ESUR brings together best and brightest minds in European urology research

20 September 2010

The 19th Meeting of the EAU Section of Urological Research (ESUR) will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania from 7 to 9 October. The programme promises highly prestigious scientific sessions on basic and translational research covering the topics of Premalignant lesions, inflammations, cytokines; Angiogenesis; Novel technologies and Outcomes of targeted therapies.

The programme is composed of state-of-the-art lectures, selected oral presentations and moderated poster sessions. A number of travel grants will be awarded to selected young scientists (residents and basic scientists) based on the scientific value of submitted abstracts.

Dominique Chopin Distinguished Award
An honorary lecture will be given by the recipient of the Dominique Chopin Distinguished Award, Natasha Kyprianou (Lexington, US) on ‘TGF-beta signalling in prostate cancer progression’. She is a urological oncologist and a Professor in four different academic Departments at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine: Urology, Pathology, Biochemistry and Toxicology. She holds the James F. Hardymon Distinguished Chair in Urology Research. Her special research focus is the exploitation of apoptosis signaling pathways towards the development of novel therapeutic targeting of advanced prostate cancer.

Prof Kyprianou: “First, I would like to say that I am very honored by this recognition by the ESUR. Receiving the Dominique Chopin Distinguished Award means a great deal to me personally and professionally. I knew Professor Chopin well, as a leader in academic urology and as one of the finest human beings I encountered in my career. We worked closely to bring the two Societies, the ESUR and Society for Basic Urological Research (SBUR), together, focused on common goals and sharing the vision for the future of urologic research in the US as well as in Europe. His untimely death was a terrible shock to the urological community and it is wonderful to see his legacy being nurtured and expanded by the current leadership of EAU and ESUR. This is why I feel it is important for me to participate in the ESUR meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania in October. I also believe that, being a European who was trained on both sides of the Atlantic and working in the US, I could serve as the best Ambassador of the SBUR and the AUA to the European urology research meetings.”

Identify novel targets
Professor Kyprianou’s lecture will cover the latest discoveries by her team on the cross-talk between the transforming growth factor (TGF-beta) signaling pathways and the androgen receptor axis during prostate cancer progression to metastasis. This topic is of major translational significance in understanding the mechanisms driving the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer in patients with metastatic disease. There is a great need among the urological community to identify novel targets for activating apoptosis pathways in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells towards the formulation of new effective molecular therapeutics.

“My lab has been studying the TGF-beta signaling pathway in the normal and malignant prostate for almost two decades now. There have been tremendous advances in the field of this ‘alternative’ cytokine that acts like a double-sword, acting as tumor suppressor in the early stages of carcinogenesis and serving as a metastasis promoter towards the advanced stages of metastatic disease. New insights will be discussed at the ESUR as to the functional exchanges between TGF-beta receptors and its intracellular effectors and the androgen signaling during prostate cancer progression using in vitro and in vivo models. Some recent exciting data on the impact of such a functional exchange on epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) as a contributor to prostate cancer metastasis will also be discussed”, says Kyprianou.

New understanding of androgen receptor role
In Prof Kyprianou’s lecture she will be sharing the latest unpublished data on EMT for the first time at an international conference. Kyprianou: “As a process, EMT is still being investigated in terms of its biological significance in human tumorigenesis and this will be a great occasion to share our recent findings with the European audience”. She expects a new understanding to be emerging as to the role of the androgen receptor in non-androgen mediated functions, that some investigators might find controversial.

The time has come to strengthen and further develop connections between basic and clinically oriented researchers and to promote urological research with a mission to evaluate new discoveries aiming at reduced morbidity and mortality in malignant and benign urological diseases.

The ESUR meeting will meet these high expectations. There has been a plethora of young and new investigators embracing the ESUR and they can meet each other and the speakers, learn new findings, especially application of powerful technologies towards optimizing treatment outcomes, with the idea of “personalized medicine” not being far off. “It will be an exciting and highly interactive meeting, attracting the best and brightest minds in urology research in Europe”, concludes Prof. Kyprianou.