Munich welcomed close to 900 delegates to yet another successful edition of the meeting of the EAU Section of Oncological Urology (ESOU), from 16 - 18 January, 2015. The need for collaboration with other medical disciplines to improve outcomes, and the advance of personalised medicine were the two main messages of this dynamic yearly meeting.
The question whether personalised medicine was already a fact or still a fiction in the treatment of cancer, a pertinent point raised by Reinhard Büttner, became the departure point for productive discussion. As technology advances, it becomes much easier and cost-effective, to establish treatment options that are specific to each patient. In particular, the treatment of prostate and bladder cancer can greatly benefit from these developments.
Finding the best recommendation with the use of personalised medicine requires cooperation, a constant exchange of information, and discussion of cases from different angles. This is why “multidisciplinarity is crucial to further developments in the field of onco-urology,” according to Maurizio Brausi, Chairman of the ESOU. He stressed the need for collaboration with a specialised medical team that can provide tailor-made treatment options. This requires not only efforts by doctors of all specialities, but also intense improved communication within hospitals and specialised care centres. Another important element is trust among the members of the multidisciplinary team, and collaboration was a recurrent theme throughout the sessions.
The most heated debate was perhaps between open and robotic surgeons. The pros and cons of each technique for different urological cancers were presented by experienced surgeons. Video material strengthened the presentations, and was useful for the delegates to better visualise each procedure. While experts did not switch sides, there was one message they could all agree on: the experience of the surgeon is what drives the success of a procedure; regardless of technique, training and practice are essential.
The weekend also featured Hands-on training (HOT) sessions in robotic surgery and laparoscopy, and the yearly Sessions To Evaluate ProgresS in the management of urological cancers, the STEPS programme, already in its 5th year. STEPS fellows sat down with world-class experts in prostate, kidney, testicular, and bladder cancer, and held in-depth discussions on different approaches to a specific case during an intensive 2.5 hour session.
The third day was dedicated to management of postoperative functional complications. Also, the ESOU Journal Club held its “Best of Uro-Oncology in 2014” talks for the four major urological cancers. This, together with a discussion of metastatic PCa and CRPC wrapped up a meeting showcasing the most current controversies, debates and developments in onco-urology today
Certificates of attendance for the 12th ESOU meeting can be downloaded from www.uroweb.org. Keep an eye on theESOU2015 website for webcasts of the event, to be posted soon. The organisers look forward to welcoming you in Warsaw for the 13th ESOU meeting, from 15-17 January 2016.