ESUR17: Urological research at its prime

22 June 2017

The cosmopolitan city of Paris will host the 24th Meeting of the EAU Section of Urological Research (ESUR17) this October, in collaboration with the EAU Section of Uropathology (ESUP). International and esteemed experts will present the latest and most relevant research strategies to date at this highly-anticipated meeting.

Dr. David Liu (US)

Dr. David Liu

The best platform for research
ESUR17 is a unique, distinguished meeting where clinicians’ knowledge on research strategies will be enhanced, and researchers’ familiarisation with urological challenges will be broadened.

“ESUR17 is a truly exciting meeting,” said Dr. David Liu (US) of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute. “It will offer the quintessential setting for clinician-researcher collaboration, and the platform to present the kind of translational research that I do. The focus and size of ESUR17 are ideal for synergy and for building relationships.”

Prof. Georges Netto (US) of the University of Alabama at Birmingham said “There are over 60 clinical trials ongoing for bladder cancer alone (e.g. monotherapy or in combination with chemoRx/Targeted Rx/ImmunoRx of immune checkpoint inhibitors). ESUR7 is the optimal venue to discuss these with the global leaders in the field.”

Expectations and some notable lectures
“I look forward to re-acquaint with old colleagues and to meet new ones as well. I’m eager to learn, brainstorm and share my research at ESUR17,” said Netto.

Prof. Georges Netto

Prof. Georges Netto

“My lecture ‘Immune scoring system in modern pathology: A new grading system? ’will address the development of a novel paradigm in predictive biomarkers for immune checkpoint inhibitors. A mechanism-driven approach to predicting response to these promising novel therapeutics is needed. An ‘immune-score’ approach, which encompasses evaluation of immune checkpoint markers (PDL-1), Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) density and innate tumoral genetic alterations, is emerging and will be outlined.”

Also presenting at ESUR17, Liu said “I anticipate excellent questions and discussions showing both clinical and research perspectives; and am looking forward to potential collaborations and new ideas arising from these interactions. It will be my inaugural presentation at an ESUR meeting. I’m very excited!”

According to Liu, although targeted therapies and immunotherapy have revolutionised the treatment of cancer, chemotherapy continues to be a mainstay of treatment in many cancers. In recent years, detection of deficiencies in DNA repair pathways are found to be predictive of response to multiple therapies, including chemotherapy. “In my lecture ‘Defects in DNA repair genes: Role in chemotherapy response in urological cancers’, I will review some of these findings in urological cancers, their underlying biological mechanisms, as well as, preview new approaches to predicting response to chemotherapies.”

Explore the rest of ESUR17’s highly-informative lectures. Check out its Scientific Programme online.

Breakthroughs in the future
Netto and Liu are enthusiastic about discoveries of future urological research. “I think one of the major breakthroughs will be trials that take precision medicine into the next phase where immunogenomics converge,” said Netto.

“There are multiple areas of research where breakthroughs would be incredible,” said Liu. “These include advances in cell-free DNA (cfDNA): the ability to genomically characterise an individual’s disease at multiple time points in a fast, economical, and non-invasive manner. These will allow us to examine tumour evolution under therapy. We can gain insight into what genomic alterations may predict response to therapy, and in the most relevant disease model possible – in the patients themselves.

“Single-cell technology may unlock the existence of pre-existing resistant subclones. This may help clinicians customise combination therapies, and clearly define the tumour microenvironment to predict the response to treatments such as immunotherapies. We need to develop a framework to characterise the dependencies and vulnerabilities of individual tumours based on an integrated model utilizing data from the tumour’s DNA, RNA, epigenome, and microenvironment,” Liu concluded.