The American Urological Association's 105th Annual Scientific Meeting took place May 29 to June 3 in San Francisco and attracted a record 18,200 attendees from around the world. The meeting featured 2,100 abstracts presented by world-renowned experts, two half-day live surgery courses, industry clinical updates, 15 individual educational tracks, and a Late-Breaking Science Forum. Topics included prostate, bladder and kidney cancers; erectile dysfunction; benign prostatic hyperplasia; incontinence; male infertility; and other genitourinary diseases and conditions.
Highlights included the 1st World Congress of Pediatric Urology, which was held in conjunction with the meeting. "Almost 1,000 pediatric urologists from around the world were here, representing 61 countries," said AUA secretary, Robert Flanigan, M.D., of Loyola University in Chicago. "I believe it was the largest pediatric urology meeting ever."
According to Flanigan, other highlights included sessions entitled "Celebrating 60 Years of Discovery at the NIDDK," which was moderated by the AUA's new director of research, Johannes W.G. Vieweg, M.D.; and "Regenerative Medicine, Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells: New Approaches to Healthcare," which was presented by Anthony Atala, M.D. "During this terrific presentation, Atala presented all of his 20 years of research in regenerative medicine, meaning making new organs and parts of organs out of cellular growth patterns and so forth," Flanigan said.
"One of the most noteworthy things that happened was the release of the AUA's 'Urology Core Curriculum,' which we've been working on for three years," Flanigan said. "This has tremendous benefits, not only for the active members in the United States, Canada and Mexico, but also for a lot of other urologists around the world, particularly in some parts of the world where there are not well-standardized training programs for urologists."
The meeting featured many new studies addressing the detection and management of prostate cancer. French researchers presented data suggesting that trained dogs can accurately identify prostate cancer by recognizing the characteristic olfactory signatures of prostate cancer-derived volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in patients' urine. In a study of 66 patients, including 33 with confirmed prostate cancer, the dogs correctly classified 63 urine samples, a test that showed a sensitivity of 100 percent and a specificity of 91 percent.
"These data suggest that prostate cancer tumors may excrete certain VOCs that turn up in a patient's urine and that this 'scent' may be specific to prostate cancer," session moderator, Anthony Y. Smith, M.D., of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, said in a statement. "What we need to do now is figure out what those VOCs are and whether or not we can develop a specific test to identify them. But, don't be surprised in a few years if we have to 'call in the dogs' to make a diagnosis -- if it holds up, the dogs are better than PSA!"
Two studies by researchers in Canada and San Francisco suggested that men with low-risk prostate cancer can be managed with active surveillance, which may result in fewer cases of overtreatment. However, the researchers concluded that more research is needed to identify the points at which active treatment is necessary.
"Overdetection should not be used synonymously with overtreatment when it comes to prostate cancer," session moderator, J. Brantley Thrasher, M.D., of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, said in a statement. "These two studies alone show just how valuable active surveillance protocols can be when disease is managed well and treatment is recommended appropriately."
In a related study, Austrian researchers presented data from the Tyrol project suggesting that an analysis of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity and its rate of increase over time may identify prostate cancer patients who require biopsy and active treatment. In a study of 426 prostatectomy patients, the researchers found that cancer recurred in those with a PSA velocity reading of at least 0.25 ng/mL/year, and that only 7 percent had a reading under 0.4 ng/mL/year.
Minnesota researchers analyzed data on 166,162 prostate cancer patients aged 66 and older and found that those who underwent three dimensional external beam radiation therapy had a 58 percent increased risk of hip fracture.
"Maintaining bone health is an important part of treating prostate cancer patients, particularly those on androgen suppression therapy," AUA spokesman, Jeffrey M. Holzbeierlein, M.D., of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansa City, said in a statement. "These data suggest that we might consider taking similar measures with our patients who are receiving three dimensional external beam radiation therapy."
Two studies by researchers from Colorado and Washington suggested that the use of dietary supplements such as multivitamins, fish oil and vitamin C may provide no protection against urothelial and prostate cancers.
"It's really disturbing to think that so many people are taking vitamins, assuming that these pills are providing some sort of health benefits," session moderator, Mark A. Moyad, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said in a statement. "The reality is that very little scientific research has proven vitamins to be effective in protecting against cancer and some studies have even shown that taking certain vitamins could increase one's risk of cancer."
Two other studies showed the ill effects of poor lifestyle choices on urological health. In one study, an international group of researchers found that active and former smokers were more likely to experience increased urinary urgency (odds ratios, 2.7 and 1.8, respectively). In a related study, North Carolina researchers found that men who exercised regularly had significantly higher sexual function scores than those who did not.
AUA: Molecular Markers May Identify Prostate Cancer
TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- In men with elevated serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and/or an abnormal digital rectal examination, two new tests -- a urine test that measures prostate cancer gene 3 (PCA3), and a blood test that measures free circulating DNA -- may more accurately predict prostate cancer than the standard PSA test, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 29 to June 3 in San Francisco.
AUA: Counterfeit ED Drugs Pose Serious Health Risks
TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Counterfeit phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors -- which can be purchased online or in the private market -- may present serious health risks because they often contain too much of the active ingredient, as well as toxic materials, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 29 to June 3 in San Francisco.
AUA: Sipuleucel-T Appears Safe for Prostate Cancer Patients
TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- In men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer or androgen-dependent prostate cancer, sipuleucel-T immunotherapy appears to be safe, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 29 to June 3 in San Francisco.
AUA: Nocturia Linked to Increased Risk of Mortality
MONDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Patients of all ages with nocturia -- two or more episodes of urination per night -- may have an increased risk of mortality, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 29 to June 3 in San Francisco.
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