The venue was the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, one of the leading research institutes in Greece. More than 100 participants from 20 European countries, China, South Korea, Taiwan and the USA, representing diverse clinical and research disciplines, gathered in the Greek capital.This refl ected, once more, the multi-disciplinary, research-intensive, lively ESUR spirit.
The programme started with a pre-meeting,highly-interactive ESU course, delivered by Stavros Tyritzis, (GR), Michiel Sedelaar (NL), and Anders Bjartell (SE) on the clinical challenges associated with prostate cancer management and pertinent research advancements. Lively discussions touched upon the contribution of existing molecular phenotypes and biomarkers in combination with treatment modalities to the management of localised and metastasised disease.
Following the opening of the ESUR meeting by Kerstin Junker (DE, ESUR Chair), Rodolfo Montironi (IT, ESUP Chair) and Antonia Vlahou (GR, Meeting Chair), Francesca Demichellis (IT), Margaret Knowles (GB) and Egbert Oosterwijk (NL) delivered insightful talks on epigenetic mechanisms underlying cancer cell development and progression towards aggressive molecular phenotypes. The challenges associated with multi-source data integration, existing promising tools and examples of their applications in biomarker and drug discovery were presented by Aristotelis Chatziioannou (GR) and Leonidas Alexopoulos (GR) in a special session on Big Data. This also included short oral presentations by Rafael Stroggilos (GR), Yanti Setiasti (NL), Annika Kohvakka (FI) and Francesca Amoroso (GB), on bladder cancer subtyping, as well as signalling networks and combination of imaging with molecular data towards better understanding and/or management of prostate cancer.
The second day of the meeting opened with a session focusing on tumour cell-microenvironmentinteractions, including stellar presentations by Catherine Muller-Staumont (FR) on the impact of adipocytes on tumour growth, Martin Puhr (AT) on therapeutic approaches involving the glucocorticoid receptor and Natasha Kyprianou (US) on impact of combination therapies involving TGFb blockade on advanced prostate cancer treatment. The session also included relevant short presentations by Britta Söderkvist (SE), Natalie Sampson (AT) and Johannes Linxweiler (DE) on tumour-stromal and cancer associated fi broblasts interactions in prostate cancer.
Main networking activities in urological research were presented by Endre Kiss-Toth (GB), Hing Leung (GB), Evangelos Xylinas (FR) and Anders Bjartell (SE) who provided, respectively, overviews of the Train-Tribbles Network, the Transport Network, activities of the young urologists forum and the EAU ResearchFoundation.
Following a highly-interactive poster session, the afternoon programme included a provocativepoint-counterpoint session on the added value of molecular subtypes in bladder cancer management with presentations by Markus Eckstein (DE) and Gunter Niegisch (DE) moderated by Yves Allory (FR) and Alexandra Masson-Lecomte (FR). Relevant short presentations by Mario Cangiano (NL), Clementine Le Magnen (CH), Yvonne Ceder (SE), AlessiaCimadamore (IT) and Domenico Albino (CH)followed, addressing clinical and molecular aspects related to prostate cancer progression.
The last day of the meeting set off with a session on biomarkers and clinical trials, with a presentation by Thomas Keller (DE) on main statisticalconsiderations and common pitfalls associated with biomarker development. This was followed bycomprehensive presentations by Aristotelis Bamias (GR) on biomarker inclusions in running urological cancer trials, and Annelies Verbiest (BE) and Elfriede Nossner (DE) on predictive biomarkers for kidney cancer and immunotherapy response, respectively.The session ended with a presentation by Holger Moch (CH) on the implementation of digitalpathology in new clinical trials.
Short presentations were then delivered by Jacqueline Fontugne (FR), Gerald Verhaegh (NL), Malin Hagber Thulin (SE), Linda Rushworth (GB), and Carmen Jeronimo (PT) on recent molecular fi ndings of potential therapeutic and predictive value for urogenital cancers.Following a second lively poster session, the final session of the meeting focused on liquid biopsies including presentations by Ellen Zwarthoff (NL) and Antonia Vlahou (GR) on urinary epigenetic and proteomic biomarkers respectively for bladder cancer and Emil Christensen (DK) on the latest developments on the application of cell-free DNA as a source of cancer biomarkers. Two relevant short presentations by Marie-Lisa Eich (US) and Lewis Au (GB) followed, focusing on urinary DNA-based tests for bladder and renal cancers.
The meeting ended with the presentation of the ARTP award to the best abstract on prostate cancer, this year conferred to Natalie Sampson (AT) for her abstract entitled Cancer-associated fi broblast heterogeneity within the prostate cancer stromal microenvironment and thankful closing remarks by the ESUR and meeting chairs. The group will re-convene in beautiful Porto, Portugal for ESUR-SBUR19 (13th World Congress on Urological Research, 10-12 October 2019), chaired by Carmen Jeronimo.