germline biomarker for better response to docetaxel treatments. This is the first time that a non-coding germline variant has been associated with chemotherapy of mCRPC.
The TPCC is administered by board, chaired by MD, PhD, FEBU Peter J. Boström. Other members of the board are clinical experts and PI´s of academic research associates. The board comes together quarterly to manage administrative issues and to evaluate sample requests that come from researchers within and outside consortium.