ESUI 2012: Understanding the role of imaging in urology

Thu, 5 Apr 2012

Urological imaging technology is making big leaps forward. What used to be unsatisfactory technology in the past, except in the hands of highly dedicated specialists, has now fully grown into an essential area of urological practice. Many pressing issues will be discussed at the 2nd meeting of the EAU Section of Urological Imaging which will take place this year on 19-20 October in Berlin, Germany. The scientific programme of this event is geared to provide in-depth insights in the scientific knowledge that has been accumulated to date as well as to give an opportunity for the delegates to learn from personal experiences and best practices of Europe’s top experts in urological imaging.

“Much has changed since our last ESUI meeting, which took place in 2003 in Trieste. In the past decade, multiparametric MRI, elastography, contrast enhanced ultrasound, C-TRUS and histoscanning emerged on the marked to address the limitations of greyscale ultrasound in the management of prostate cancer. An issue of concern to almost all urologists,” explained Prof. Jochen Walz (FR), ESUI Chair, who will also preside at the upcoming meeting.

“Moreover, imaging guided therapies for small renal masses have become more popular and more frequently implemented in clinical practice”.

Fueled by commitment from medical technology innovators, imaging in urology is developing fast and there is now an urgent need for collaboration on the level of science and clinical practice.

First of all, there is a need to ensure that clinical application of this technology keeps up with the speed of its development. Adoption of various techniques is not homogenous throughout Europe, so accumulating and sharing best practices, along with conducting relevant studies, will help to bring forward the most effective solutions.

Secondly, the scientific community is to a large degree responsible for providing feedback on clinical application of new imaging technology to ensure that further development of this technology is targeted to meet the real needs of practitioners and their patients. Another important task in this field is the standardisation of new imaging technologies with the aim to assure reliability, comparability and reproducibility of the exams.

Alongside these technical issues, urologists are currently addressing several other challenges, one of them – multidisciplinary cooperation in imaging, as well as the smooth integration of appropriate technologies into the entire cycle of disease management – from diagnostic work up, to treatment and follow-up.

To address these questions and to stimulate an open discussion, a series of dedicated presentations have been included into the programme. The lecture entitled “Imaging and imaging based treatment in urology: Is the urologist still the primary actor?” by Prof. Jochen Walz (FR) will open the meeting, and every section of the scientific programme will feature a “What needs to be improved in…” overview.

The two day event will also host several "How I do it" lectures, which will complement state-of-the-art lectures to give practical information to provide the auditorium with the knowledge to introduce these techniques into their clinical practice.

Future implications and prospects will also be discussed.

“Focal therapy of prostate cancer is another emerging field that we will discuss during the upcoming ESUI meeting. It has been attracting a lot of attention”, explained Walz. “This treatment will largely depend on reliable and reproducible imaging of prostate cancer, which is today not yet available. But promising tools are in evaluation.”

One of the sessions will cover a range of “future tools”, which, according to Walz, are extremely interesting but are currently far from clinical use.

“This is also where the EAU Section of Urological Imaging plays an important role – we need to observe these developments and make sure that they are sufficiently discussed and that they remain in the field of vision of all European urologists,” he emphasised.

“One of our main aims is to ensure that imaging and imaging based therapy remain in the competency field of urology. Urologists should be familiar with these techniques and able to use them in their daily practice. To provide this knowledge is, therefore, one of the aims of this upcoming meeting”.

Visit the official website of the meeting