With a steadfast dedication to urology and an impressive track record, Prof. Morgan Rouprêt (FR) has taken up the mantle of editor-in-chief of the European Urology Oncology (EUO) journal as the successor of Prof. Alberto Briganti (IT).
In this exclusive interview, Prof. Rouprêt shared his aspirations for the EUO, the biggest challenges facing the field today, and why urology became his calling.
Prof. Rouprêt: Thank you. In the 9 years that I’ve been in the EAU Scientific Committee Office, over 65% of abstracts submitted for the annual congresses were related to genitourinary (GU) cancers. This illustrates the relevance and ubiquity of oncology in urology.
This year, a new chapter will begin for the EUO with further renewed vigour. We aim to maintain content quality and scientific rigour, broaden the readership, and address the needs of our specialty. We will incorporate measures demonstrating the journal's reach beyond the Impact Factor (IF), and implement strategies that improve diversity, equality, and inclusivity amongst the editorial team.
In the coming years, my proposed plans will be based on the four following fundamental pillars:
- Implementation of scientific content
- Improvement of performance evident in journal metrics
- Bolstering the collaboration within and beyond the EAU
- Reshaping the EUO Editorial Board
Prof. Rouprêt: Clinical research is the heart of the EUO reactor. Without research, there are no publications and consequently, no evolution of the EAU Guidelines. In practice, urologists are already investigators and implementors of this clinical or fundamental research to varying degrees. Urologists have led some major cancer research projects, which were recognised as successes by the community; but more often than not, these are not under the umbrella of the EAU.
The first thing that we need to do is to further stimulate the EAU's onco-urological network. Then we need to boost the global onco-urological network beyond the borders of EAU. The future of clinical research in oncology lies in the extension of EUO's collaboration with identified research networks. The EUO Editorial Board must network to solicit systematic reviews, position papers, or consensus papers.
Prof. Rouprêt: The current EUO team has shown what can be achieved when a high-quality publishing platform is introduced to an area with unmet needs. To date, the EUO is ranked 1st in GU cancer journals, 3rd in urology, 9/90 (Q1) in Urology & Nephrology (code ZA), and 42/246 (Q1) in Oncology (code DM).
The IF is currently the main and most recognised measure of the success of a scientific journal. Increasing the IF of a journal often corresponds to well-established rules: limiting the number of original articles published (ratio), and promoting the publication of commissioned review articles. This is where social media helps the EUO become a vehicle that provides dynamic, accessible, and reliable scientific information. To increase the downloads and citations of EUO articles, we will continue to disseminate updates on new EUO issues via Twitter. The journal could also organise monthly discussions on published papers on Twitter and/or Instagram. LinkedIn can also be a channel where the Editorial Board highlights EUO’s activity and increase its profile.
Prof. Rouprêt: Yes. I propose the following:
- Additional special thematic issues not sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry
The Editorial Board will define two thematic issues (on top of the six regular issues) per year. These will comprise a mix of open-access original articles (obtained by an open call), and invited systematic reviews.
- Virtual special issues (VSI)
VSI can be created by grouping together articles already published in other issues in a digital issue of the EUO on specific themes. This increases the visibility of the journal (i.e. downloads and citations) when some articles are highlighted and grouped.
- Editorial enhancements
Additional features such as lay summaries, graphical abstracts, infographic creation and dissemination, and highlights will be included.
Prof. Rouprêt: The EUO should aspire to attract data from pivotal research projects. Although the main results from a large phase III clinical trial may naturally go to journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine or Lancet Oncology, the EUO Editorial Board must be in permanent contact with key investigators and groups in clinical research in GU oncology. This is to draw in the results of the ancillary studies of large therapeutic trials in the field of GU cancer, or the publication of the post hoc analysis into the EUO.
The EUO publishes excellent papers in the field of GU cancers but many promising areas remain unexplored:
- Primary and secondary cancer prevention
- Environmental influence and occupational cancers
- Prevention and genetic susceptibility
- Nuclear medicine
The structure of the EUO Editorial Board should evolve, expand, and take the changes in medicine and the new face of modern urology into account. Improving equality, diversity, and inclusivity should not be just a mantra. The journal aspires to forge links and attract scientific data from all over the world. If the English language becomes a challenge, we aim to offer solutions so that the language barrier will not hinder submissions to the EUO.
Prof. Rouprêt: When I was a medical student, I thought urology was limited to the prostate and that there wasn't much interest in the field. Fortunately, I was able to participate in a course at the Pitié -Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. I met a great team who helped me appreciate the dynamism and diversity of urology. Most notably, I’ve met Prof. François Richard, who immediately became a source of inspiration. I wanted to become him and in some way I did because I became his successor in 2013.
Prof. Rouprêt: Obviously, cancer and urogenital tumours as a whole. I have a clinical activity that covers the management of these diseases. In terms of my academic background, I focused my research on urothelial tumours when I was young. Presently, I treat kidney, prostate, and bladder cancers as well.
Prof. Rouprêt: In 2009, I suddenly fell so ill that I had to stop my career for six months to heal. I underwent surgery and radiotherapy. It was a difficult time for me. Becoming a patient taught me to sit back, listen to others more, and understand that no one is invincible. By opening up to others, I also learned to share more and be more open. This also enabled me to understand the value of starting a family and becoming a father. That challenging period in my life helped me develop more empathy. The quote "What does not kill me, makes me stronger" proves true in this case.
Prof. Rouprêt: Medicine is now over-specialised and personalised. I see the need for a brand of onco-urology proposed by the EAU that will provide urologists with the necessary information in the management of their patients.
The field of GU malignancies is extremely broad and cancer management requires complex, almost encyclopaedic know-how, and constantly evolving medical and surgical knowledge.
In recent years, we have seen a revolution in the management of GU cancers which involves diverse disciplines. None of the advances would have occurred without close collaboration between different specialists and health professionals. Nowadays, such collaboration represents one of the pillars of modern treatment of patients with cancer and increasingly provides individualised pathways of care to improve patient survival and quality of life. It is in this spirit that the EUO supports the pursuit of a multidisciplinary approach by delivering high quality science and research in GU malignancies.