Doctoral Thesis Defense, Approved with Distinction and Praise | Highlight | Prof. Dr. Tito Palmela Leitão

Clinica Longeva is pleased to announce that Professor Dr. Tito Palmela Leitão, an Urologist from our clinical staff, successfully defended his Doctoral Thesis in Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (FMUL) on May 7, 2024.

The thesis, entitled "Detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in renal cancer — the impact of no-touch surgery," was unanimously approved with Distinction and Praise by the jury.

In summary, the thesis presented the following main conclusions:
- Systematic Review:
A systematic literature review, the first on this topic, revealed that research on CTCs in Kidney Cancer is still in an exploratory phase, with the need for further studies to define the standard technique and enable its routine use in clinical practice. However, the systematic review identified the most promising technique for identifying these cells in kidney cancer.
- Validation of New CTC Detection Device:
Validation of a new CTC detection device for Kidney Cancer was conducted, based on microfluidics, the RUBYchip™.
- Randomized Prospective Study on No-Touch Radical Nephrectomy:
A randomized prospective study compared the technique of no-touch laparoscopic radical nephrectomy with the conventional technique. The results showed that the no-touch technique is faster and as safe as the conventional technique. The no-touch technique does not seem to reduce the release of CTCs or improve survival, suggesting that the last classical principle of renal oncological surgery, of the original 5 principles of Robson, should eventually fall.
- Unprecedented Discovery:
One of the main findings of the project was the detection of circulating mesenchymal cells, thought to exist only in oncology patients, in patients with oncocytomas and chronic inflammation, something never before published. This finding raises an important question in the scientific community about the true nature and origin of these cells. To answer this question, a future molecular and genetic analysis of these cells will be conducted.

The thesis presented significantly contributed to the knowledge about CTCs in Kidney Cancer, opening new perspectives for research in this area, and the results of the randomized prospective study have important implications for the clinical practice of renal oncological surgery.

The approval of Professor Dr. Tito Palmela Leitão's Thesis recognizes his dedication to research and his extensive experience in robotic and laparoscopic surgery for kidney cancer, highlighting him as a reference Urologist in the field of Uro-Oncology.