Emma Hitt, PhD

May 18, 2012

May 18, 2012 (Atlanta, Georgia) — Urologists from the United States and the rest of the world will be enjoying some Southern hospitality and trying to stay cool this week as they attend the American Urological Association (AUA) 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting here at the Georgia World Congress Center, in Atlanta.

The AUA meeting, in its 107th year, is the largest gathering of urologists in the world, with more than half the 15,000 attendees coming from outside the United States, said Sushil S. Lacy, MD, clinical professor of urology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and current president of the AUA.

To find out more about what to expect from this year's meeting, Medscape Medical News interviewed Dr. Lacy, who elaborated on some of the anticipated highlights and upcoming offerings.

Pretty Sizeable Argument

These days, PSA might stand for "pretty sizeable argument," rather than prostate-specific antigen, as experts debate the 2011 US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation to discontinue routine screening for prostate cancer using the test. This issue will be hashed out at a town hall meeting on the topic.

The USPSTF already recommended against routine PSA screening in men older than 75 years; the new recommendation extended this to all men.

Ian Thompson Jr, MD, professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, will lead the forum of experts who will discuss — or debate — how PSA levels should be used to inform treatment decisions.

Experts will include Timothy Wilt, MD, who will discuss the USPSTF recommendations. In addition, a 45-minute Q&A session, which promises to be nothing if not emotionally charged, will be led by Gerald L. Andriole Jr, MD, chief of the division of urologic surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Fritz H. Schröder, MD, professor of urology at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In addition, astronaut Mark Kelly, a prostate cancer survivor and husband of former Arizona senator Gabrielle Giffords, will provide a patient's perspective on the disease.

"We've never had a town hall meeting before, and we hope it will provide an opportunity for people to ask questions and discuss the topic," Dr. Lacy said. "This is likely to be a very interesting program."

Other Offerings

"We will also have some presentations on new guidelines for practicing urology," Dr. Lacy said. New guidelines will be introduced at the meeting on overactive bladder, microscopic hematuria, vasectomy, and urodynamics.

"We have also asked the exhibitors to talk about what is on the horizon for their companies," Dr. Lacy said. "We have never before had a platform to let exhibitors tell us what is going on, so this will be very useful in terms of providing attendees with the latest upcoming offerings from industry."

The meeting will offer more than 2000 presentations on urologic medicine, 6 hours of plenary sessions, and a day of live surgeries, showcasing 7 procedures in robotics and benign prostatic hyperplasia. The plenary sessions will include a wide array of topics in different formats, including state-of-the art lectures and panel discussion. There will also be a free half-day program for allied healthcare professionals, entitled Best Practices in Urologic Care for the Allied Health Team.

For mobile fans, a free app will be available so that attendees can access content from the meeting.

Late-Breaking Science Forum

The following research will be presented during the Late Breaking Science Forum:

  • MDV3100, an Androgen Receptor Signaling Inhibitor, Improves Overall Survival in Men with Post-Docetaxel Prostate Cancer: Baseline Characteristics and Results From the Phase 3 AFFIRM Study, presented by Neil Shore from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Abstract LBA1)

  • Serum Glutamate Levels Are Associated With Primary Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness, presented by Shahriar Koochekpour from Buffalo, New York (Abstract LBA2)

  • A Panel of Hub Genes Associated With Aggressiveness and Biochemical Recurrence After Radical Prostatectomy Are More Highly Expressed Among African American Than European American Men, presented by Isaac Powell from Detroit, Michigan (Abstract LBA3)

  • Don't Ask/Don't Tell: Implications of Following Proposed United States Public Health Services (USPHSTF) Recommendations Against Discussing Prostate Cancer Screening, presented by E. David Crawford from Aurora, Colorado (Abstract LBA4)

  • Circulating microRNA Signatures: A Novel Minimally Invasive Biomarker for Prostate Cancer, presented by Brian Kelly from Galway, Ireland (Abstract LBA5)

  • Clinical Utility of a Multiplexed Epigenetic Gene Assay to Detect Cancer in Histopathologically Negative Prostate Biopsies: Results of the Multicenter MATLOC Study, presented by Grant Stewart from Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Abstract LBA6)

  • Nitric Oxide-Releasing Polymeric Microspheres as a Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction, presented by Samit Soni from Houston, Texas (Abstract LBA7)

  • Efficacy and Safety of Avanafil, A Next-Generation, Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitor for the Treatment of Men With Erectile Dysfunction: Data From Phase 2 and 3 Studies in Difficult-to-Treat Populations, presented by John P. Mulhall from New York City (Abstract LBA8)

  • Autologous Muscle Derived Cells for Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence: Dose Escalation Study of Safety and Potential Effectiveness, presented by Kenneth Peters from Royal Oak, Michigan (Abstract LBA9)

Medscape Medical News coverage from onsite reporters will begin tomorrow.

According to Dr. Lacy, the most important benefit for meeting attendees will be scientific information and education. "Participants will have the advantage of seeing new devices, many of which are specifically rolled out for the first time at this meeting," he said. Another benefit will be the opportunity to network with urologists from around the world and to discuss key issues, such as new practice guidelines, the shortage of urologists, and healthcare reforms.

To search the AUA scientific and educational programs, visit the AUA abstracts search page.