A very successful meeting with all the panel chairs was held in Rome last November and it was gratifying to hear the progress they all made. We have restarted our two ad hoc panels specifically for the Vienna Congress.
The `Technologies` panel has regrouped and will look at robotic and single port access laparoscopic surgery. The plan is for all published data on these topics to be scrutinised using our guideline methodology, and present the finding with recommendations which are evidence-based and with a proper assignment of the level of evidence, from which strong recommendations can be made. I expect that this will generate much interest. We have set up a second ad hoc panel to look at the reporting of complications in urology, with a brief to come up with an evidence- based view that should be unified across the urological literature. This would greatly assist all of us when interpreting publications and help us make reasoned comparisons of outcomes when one technique is assessed against an other.
One of the issues upon which we placed great emphasis at the Chairman`s meeting was the issue of potential conflict of interest, since this applies to all of us in the guidelines project.
The chief editor of the Cochrane Library, Mr. David Tovey, gave an enlightened and enlightening talk to the group. This aspect of modern-day medical life is so important that we have continued this theme. We are also most fortunate to have as speaker in Vienna the chief editor of JAMA – the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Professor DeAngelis is a gifted, authoritative and engaging speaker and she will be speaking at the Guidelines Office Sub-plenary session on Sunday March 20th. This promises to be a lively session, and one not to be missed. I do hope you will all be able to attend.
As usual we are presenting at the Congress something new from this year’s guidelines. The topic of managing upper urinary tract tumours appeared some years ago in one of our European Urology publications. Somehow, this issue slipped from everyone’s attention and did not appear in the non-muscle invasive bladder cancer guideline, where as a urothelial tumour it may probably be best considered.
All in all, there will be much of interest to hear in all our contributions at the 26th EAU Congress. There is news from the Board. We are delighted that Professor James N`Dow from Aberdeen, UK, will join us as a full Guidelines Office Board member in March. James brings much valued expertise from his work with the Cochrane Collaboration, as head of a major university urological department and not least as a bon viveur! We all look forward to working with him in the years to come and are confident that he will play a full part in our quest for continuing quality improvement.
As always, many thanks to you all.
Chair of Guidelines Office