Every year, creating the scientific programme for the Annual EAU Congress poses several challenges. “The biggest challenge is to make a programme that's interesting for all participants, whether they come from within or outside of Europe, whether they are young or experienced, and even catering to participating non-urologists," says Prof. Arnulf Stenzl, Chairman of the Scientific Congress Office. “Quality is the major goal. We cover more topics every year, but you have to do that without losing sight of the quality.”Plenary sessions at the 28th Annual EAU Congress in Milan will place more emphasis on themes rather than on a specific disease to enable both participants and the audience to have a more holistic and anatomical approach.
Mr. James Catto, who is one of the members of the EAU Scientific Congress Office explains: “This year we have slightly changed the focus of the plenary sessions. Rather than focussing upon one pathology, we will use a more holistic and anatomical approach. For example, we have sessions on the theme of the ageing patient, and the lower and upper urinary tracts”.
Catto said the approach will allow attendees to engage in sessions that focus on problems they see in the clinic, for example, the identification of the nature of upper urinary tract masses, rather from a pathological diagnosis.
He added that the themed sessions will provide more flexibility for the speakers to examine the various aspects and links in the whole treatment process. “We also have themed sessions exploring the balance between patient symptoms, the need for treatment and treatment-related complications,” according to Catto.
Each year the congress focuses upon major issues within urology, such as prostate cancer. This disease is now the commonest male cancer. The 2013 congress in Milan will be no exception with its aim to offer the latest updates and provide deeper insights into current medical and surgical treatment modalities for various forms of prostate cancer.
Among the so-called ‘hot topics’’ in prostate cancer that will be tackled in Milan will be the use of intermittent androgen deprivation in managing men with advanced or treatment refractory disease. Focus will also turn to more advanced disease and the sequencing of newer antiandrogenic drugs with existing hormone deprivation regimes and chemotherapy for optimal disease control.
Catto also mentioned that in Milan experts from and outside Europe will provide updates on the best treatments for locally advanced or aggressive organ-confined disease. Among the PCa issues that deserve a front-seat placement will be the role of focal therapy in prostate cancer, including its complications and impact on other traditional therapies.
With the Annual EAU Congress now considered as the biggest urology event in Europe that attracts a long list of expert lecturers and speakers, Catto noted that participants will find it challenging to allot enough time to cover major areas in urology on a given day.
With three full days out of the five-day scientific programme from 15-19 March he recommends congress attendees and visitors to plan ahead by using or downloading the congress app. In Paris during the 27th Annual EAU Congress, the Paris Congress App was the the most downloaded application produced for the annual event.
Entering its third decade of organising one of the world’s most comprehensive and multidisciplinary medical meetings, the annual congress is known for its compact and wide-ranging scientific programme.
“The EAU brings the best speakers to one of the largest urological meeting worldwide. This makes it possible to host leading authorities and have simultaneous sessions covering all aspects of urological practice,” Catto said. “The youth and vigour of the EAU ensures that the themes and sessions are dynamic, evidence-based and practice-changing.”