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Report from the RSM Winter Urology Meeting

The Winter meeting of the RSM may in the past, have had a reputation, more for its skiing than for its scientific profile. This was my second meeting 24 years after the first and I was seriously impressed with the scientific content, quality of the presentations and the first class debate that took place after the presentations.

Certainly starting with a world class motivational presentation from Sir Clive Woodward set the meeting off really well and RSM Section President John Parry subsequently chaired a good debate on how the successful messages of ‘teamship’ from World Cup Rugby and the 2012 Olympics success, could be transferred into British Urology and the NHS in general, was very motivating.

Fifty presentations over 5 days from urologists, oncologists, renal physicians, anaesthetists and GPs was always going to have something for everyone.

Stand out highlights for me were the juxtaposition of Mark Frydenberg from Melbourne and Bruce Montgomery presenting state of the art lectures on Active Surveillance and the place of multiparametric MRI and 4 linked presentations on all aspects of the management of small renal tumours and the management of tumours in single kidneys including auto-transplantation from the Universities of Western Australia (Mike Wallace), Oxford (David Cranston and Mark Sullivan) and Melbourne (Mark Frydenberg).

Whilst not particularly urological, separating the quality science with first class presentations on the Great Losses of the Great War by John Reynard and Medical Issues of Climate change by Juliet Boyd (retired anaesthetist) was yet another sign of the first class programming from Dominic Hodgson and Rik Bryan. Whilst on the subject of Rik, his presentation on bladder cancer pathways created more debate than possibly any other topic. Here was a cancer that killed over 5000 patients per year and where clinical outcomes had not significantly improved over the last 30 years. There was a desperate need for a new bladder cancer initiative to raise funds for research whilst pulling together all the bodies interested in this neglected malignant condition.

Commissioning is not everyone’s ideal topic but clear presentations on this subject clarified the muddled terminology and may position us to get involved in the ongoing debate.

There were 3 world-class oncologists present and Nick James and Peter Harper covered drugs for prostate, bladder and renal cancers and once again Steve Harland entertained and educated us in his classic understated style whilst challenging the majority surgeons in the room by asking them when surgery was appropriate in testicular cancer.

Coincidentally the organisation was first class the venue outstanding and after 20 hours of lectures and presentations the skiing was of the highest order (well at least from some of the younger delegates)!


Mark J Speakman
Consultant Urologist, Taunton & Somerset FNHST and Vice President BAUS
Twitter: @Parabolics


21 replies
  1. Roger Kirby
    Roger Kirby says:

    Agreed Mark, an outstanding meeting in an excellent venue. Well done President John Parry and secretary Dominic Hodgson. The discussion on active surveillance was especially relevant as the new NICE guidelines on this have only just been published. A great deal of useful discussion on bladder cancer which now kills 5000 individuals per year and, as Rik Bryan pointed out, is still the Cinderella of the urological cancers. A campaign to raise awareness and stimulate more research into invasive bladder cancer is surely indicated. We need to get moving with this.

    This morning Professor Peter Rehder educated us all about the conservative and surgical management of renal trauma, which appears to stem from the ski slopes with alarming regularity! All in all a brilliant meeting. Join us next year in Zanzibar!

  2. Mark Frydenberg
    Mark Frydenberg says:

    I would want to extend my congratulations to John Parry , Annie Parry , Rik Bryan and Dom Hodgson on putting on a wonderful RSM Urology Section meeting in Ischgl . A wonderful blend of urological research and science, together with fascinating political and training discussions that certainly provided enormous insight to me as President-elect of USANZ into some of the issues facing medicine and Urology in the UK and how some of the solutions may be applicable to similar issues we face in Australia. In addition the numerous non-urology lectures were illuminating with a special highlight being the Losses of the Great War by John Reynard, which encouraged us to look back on history, at the centenary of the war, to mourn those we have lost and to ensure no losses of this magnitude ever happen again.

    This meeting is conducted in a spirit of great friendship and social interaction, and certainly has made me feel that I now have many more friends within UK urology and allows a wonderful ongoing relationship between USANZ and BAUS . I strongly encourage my Australian colleagues to join the RSM via RACS, and to join this wonderful meeting in years to come.

  3. Dominic Hodgson
    Dominic Hodgson says:

    Thank you to all delegates for making this such a friendly and informative meeting. The inclusive atmosphere enabled constructive debate on many subjects.

    As Roger writes, this was particularly true when discussing bladder cancer. The urgent need for greater patient advocacy was acknowledged such that we can ensure timely and effective interventions and develop and test new treatments. It is hoped that lessons can be learnt from campaigns in prostate and breast cancers to move bladder cancer up the health-care agenda.

  4. Tom McNicholas
    Tom McNicholas says:

    Agree with all the above. Now back in the UK with tired muscles but refreshed brain! Wide ranging reviews and updates (see for details). The quality of recent Winter RSM meetings has rivalled many better known meetings – and with more time for discussion and debate.

    For a good meeting it is also important to have good fellowship (an important element in Clive Woodward’s concept of effective management by developing “Teamship”) and that was abundant. It was good to see trainees and new faces as well as (very) infrequent attenders – Mark!

