Outstanding international experts delivered lectures on the exciting latest results from multiple studies into urological diseases, and delegates left the meeting fully up to date on all relevant developments in the field of urological research.
The ESUR board and abstract reviewers had decided to dedicate a substantial part of the scientific programme to short talks (15) and poster presentations (28) on selected abstracts. This was in particular decided for the young researchers among our delegates, who had started their PhD research project just prior to or during the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, 12 expert speakers were invited to present their work.
The ESUR meeting has always been an excellent platform for PhD researchers, senior researchers, preclinical scientists, and clinicians to meet and discuss new developments in urology research. The strength of this comprehensive meeting is that there is always enough room for discussion and networking due to the relatively small scale of the meeting. As a result, participants are offered multiple opportunities to interact with other delegates, e.g. during poster sessions. Obviously, this works best in a face-to-face meeting format, but the audio-visual team together with the ESUR board created an online programme that maximally facilitated discussions amongst the delegates. What follows are some of the highlights of ESUR21.
Highlights of the first day included the expert presentations in three lively sessions, i.e. “Patient-derived and Humanised Models for Translational Cancer Research” (Plenary Session 1), “Mechanisms of Tumour Progression and Therapy Resistance” (Plenary Session 2), and “Journal impact factor, h-index and other metrics: advantage or obstacle of high-quality research.”
In Plenary Session 1, Dr. Ralph Gareus (The Jackson Laboratory, DE) provided a comprehensive overview of the strengths and limitations of humanised mouse models for cancer research. Afterward, Dr. Dana Mustafa (Erasmus MC, NL) discussed novel possibilities in the digital and spatial profiling of cancer tissues with the NanoString platform.
In Plenary Session 2, Prof. Helmut Klocker (Medical University Innsbruck, AT) discussed the role of oncometabolites in prostate cancer progression, in particular mitochondrial OXPHOS remodelling. Prof. Hubert Hondermarck (University of Newcastle, AU) highlighted recent discoveries regarding mechanisms contributing to nerve-cancer crosstalk and the effects of nerve-cancer crosstalk on prostate cancer progression and dissemination.
Finally, Prof. Michael Menger (DE), the dean of the medical faculty of the Saarland University, critically discussed the most used metrics for scientific output, such as journal impact factors and the Hirsch Index.
On day 2, Dr. Geert Van Leenders (Erasmus MC, NL) described novel ways of prostate cancer grading during Plenary Session 3 “New Developments in Pathology.”
Plenary Session 4 addressed the topic of novel immunotherapeutic approaches and treatment combinations. Dr. Nadine van Montfoort (Leiden University MC, NL) discussed new developments and strategies in immuno-oncology. This preclinical presentation was followed by presentations from Prof. Kerstin Junker (Saarland University, DE) and Prof. Elfriede Nossner (Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, DE) discussing combination therapies for renal carcinoma. At the end of Plenary Session 4, there was a very lively panel discussion on the status quo in the field and on future perspectives.
The online meeting was successful and sufficient. Of course, we all hope that we will be able to meet in person again in the future. At the 37th Annual EAU Congress (EAU22), for example, which is taking place in Amsterdam from 18 to 21 March 2022. Here, the ESUR and ESUP will organise a joint meeting entitled “Biomarkers in uro-oncology: From bench to bedside”, which will be chaired by Prof. Junker and Prof. Maurizio Colecchia (IT). Stay tuned at www. eau22.org for the latest information on this next meeting!