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West Coast Urology: Highlights from the AUA 2016 in San Diego… Part 2

By Ben Challacombe (@benchallacombe) and Jonathan Makanjuola (@jonmakurology)

 

The AUA meeting was starting to hot up with the anticipation of the Crossfire sessions, PSA screening and the MET debate that appeared to rumble on.  We attended the MUSIC (Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative) session. It is a fantastic physician led program including >200 urologists, which aims to improve the quality of care for men with urological diseases. It is a forum for urologists across Michigan, USA to come together to collect clinical data, share best practices and implement evidence based quality improvement activities. One of their projects is crowd reviewing of RALP by international experts for quality of the nerve spare in order to improve surgical outcomes.

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The MET debate continues to cause controversy. In the UK there has been almost uniform abandonment of the use of tamsulosin for ureteric stones following The Lancet SUSPEND RCT.

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The MET crossfire debate was eagerly awaited. The debate was led by James N’Dow (@NDowJames) arguing against and Philipp Dahm (@EBMUrology) in favour of MET. Many have criticised the SUSPEND paper for lack of CT confirmation of stone passage. Dr Matlaga (@BrianMatlaga) stated that comparing previous studies of MET to SUSPEND is like comparing apples to oranges due to different outcome measures. He recommended urologists continue MET until more data is published. More conflicting statements were made suggesting that MET is effective in all patients especially for large stones in the ureter. The AUA guidelines update was released and stated that MET can be offered for distal ureteric stones less than 10mm.

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In a packed Endourology video session there were many high quality video presentations. One such video was a demonstration of the robotic management for a missed JJ ureteric stent. Khurshid Ghani (@peepeeDoctor) presented a video demonstrating the pop-corning and pop-dusting technique with a 100w laser machine.

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One of the highlights of the Sunday was the panel discussion plenary session, Screening for Prostate Cancer: Past, Present and Future. In a packed auditorium Stacy Loeb (@LoebStacy), gave an excellent overview of PSA screening with present techniques including phi, 4K and targeted biopsies. Freddie Hamdy looked into the crystal ball and gave a talk on future directions of PSA testing and three important research questions that still needed to be answered. Dr. Catalona presented the data on PSA screening and the impact of the PLCO trial. He argued that due to inaccurate reporting, national organisations should restore PSA screening as he felt it saved lives.

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There was a twitter competition for residents and fellows requiring participants to  tweet an answer to a previously tweeted question including the hashtag #scopesmart and #aua16. The prize was Apple Watch. Some of the questions asked included; who performed the 1st fURS? And what is the depth of penetration of the Holmium laser?

UK trainees picked up the prizes on the first two days.

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The British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) / BJU International (BJUI) / Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) session was a real highlight of day three of the AUA meeting. There were high quality talks from opinion leaders in their sub specialities. Freddie Hamdy from Oxford University outlined early thoughts from the protecT study and the likely direction of travel for management of clinically localised prostate cancer. Prof Emberton (@EmbertonMark) summarised the current evidence for the role of MRI in prostate cancer diagnosis including his thoughts on the on going PROMIS trial. Hashim Ahmed was asked if HIFU was ready for the primetime and bought us up to speed with the latest evidence.

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The eagerly awaited RCT comparing open prostatectomy vs RALP by the Brisbane group was summarised with regards to study design and inclusion criteria. It is due for publication on the 18th May 2016 so there was a restriction of presenting results.  Dr Coughlin left the audience wanting more despite Prof. Dasgupta’s best effort to get a sneak preview of the results!  We learnt from BAUS president Mark Speakman (@Parabolics) about the UK effort to improve the quality of national outcomes database for a number of index urological procedures.

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Oliver Wiseman (@OJWiseman) gave us a flavour of outcomes from the BAUS national PCNL database and how they are trying drive up standards to improve patient care. A paediatric surgery update was given by Dr Gundeti. The outcomes of another trial comparing open vs laparoscopic vs RALP was presented. There was no difference in outcomes between the treatment modalities but Prof. Fydenburg summarised by saying that the surgeon was more important determinant of outcome than the tool. Stacy Loeb closed the meeting with an excellent overview of the use of twitter in Urology, followed by a drinks reception.

