11th ESOU: A sharper focus on the treatment of elderly patients

Tue, 21 Jan 2014

From 17-19 January the 11th meeting of the EAU Section of Oncological Urology (ESOU) took place in Prague, Czech Republic. Close to 900 delegates heard from world-leading experts about the biggest challenges and most promising developments within the field of onco-urology. ESOU chairman Prof. Maurizio Brausi (IT) and chairman of the Czech Urological Society, Prof. Marko Babjuk (CZ), reflected on the meeting.

“The main value of the ESOU meeting is that it deals with all urological malignancies and the complex character of oncological urology. The need for collaboration with medical oncologists, pathologists, and radio-oncologists is stressed during this meeting and there is much emphasis on interaction between the speakers and the audience,” said Prof. Babjuk.

Prof. Brausi explained that there has always been much audience participation at the ESOU meetings, but they created even more space for questions and comments in this year’s programme. “We noticed that people enjoy being able discuss their questions with the speakers,” he said.

One of the themes which sparked many comments and questions from the audience was how to treat elderly patients, demonstrating that the ageing population will be a challenging aspect in the coming years. The overall consensus was that chronological age alone should no longer be seen as a contraindication, but the focus needs to shift to life expectancy.

Brausi: “Currently, more than 70% of bladder cancer patients are over 70 years old. A multidisciplinary approach is important in this patient group and the team of physicians should include a geriatric specialist, cardiologist, and pulmonologist. Evaluating these patients before and after surgery will enable us to get better insight into mortality and complication rates of treatment.”

A better understanding of treatment modalities in order to improve oncological outcomes and decrease mortality is another important aspect of onco-urology. Babjuk: “New treatments will be developed but we should also better understand the current treatment options and how they relate to each other.”

The programme consisted of several interesting debates, including one where Brausi and Babjuk opposed each other and discussed prostate-sparing radical cystectomy. Brausi argued that this surgery can preserve potency and continence, which improves the patient’s quality of life. Babjuk responded that this procedure is not the best choice because of the oncological risk and the lack of data about standardised surgical approach. It was one of the highlights of the meeting.

“We are very satisfied with this edition of the meeting; we had many participants and got a lot of positive feedback. This motivates us to create an even better programme next year,” concluded Brausi.

A detailed report on the 11th ESOU will be published in the February/March edition of European Urology Today