    Of course the easiest way for a trainee to attend is by winning a prize! Hamid Abboudi and Rebecca Tregunna kept up their high standards (trainees and prize winners in last year’s RSM urology academic programme) with 2 more excellent presentations. I hope that they, and all our new contributors, will feel able to return to this meeting in future. John Parry’s program for this year is well underway so there are plenty of opportunities to submit abstracts and to add to our RSM Urology meetings.

  5. Rik Bryan
    Rik Bryan says:

    Mark & Roger – thank you for those comments. I too would like to congratulate John Parry & Dominic Hodgson for another excellent RSM Winter Meeting, building on the success of last year’s meeting.

    As Mark & Roger have also highlighted, our profession now needs to instigate a concerted effort to tackle bladder cancer. Action on Bladder Cancer have started this process, increasing awareness and advocacy for the disease, but other interested bodies rallying to join the cause can only benefit this endeavour.

  6. Michael Wallace
    Michael Wallace says:

    Certainly a great meeting. Best yet academic program. Call it what you will, discussing urology in the meeting, over dinner, on a ski lift or in the bar, it is still enlightening, educational, fascinating and fun but still work. More trainees and younger members need to come so keep encouraging them. For me, this meeting was well worth flying back from Australia for. Well done to all who were organising this event.

  7. Bruce Montgomery
    Bruce Montgomery says:

    I agree that this was an excellent meeting, many thanks to John Parry, Dominic Hodgson and Ric Bryan.
    Ric’s challenge to redesign the haematuria pathway is a really practical first step in trying to improve outcomes for bladder cancer. We undoubtedly need to improve awareness and raise funds to support research and trials aimed at reducing mortality from this common disease.
    Professor Peter Rehder’s statistics on skiing related renal trauma were alarming but it was reassuring to know that one would be very well treated if unfortunate enough to be injured!

  8. Hamid Abboudi
    Hamid Abboudi says:

    The RSM Urology Section has continued to offer high quality scientific meetings and this did not disappoint. Practical updates on day to day urology conundrums proved highly educational. I would encourage trainees to attend this as well as the many other meetings hosted by the RSM Urology Section.

  9. Tim Philp
    Tim Philp says:

    Echo all of the above, well done Annie, John, Dominic and Rik. Having arranged 2 of these meetings before, Vicky and I appreciate the effort needed to put it together: this year it was clearly worthwhile. For years now it has been apparent to me that one comes away from the RSM winter meeting having learnt more than one often picks up at BAUS, AUA or EAU. Non attenders should really rethink what they do in mid January!

  10. Philippa Cheetham
    Philippa Cheetham says:

    Really gutted I couldn’t join you all this year due to on call commitments and major shortage of annual leave days in NYC, but looking forward to next year’s meeting and was thinking of you all having a great time on and off the slopes all of last week. Miss you all. Hope to see many of you at AUA and BAUS
    Best wishes to all
    Philippa Cheetham, New York USA

  11. Alex Thornton-Smith
    Alex Thornton-Smith says:

    I would also echo the above. A great meeting with excellent academic content. As a GP I was unsure how relevant a lot of the talks would be to a primary care setting, but in fact a lot of areas were covered that were salient to my practice. The informal and friendly atmosphere also fostered an environment in which it was easy to speak to international experts and learn a lot outside the actual presentations.

    I am very grateful to John, Annie, Dom & Rik for organising a great event!

  12. Charles Hudd
    Charles Hudd says:

    My first meeting was Zermatt 1986 where, as an aspiring Urologist, I soon realised that this is the most informative/learning experience meeting of the year. This year’s academic programme has hit new heights: instructive, up to date (indeed pre-publication insights), with an eclectic mix of the issues we face in modern Urology. All this, plus the social-mix which often includes work related discussion surely does make this the “Meeting of the Year”?

    It certainly remains mine. Well done and thank you John, Annie, Dominic and Rik.
    Charles H

  13. Louise de Winter
    Louise de Winter says:

    Really interested to read the comments about a bladder cancer campaign. The Urology Foundation is very aware that this is a neglected issue among the wider public and have put initial steps in place to launch a campaign to gain more funding for bladder cancer. (We have even recorded a radio advert with Ronnie Corbett, but alas currently lack the sponsorship funding for it to air.) We are very keen to work with other charities and organisations to bring bladder cancer to the fore and would like to offer our support and assistance to create a strong campaign.

    • Mark J Speakman
      Mark J Speakman says:

      Thanks Louise,
      Rik’s proposals on changing the management protocols for bladder cancer and fostering more research in this area need to come to the top of our combined agenda. BAUS, TUF, the ABC charity and other interested groups need to pull together to at least get bladder cancer up to the position that has been achieved now with prostate cancer. Urology UK could put this on its agenda for this year. The next step is a steering group meeting perhaps at the BAUS offices a little later in the year.

  14. Rebecca Tregunna
    Rebecca Tregunna says:

    Fantastic meeting both in terms of the scientific programme and, of course, the skiing. Well done to all for organising what really was a memorable event.

    What a fantastic forum to have lively intellectual debates as well as informative lectures on emerging trial outcomes, new operative techniques and the changing NHS structure.