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It was not all about stones and robots. The results of the Refractory Overactive Bladder: Sacral NEuromodulation vs. BoTulinum Toxin Assessment (ROSETTA) trial results were presented. Botox came out on top against neuromodulation in urgency urinary incontinence episodes over 6 months, as well as other lower urinary tract symptoms.

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The late breaking abstract session presented by Stacy Loeb highlighted a paper suggesting a 56% reduction in high-grade prostate cancer for men on long term testosterone. This was a controversial abstract and generated a lot of discussion on social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It has been an excellent meeting in San Diego and we caught up with old and met new friends. It was nice to meet urologists from across the globe with differing priorities and pressures. There was a good British, Irish and Australian contingent flying the flag for their respective countries. It was another record-breaking year for the #AUA16 on twitter. It surpassed the stats for #AUA15 with over 30M impressions, 16,659 tweets 2,377 participants. See you all in Boston for AUA 2017.

 

RSM Winter Meeting in Saalbach, Austria

This year the urology section of the RSM held their annual winter meeting in Saalbach, Austria hosted by Tom McNicholas and Rik Bryan.

 1.1Kicking off the meeting was a state of the art lecture by Professor Shahrokh Shariat, Professor of Urology at the Medical University of Vienna who presented a convincing perspective on whether we should really be calling Gleason 3+3 disease “prostate cancer” due to the lack of hallmarks of cancer compared with Gleason four disease, and clinical data suggesting that Gleason 3+3 cancer does not metastasise. Education of patients to ensure compliance of active surveillance is surely key to ensuring that change in disease pattern or small volume higher Gleason grade disease is not missed. Interestingly from Dominic Hodgson’s experience in Portsmouth approximately 50% of patients with Gleason 3+3 disease on TRUS were upgraded to Gleason 3+4 on template biopsy, although these patients who went on to have more extensive biopsies did so due to other concerning parameters. SIN PIN keeps you connected to your loved ones around the world! All New Customers receive $1 FREE to try SIN PIN International Calling Service. Make High Quality International Calls to those who don’t have the SIN PIN App yet. Never go out of touch with the ones you care about most! SIN PIN keeps you connected! You can find here the free International calling app Ft Lauderdale FL.

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 The bladder and upper tract cancer session was also a highlight with Rik Bryan presenting data on the use of ‘Oncoscan’ to detect genomic profiles and aberrations in urinary DNA from cell free centrifuged urine. This however was not absolutely specific to bladder tumours as undiagnosed prostate cancer was also detected in one of the tested urine specimens.


The Bladder Path trial being set up by Professor Nick James was also discussed. This trial hopes to investigate the addition of MRI into the haematuria clinic pathway. TURBT in muscle invasive disease does not completely stage tumours and may lead to a delay in definitive treatment. There is no current evidence that debulking of tumour is necessary prior to radical treatment. This randomised controlled trial will review whether MRI as opposed to TURBT could be used for staging in likely muscle invasive tumours with the phase II and phase III aspects looking at time to definitive treatment and time to recurrence or progression.

Professor Karl-Dietrich Sievert from the Universitätsklinik für Urologie und Andrologie, Saltzburg demonstrated how his unit use Diffusion Tensor Imaging MRI to visualise white matter and plan for nerve sparing prostatectomy to preserve post-operative incontinence and erectile function. We also heard how Tim O’Brien has learned many of his lessons in complex renal cancer surgery the hard way, in an inspiring and candid talk.

For the benign urologists there were a plethora of sessions on male and female incontinence as well as male and female ejaculation! Matthew Bultitude and I (RT) debated on medical expulsive therapy for ureteric stones in the wake of the SUSPEND trial. Although the majority of the room seemed convinced of the lack of benefit for small ureteric stones, there appeared to be some doubt created by the regarding larger distal ureteric stones.

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We also had a lot of interesting non-urological discussions. From Martin Mansell, Consultant Nephrologist we heard of the change in law since the Montgomery Judgment leading to the necessity for doctors when taking consent to inform patients of any risk no matter the likelihood of the risk occurring if that particular patient would attach significance to that risk. Mark Speakman pointed out that this may mean a change in the BAUS consent forms which many of us use to consent patients. We also heard of new educational tools such as MedShr from Asif Qasim, Consultant Cardiologist, which is an app serving as a platform to discuss complex cases with colleagues from around the world. BAUS President Mark Speakman presented the BJUI Knowledge tool which allows BAUS members to access interactive e-learning modules and log CPD activity.

