New ESOU Chairman talks about aims & current onco-urology challenges

21 March 2019

We interviewed the new Chairman of the EAU Section of Oncological Urology (ESOU), Prof. Morgan Rouprêt (FR), who shared his vision for the ESOU, his insights on the current challenges in onco-urology and the possible breakthroughs in the coming decade.

What attracted you to the role of ESOU Chairman?

From the beginning of my career, I have always been inspired by the EAU. It’s an exceptional organisation where one can invest on one’s self in terms of science, education and research.

I have had opportunities to partake in various segments and activities of the EAU such as the Scientific Committee Office (SCO), EAU Guidelines, and at courses organised by the European School of Urology (ESU), but I had no official position in the association yet. In the meantime, I became the Head of the onco-urology unit of the Department of Urology at the Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris (Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris), and have been leading the Committee of Cancerology of Association of French Urology (CCAFU) – bladder for the last five years.

When the opportunity arose to be the next Chairman of the ESOU, it was undoubtedly a “yes” for me. The ESOU is the perfect combination of the chance to take the lead of an important section of EAU, and to move forward in service of my colleagues and for the aims of the association.

What will your responsibilities be as Chairman?

As ESOU Chairman I oversee and coordinate with the section board, a multi-tasking group that conceptualises strategies for all exciting ESOU activities, notably the organisation of scientific events e.g. ESOU’s yearly meeting, European Multidisciplinary Congress on Urological Cancers (EMUC), EAU annual congresses and stand-alone meetings.

In addition, I will take several initiatives and put all my energy in implementing new activities for the section: articles, lectures, online videos, and debates. I aim to bolster efficiency and proactivity so that we at ESOU receive immediate reliable feedback on activities we are involved in.

Frankly, the ESOU is a remarkable section with its full potential ready to be untapped. The ESOU will work on numerous initiatives for the valorisation of urologists in the treatment of cancers.

What do you aim to achieve in this role?

I want to redesign the activities of the ESOU to show that it is clearly a notable EAU section, and to increase its presence in the onco-urology field.
Borders and blurred lines between the roles of oncologists and urologists are becoming non-existent. Therefore, the ESOU will now collaborate and serve a scientific alliance with the:

  1. ESU to optimise oncological educational programmes
  2. EAU Research Foundation (EAU RF) to develop innovative research in oncology
  3. SCO to optimise the Scientific Programme of the annual meeting
  4. AU Patient Information to optimise campaigns directed at patients
  5. Other Section Offices to enhance the visibility of urologists not only in surgical aspect but also in the medical management of genitourinary (GU) cancers
  6. Other societies such as European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the Society of Urologic-Oncology (SUO) to name a few and to reach out to them for collaborative reasons
  7. European Urology Oncology journal’s Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board as the journal is more likely to become the official journal of the section
In your opinion, what are the major challenges in the field and how would you help resolve them?

The first challenge is to promote the role of European urologists as principal caregivers in the field of GU cancers. To address this, the ESOU will work on providing a strong network comprised of a multitude of sites where colleagues involved in oncology can connect one another.

Another challenge is to improve the access of the EAU to finding trials related to GU cancers. For urologists, it is important that they remain the main advocates of large uro-oncological trials. It is also important in an area where low-level evidence exists because this will promote consensus statement articles that link the EAU and the major uro-oncological societies.

What are the breakthroughs in the field that you expect in the coming decade?

In oncology, individual therapy and personalised medicine will jump from theory to practice very rapidly. The treatment of cancer is not a fight against disease in an organ, but a fight against cancerous cells that can spread out beyond the organ. In the future, the urologists have to be aware that the focus will be more on the treatment of these cancerous cells rather than on the surgical extirpation of the organ. Thus we will have to invest more in medicine(s) that uses information such as a patient’s genes, proteins and environment to prevent, diagnose and treat disease.

The conflict between standardisation and individualisation has always been a characteristic of medical activity. The high cost of testing and treatments are among the most important factors that influence the integration of individualised medicine approaches in general practice. There are some key areas for the future management of GU cancers: genetic polymorphism, the influence of environmental factors, chemoprevention and focal therapies.

Photo: Prof. Rouprêt (middle) chairs EAU18 Nightmare Session on BCa management.

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