EAU17: My Ideal 24 Hours (Prof. Dr. Axel Merseburger)

In this new addition to the article series, urologic oncology expert Prof. Dr. Axel Merseburger (DE) of University Lübeck talks about his ideal day at the upcoming 32nd Annual EAU Congress (EAU17). Read on about his perspectives, expectations and what he looks forward to in the upcoming event.


Merseburger’s topics and lectures of interest
The Chairman of the Department of Urology at the university has planned a fixed agenda on sessions he wants to attend. Merseburger explains, “The Annual Congress has grown in all facets throughout the years, including sessions offered. For EAU17, it was especially challenging for me to decide which sessions to attend simply because there are so many to choose from. In the end, I will focus on sessions that will cover the four main urologic tumour entities, systemic therapy in particular. German urologists generally lean towards chemotherapy as treatment. Education and knowledge on the latest developments such as urologic technologies, single-use instruments, robotics, 3D models, etc. are definitely essential.”

Merseburger names his handpicked sessions from various Congress days to form his ideal 24 hours at EAU17.

Taken from Friday sessions
“I’m looking forward to Video Session 03 ‘Options in intracorporeal neobladder reconstruction’ to evaluate the pros and cons of various approaches and techniques. And I may be one of the Chairs of Poster Session 04 ‘Treatment of advanced prostate cancer – if, when and what?’ but I’m also truly interested in the topics e.g. the presentation of a Phase III study of intermittent monotherapy versus continuous combined androgen deprivation, as well as, external validity of ProtecT trial results in a cohort of North American men. Additionally, where else can you debate with Prof. Fred Saad (CA), Prof. Alberto Briganti (IT) and Prof. Dr. Axel Heidenreich (DE) in one poster session?”

From Saturday
“I will attend the Special Session ‘YUORDay17 (EAU Young Urologists Office & European Society of Residents in Urology ESRU)’ because it’s always good to know the ideas and future plans of the next generation of urologists. I will also attend the EAU Section Meeting ‘Critical review of robotic surgery in Uro-oncology’ as I’m eager to witness the evidence-based discussions on the topic.”

From Monday
“The State-of-the-art Lecture ‘Hereditary prostate cancer’ by Dr. Patrick Walsh (US) has piqued my interest. I think it’s an important topic concerning prostate cancer. This lecture will be under Plenary Session 05 ‘Management of prostate cancer’.”

Aside from lectures and sessions mentioned above, Merseburger will also take a close look at scientific abstracts as a source of inspiration for future topics for the “World Journal of Urology” where he is the Associate Editor. Moreover, he will show his support to his team from Lübeck, Germany and their presentations at the Congress.

Learning from the best
Merseburger mentions fellow experts whom he is enthusiastic to listen to at EAU17. “During the ‘Joint Session of the European Association of Urology (EAU) and the Japanese Urological Association (JUA)’ I look forward to the moderation of Prof. Dr. Maria Jose Ribal (ES) in relation to the discussion on metastatic renal cancer. I’m expecting riveting debates on controversial issues. Then there’s Assoc. Prof. Declan Murphy (AU) who’ll be great to listen to when he presents his clear evidence-based view on open salvage prostatectomy during Thematic session 02 ‘Expert challenges expert’.”

Take-home messages
After participating from EAU17, Merseburger aims to bring back with him novel techniques and surgical procedures in urology, and ideas for collaborations and for personal research projects; all of which will be from the high-end scientific exchange the Congress offers.

Business and pleasure
Historic London will be Merseburger’s venue for work and leisure. “I enjoy walking around the exhibition area to discover new developments then catch up with colleagues and friends afterwards. During session breaks, I go outside, enjoy the sun and check social media e.g. through my Twitter account @amerseburger, for immediate updates. After a busy Congress day, I put on my running shoes and explore the city. Running relaxes me and with London as a backdrop, that’s definitely a plus!”

Merseburger continues, “On Saturday evening, I will have dinner with colleagues from Poland to talk about the potential collaborations between two universities, and the exchange of residents via the European School of Urology programme. Later on, we’ll probably meet up for drinks. Then around lunchtime on Monday, I’ll take a stroll at the nearby Columbia Road Flower Market. If I have more time, I would definitely join a wonderful high tea; enjoying exquisite sandwiches at The Orangery restaurant in Hyde Park.”