1.72016 marked the 34th annual winter meeting for the urology section of the RSM and we paid tribute this year to Peter Worth who has been a regular attendee since the beginning. With a fantastic meeting already planned in Lake Tahoe for 2017 to mark the 35th year hosted by Professor Roger Kirby and Matthew Bultitude, I would encourage as many trainees and consultants to attend for both a rigorous transatlantic educational programme as well as a fantastic opportunity to meet new colleagues and, of course ski!

Rebecca Tregunna (ST4, Alexandra Hospital, Redditch (Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust) – @rebeccatregunna

Dominic Hodgson (Consultant Urologist, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth) – @hodgson_dominic

Research vibrations

Here is a randomised trial from Denmark to uplift your mood this European summer. Penile vibratory stimulation may help with the recovery of erectile function after nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy [1]. However, it does not hasten recovery of continence. Building on the European theme, we were discussing alternative ways of influencing research communities and colleagues during the European Association of Urology (EAU) meeting in Stockholm. One obvious rising star is ResearchGate (Fig. 1).

ResearchGate (https://www.researchgate.net/) is a social networking site for scientists and researchers that allows them to share papers, exchange questions and find collaborators. ResearchGate has won the digital innovation of the year award from Focus Magazine in 2014. An important accolade in a world increasingly influenced and greatly amplified by the web and social media.

For a generation of scientists using Facebook, Twitter and similar social networks, ResearchGate has become a familiar site to exchange data and knowledge related to research. Similar to the other social network sites people can post comments, form groups, have profile pages and can ‘like’, ‘endorse’ and ‘follow’ other members. One can use it as an online bibliography and can even deposit published papers on the site. Members can also share negative results or experiments that are difficult to publish in peer-reviewed journals.

There is also a project section where groups can work together on projects in a secure environment. Forget Skype meetings at the last minute!

ResearchGate also introduces a new way of measuring the impact of a certain researcher on a scientific community. The ResearchGate score (RG score) is a new bibliometric tool that combines traditional parameters, such as the impact factor, with the user’s activity on the site, like posting or answering questions or the number of people that follow them. Also, the RG score of the peers that follow you will have an impact on your own RG score: the more influential your followers are, the higher your personal RG score will get.

Just as the Klout score is measuring the influence that one has in social media, ResearchGate could become an alternative measure not only of the scientific importance of a certain researcher but also of his or her interactivity. It is a measure for ‘scientific social network reputation’.

At the moment the relationship between impact factor, citation index and the RG score is difficult to establish, as the algorithm that is used to calculate the RG score is not widely known. If ResearchGate wants to establish the RG score as a respected measurement tool, some transparency will be helpful in future.

Since ResearchGate was founded in 2008 by Dr Ijad Madisch, Dr Sören Hofmayer and computer scientist Horst Fickensher, >4 million members have joined and the numbers are steadily increasing. Several other exchange platforms exist on the internet, but ResearchGate is certainly the most widespread at the moment. We think it is here to stay and claim a role as one of the tools to measure one’s scientific reputation.

Dirk De Ridder and Prokar Dasgupta*
BJUI Associate Editor, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, and *Guy’s Hospital, KCL and Editor-in-Chief, BJUI

Reference

  1. Fode M, Borre M, Ohl DA, Lichtbach J, Sønksen J. Penile vibratory stimulation in the recovery of urinary continence and erectile function after nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy: a randomised, controlled trial. BJU Int 2014; 114: 111–7

 

The Big Data challenge: amplify your content using video and maximise your impact

It remains a great achievement for an author to have his or her work published in a peer-reviewed journal such as the BJUI. There is a tremendous sense of fulfilment when the e-mail from the Editor-in-Chief includes ‘accept’ in the subject heading. What may have been a long period from study design, through ethics approval, patient recruitment, intervention, data collection, statistical analysis, manuscript preparation, to final revisions, finally comes to an end – chapter closed, move on.

