Urologists, medical and radiation oncologists come together at 5th EMUC

Tue, 19 Nov 2013

Over the course of three days, three separate but intrinsically linked disciplines attended a scientific meeting and exchanged views on the treatment of urological cancers. The 5th edition of the European Multidisciplinary Meeting on Urological Cancers (EMUC) was organised by the EAU, ESMO and ESTRO, and took place in Marseille from 15-17 November.

Early on in the proceedings, as Prof. Manfred Wirth welcomed the delegates on behalf of the EAU, the make-up of the 700-strong audience became clear. By voting with their IML Connectors, it was established that just over 55% of the audience was a urologist, 20% were medical oncologists and 10% were radiation oncologists. Other, smaller categories included radiologists, researchers and industry representatives. Two thirds of the attendees worked in an academic institution, and 43% were not affiliated with any of the three organising associations.

The scientific programme of the meeting is designed to appeal to all three specialties, emphasising particularly the way in which all three work together in modern clinical practice. Dr. Marco Van Vulpen co-chaired several of the sessions, offering perspectives as a representative of the radiation oncologists.

“Multidisciplinary meetings like this are essential. Urologists and radiation oncologists aren’t fluent enough in each other’s “language”. Urologists tend to be more focussed on surgical procedures when dealing with urological cancers, whereas radiotherapists approach tumours with probabilities and sigmoid curves. I’m convinced that by learning each other’s language and working together in multidisciplinary teams is the future for the treatment of urological cancers.”

“We shouldn’t be working as separate, sometimes opposing columns within medicine: collaboration is vital to receive funding and improve care for the patient. We are starting to see multidisciplinary clinics in the United States, where urologists buy their own radiotherapy equipment, and employ radiation therapists. This approach is very promising, in my opinion.”

This is the first of several EMUC13 interviews and articles to be published on Uroweb and in European Urology Today in the coming weeks.