    I have made new friends and colleagues alike and hope to see you all soon at the next RSM event!

  15. John Parry
    John Parry says:

    Thanks to everyone who made the RSM Section of Urology Winter Meeting in Ischgl such a success. In particular to Rik Bryan and Dominic Hodgson who were responsible for putting together the Academic Programme. It is great to see the comments above and to realise how much the delegates enjoyed the Meeting.

    I was delighted that Prof. Mark Frydenberg and Mike Wallace came all the way from Australia to give their State of the Art Lectures as well as Peter Rehder from Innsbruck who returned to the RSM Winter Meeting again this year to lecture us on The Embryology of the Urinary Sphincter and the Conservative and Surgical management of blunt injuries to the Kidney, most caused by skiing accidents!

    We started the week with Sir Clive Woodward who was inspirational with his “One Team Approach”. His concept of “teamship” could, as Mark Speakman says be transferred into British Urology and the NHS in general.

    Nothing needs adding to Mark’s report and I agree that Rik Bryan’s presentation on bladder cancer pathways was the most debated topic and his concept of a properly constructed trial to look at how this neglected malignant condition can be better managed, is long overdue.

    It was great to have Trainees present but more need to come so put in your abstracts for the Spring Short Papers meeting which closes on Friday and for The Geoffrey Chisholm Communication Prize which will be awarded at The Presidents Day in Ipswich on Friday 30th May.

    Don’t forget to look on The RSM Website for the rest of the meetings planned this year, in particular, New Horizons in the Management of Advanced Prostate Cancer on Friday 25th April.

  16. Jeremy Feggetter
    Jeremy Feggetter says:

    This has been one of the very best RSM Meetings I have attended and I can only echo all the plaudits of the other commentators. I found that when I was appointed a Consultant I needed to keep in touch with the cutting edge (Urology not Skiing!). The Urology Section provided this opportunity on a regular basis with an annual update at the Winter Meeting when it was possible to get the facts from the horses mouth! Horses are more amenable when they are fed and watered rather than galloping round a conference venue. This year has perhaps been even better with ‘State of the Art’ Lectures that provoked discussion which continued all week and with modern technology continues online today. I cannot recommend this meeting too highly.

  17. michael dinneen
    michael dinneen says:

    Definitely one of the social and academic best weeks of the year, Áine and I enjoyed all aspects of the meeting. Well done to John, Annie, Dom & Rik and all involved in the organising of a most successful trip. The hotel and resort were first class. Looking forward to the rest of the program and our trip to Suffolk in the spring.
    Well done everyone.

  18. Peter Worth
    Peter Worth says:

    This was the 28th meeting (out of a possible 32) that I have attended. All aspects were good and apart from losing my phone and my boots I had no physical injuries. It is interesting how the content of part of the meeting has changed. We would never had the excellent papers on where and why the NHS is going and I feel very sorry for the people at the beginning of their careers. The scientific papers were of high quality, although the wheel does turn!

    I hope that the rest of the years meetings prove as successful as this one.

  19. roger plail
    roger plail says:

    On a repetitive theme, may I echo the well deserved thanks to Annie, John, Susannah, Dom and Rik for a great meeting. The extensive “family” ethic, both urological and personal, continues and it was a real pleasure to welcome the Frydenbergs as first timers, Helen and Mark Speakman, returnees and Helen Kingdom and trio of lively lads! Your contributions were memorable, both scientific and social. Please see the BAUS website for your future President in heavy 60’s disguise!
    On a more innovative theme, in the wake of Ralph Beard, John Boyd, Wyndham and Bill’s initiatives, I am pleased to announce that the Winter Meeting 2015 will be from 16th – 24th January on the exotic island of Zanzibar, just off the East African coast. We will be linking with Ru McDonagh – notable for his BAUS Urolink activities through the HIPZ – Health Improvement Programme Zanzibar – with visits to health clinics and the government hospital and to the Health Sciences Institute and Medical School. There will also be opportunities to conduct surgical lists.
    We will also be welcoming Gordon Williams with his wealth of fistula experience from Ethiopia and Jay Smith from Vanderbilt in Tennessee who has clinical interests in Liberian urological care. We will also have further Professorial academic input through colleagues from South Africa so the meeting promises to emulate the high RSM academic standards.
    We have a fantastic venue in Breezes Hotel on the east coast will all the trappings of a supremely peaceful tropical island retreat. Zanzibar is the spice island with significant history including the slave trade and Freddie Mercury! All this is shown on our website put together by Ian Dickinson and can be viewed at

    Included on the site are details of the exciting additional trips, namely a trip through the relatively undiscovered highlands, lakes and historical sites in Ethiopia and a safari to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater – unmissable! So all you RSM devotees and more importantly, those who don’t normally ski, standby the imminent announcement of the package deals and prices.
    See you all in Zanzibar!

  20. John Boyd
    John Boyd says:

    The Ischgl meeting was all that an RSM Urology Winter Meeting should be; excellent organisation, stimulating papers with fresh views on old friends like bladder and prostate cancer and an outstanding hotel. Congratulations to John, Dominic and Rik.

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