However, in this era of ‘Big Data’, we are now confronted with new challenges with respect to getting our content noticed. It is estimated that of all the data created in the history of mankind, from early cave drawings to medieval manuscripts and modern web 2.0 communication, >90% has been created in the past 2 years alone [1]. Two thousand years ago, 90% of the world’s content was thought to be archived in just one place, the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, and all of that content would easily fit on a flash drive today. With this massive amount of new data emerging, the current challenge is not just to get published, but also to get your work noticed. Are you always looking out for new methods of approaching potential customers? If the answer is yes, then you should definitely try out a geocoding service. Just imagine, you will have a large map in front of you, where the locations of all your customers are marked. You will know exactly where your customers live, and in which regions your products and services are most popular. Just think of what you can do with this knowledge. For starters, how about running some location based targeted marketing campaigns? These campaigns are sure to bring in lots of new customers, if you can fine-tune these properly. Geoparsing API by Geocodeapi.io can be done simply through address interpolation, which uses data from a street GIS where the street network is already inputted within the geographic coordinate space. Attributed in each street segment are address ranges, such as house numbers from one segment to another. Here is what geocoding does: (1) It takes an address, (2) matches it to a street and particular segment (e.g. a block), and (3) interpolates the address position. However, issues may arise in the geocoding process. What happens is that you have to distinguish between ambiguous addresses (say, “43 Hampton Drive” and “43E Hampton Drive”). It’s also a challenge when you geocode new addresses for a street that is not yet added to the GIS database. Using interpolation also entails a number of caveats, including the fact that it assumes that the parcels are evenly spaced along the length of the segment. This is quite unlikely in reality – it can be that a geocode address is off by a number of thousand feet. A more sophisticated geocoding application will match geocode information to the property level, using such tools as USPS address data, and cascade out to block, track or other levels depending on data matching accuracy.

This is where social media can help your content to rise above the morass and get into the mind of your target audience. At the BJUI, we have integrated social media into every aspect of the Journal [2], as it is clear that this is important for our readers [3]. The use of popular platforms, e.g. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, as well as our own blog site, allows us to greatly amplify the reach of our content, at lightning speed, and allows us to engage with our readers in a way that traditional print publishing never could.

In the video accompanying this editorial, we offer some practical advice to help our authors create high-quality video to augment their content. This advice includes:

  • Capture at the highest quality possible – digital video recorders outperform DVDs and are essential for laparoscopic and robotic work. For open surgery, a GoPro is our preferred capture device but an iPhone can also provide good footage.
  • Editing brings the video to life: video editing software is widely available and can transform your video from a dull procession into a vivid story. Add in additional footage (e.g. operating room footage to go with your laparoscopic video), still pictures, graphs, imaging etc, and add titles to help illustrate your key messages.
  • Output for social – your video-editing software will allow you to export your movie in a format optimised for YouTube (e.g. FLV file), or to upload directly to YouTube. Or just export it in a high-quality format and we will upload to YouTube for you.

We encourage the use of video to accompany any type of publication at BJUI, including web-only content such as blogs, and we require it for featured content such as the ‘Article of the Week’, ‘Article of the Month and Step by Step articles’. Videos in a surgical specialty like urology are often focused on procedural technique, but they do not have to be this limited and we encourage all other types of BJUI content to also be supplemented with video. Our BJUI Tube site and YouTube site contain good examples of how authors can describe their content with video by using figures and tables in an interview-style format. This latest video addresses issues around the capture and editing of videos to optimally complement your published work. These videos are then disseminated to a wider audience through our large social media network. All of our videos are ≈3 min in duration, as our analytics demonstrate that viewers ‘switch off’ when videos run for much longer.

We therefore encourage you to think social, think video, and help your content reach its maximum audience. We are here to help you!

Declan G. Murphy*†‡, Wouter Everaerts and Stacy Loeb§
*Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, University of Melbourne, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Epworth Prostate Centre, Epworth Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and §New York University, New York, USA

References

  1. IBM. What is big data? 2013. Available at: https://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/bigdata/what-is-big-data.html. Accessed April 2014
  2. Murphy DG, Basto M. Social media @BJUIjournal – what a start! BJU Int 2013; 111: 1007–1009
  3. Loeb S, Bayne CE, Frey C et al. Use of social media in urology: data from the American Urological Association. BJU Int 2014; 113: 993–998
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