On 10-13 March 2023, Milan will host one of the world’s largest urology events. Over 4500 abstracts were submitted for EAU23, the third-highest number ever recorded for an Annual EAU Congress. In an exclusive interview with Prof. Peter Albers, Chair of the Scientific Congress Office, he shares details on the design of the scientific programme, as well as the hot topics that will be covered during EAU23.
Prof. Albers (DE): “We are very grateful for having received such a vast number of abstracts this year, and I think this touches on several important issues. First of all, it shows that the EAU’s Annual Congress is THE event to present cutting-edge research in urology. Secondly, it shows that the in-person format is still superior to the virtual meetings of previous years. Finally, it shows that the design of the meeting is appealing.”
“There are numerous highly-ranked phase III trials which will be publicly presented for the first time,” says Prof. Albers. “We are very proud that researchers and principal investigators from international trials have selected our Annual Congress as the occasion for the worldwide debut of their new data. All the new and potentially ‘game-changing’ news will be presented in a format that we have developed over the past few years: with a presenter and a discussant in front of a Plenary audience.”
Hot topics in 2023
EAU23 has a total of eight plenary sessions that cover the biggest and most pressing topics that urologists deal with. Albers: “We have selected very up-to-date topics for the Plenary presentations, like PCa screening and early detection (including imaging), transplant surgery, infections, stones and major cancers. In addition to that, the EAU has focused on personalised medicine in diagnostics and treatment. We’ll have a special session on prostate cancer genomics for practitioners and lots of interesting thematic sessions on men’s health and BPH treatment. The programme is completed by the very well-attended day-long live surgery session that takes place every year.
“Recently we’ve introduced sessions that will feature experts discussing abstracts, as well as ‘Best of EAU’ sessions in order to guide the audience to the really important take-home messages. These will be summarised at the end of the congress in our traditional ‘souvenir’ session. What’s new this year is that we will also deliver these important new research findings in a variety of media: coverage using EAU TV, social media, and on-site discussions. All of these sessions will become available online, and the larger sessions will also be live streamed.”
Keeping the Scientific Programme fresh
With the EAU’s congress now in its 38th iteration, is it a challenge for the SCO to keep the scientific programme fresh and innovative? How much is in the hands of the SCO and how much is dependent on the research that is being submitted?
“I can rely on perfect scientific news every year,” says Prof. Albers. “It is important to stay in close contact with urology’s ‘key opinion leaders’ who usually are principal investigators of practice-changing trials. Over the past few years, they could be persuaded to present their data for the first time worldwide at our Annual Congress. The EAU is really competitive and provides a perfect platform for presentation including media coverage. Therefore, there is no problem in ‘keeping it fresh’.”
“The real challenge in the coming years will be to create a congress that is so attractive that attendees are easily willing to pay the fee for an in-person meeting. Virtual meetings are of course less expensive to attend, and now we have to deliver added value at the in-person meetings. Personally I think the added value lies in the discussant sections where new research findings are put into perspective by an expert, in some cases followed also by a panel discussion. This is hard to deliver online. In addition, the possibility to meet and talk to the world’s best researchers in person is only available at such a meeting.”
“All in all, I personally think there is a challenge to offer a better alternative to a virtual meeting. Aside from the scientific highlights and attractive programme, we cannot ignore that the social aspect is still important and desired. I have been at several scientific meetings in 2022 and all of them were completely full. People want to meet and discuss with colleagues again after the pandemic. And this is our chance. We’ll meet in one of the most vivid cities in Europe, present one of the most educational scientific programmes of the year and will meet with a top audience. For sure!”
- New speakers and topics are still being confirmed! Visit www.eau23.org and check out the latest additions to the Scientific Programme.
- If you register before 16 January 2023 (11:59 CET), you can take advantage of the early registration discount.
The full article will first appear in the Oct 2022 - Jan 2023 edition of European Urology Today.