With Iceland’s volcanic eruption nearly scuttling the carefully prepared event, the 25th Anniversary EAU Congress ended in Barcelona on Tuesday with EAU Secretary General Per-Anders Abrahamsson underscoring the tremendous support, interest and commitment shown by all participants, exhibitors and speakers, which made the anniversary meeting “one of the most memorable in the EAU’s congress history.”
“It is amazing how each one of you has shown the wonderful support in making this congress possible. This meeting would be the most memorable in the years to come since it challenged many of us to go the extra mile,” Abrahamsson said during the closing ceremony.
Despite the shadow of cancelled flights in Northern Europe which prevented a number of congress participants from travelling to Spain, the five-day congress proceeded as planned and opened with the “International Day- Urology Beyond Europe” programme on Friday, April 16.
Participants from Asia and the Middle East made a strong showing since incoming flights from the region were unaffected. Speakers and lecturers from Northern Europe and the US, which formed about a third of the invited lecturers, however, were affected starting Thursday night when flights were cancelled due to the spreading ash cloud.
But Abrahamsson said the willingness and cooperation of many participants to cover-up for their absent colleagues was remarkable. “I am truly impressed with the work and readiness of those who helped whenever necessary,” he added.
Awards for the best abstracts were also given in the concluding session with research work from Switzerland, Japan, Sweden and the United States leading the 1,104 abstracts selected for final presentations. This year the EAU Scientific Congress Office received a record 3,594 abstract submissions from 73 countries.
Winning the first prize in the oncology category was a Swiss study led by B. Özdemir who presented a summary of the results in the concluding session of the congress. Özdemir and colleagues studied stroma reaction in mouse xenograft models of prostate cancer bone metastasis.
Receiving an equivalent prize in non-oncology were H. Yokoyama and colleagues for their research on the effects of encephalin gene therapy using herpes simplex virus vector on bladder hyperactivity. Aside from the certificates both winners received cash prizes.
M.J.J. Hemelrijck and colleagues bagged the second prize in oncology with their work titled
“Prostate cancer risk in the Swedish AMORIS study: The interplay between triglycerides, total cholesterol, and glucose.” The third prize for best abstract in non-oncology, meanwhile, went to M. Valerio and colleagues for their study assessing the functionality and safety of a modular artificial sphincter.
The EAU Congress Office also posted webcasts of selected sessions particularly the highlights in both plenary and sub-plenary sessions on the same day, including state-of-the-art lectures to reach a wider audience. During the congress, visitor numbers and hits of the Internet links to these websites registered a higher number than usual.
Abrahamsson also announced and invited congress participants to Vienna, Austria for the 26th Annual EAU Congress from March 18 to 22, 2011 at the Austria Center Vienna (ACV), located between the Donau City district and the Vienna International Center (U.N.).