With experts and uro-oncology specialists from both sides of the Atlantic looking into the most urgent issues and challenges in urological malignancies, the annual European Multidisciplinary Meeting on Urological Cancers (EMUC) offers an effective platform for medical professionals to exchange views on best practices and assess the progress and prospects in optimal cancer treatment.
“The major challenge for any representative of any discipline is to learn to talk with the same language with other disciplines; and to learn about each other cultures,” said Prof. Vesa Kataja (FI) of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and member of the EMUC’s 2014 Scientific Committee.
The 6th EMUC, a collaborative event organised by the ESMO, the European Association of Urology (EAU) and the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO), aims to gather urological cancer specialists in and outside Europe, not only to strengthen professional links among these disciplines but to identify how multi-disciplinary teams can best respond to fast-changing developments in medicine. First held in 2007 as a biennial conference with an initial focus on prostate and kidney cancers, the event is now organised annually since 2013.
Kataja said one way of boosting medical oncology’s effective collaboration with other disciplines such as urology and radiotherapy is to pinpoint the areas where there are overlaps and where the expertise of one discipline offers crucial support to the overall treatment strategy.
Stressing that oncology is multidisciplinary, Kataja noted that cancer treatment requires sustained input from various disciplines and that advances in one field of research have more impact if efforts are pooled together.
“Modern diagnostics, staging, treatment and follow-up of cancer is not a single modality approach anymore,” he added. In recent years, for instance, treatment of prostate cancer has evolved to a combination of both surgical, medical and radiological procedures and monitoring treatment results are best done or assessed from various viewpoints. The complexity, not only of diagnostics, but also of management strategies has prompted healthcare professionals to organise consultative meetings.
For the meeting in Lisbon, Portugal from November 13 to 16, the Scientific Programme, composed of 20 Sessions will examine developments, challenges and research advances in prostate, bladder, kidney, penile and testicular cancers.
Each session examines the perspective of all three major disciplines with the discussions and debates focusing on how exactly a certain mode of treatment from one discipline impacts disease progression, survival and the consequent adverse effects. For instance, one session will focus on predicting and preventing treatment-related toxicity in uro-oncology with Kataja discussing the anticipative management of adverse effects done by medical oncologists. In the same session urologists will discuss the role of minimal invasive surgery and the role of organ preservation, while radiation oncologists will present their viewpoint.
Kataja said individualised treatment would increasingly become more crucial in the coming years. “The highlights should be in the more individualized treatment of the colossus of uro-oncological cancer such as prostate cancer,” he said while adding that he also would like to see better treatment options for bladder cancer.
Managing urological cancers are no longer confined within the expertise of one field as shown by the success of professional meetings like the EMUC. Moreover, opinion leaders say that such events can lead to constructive links, and discussing where one discipline needs active input from the other is as crucial as developing effective treatment strategies.
“EMUC provides a common forum for learning from other disciplines, and enhances communication and understanding towards a common goal – for the best of the patients,” said Kataja.
Abstract Submission is open until July 1st!