By Prof. Paolo Gontero (Turin, IT)
On 17-18 May, Turin hosted a successful second edition of BCa19 in the Lingotto Congress Centre, a structure designed by Renzo Piano as a refashioning of an old FIAT building. Two hundred and eighty delegates and faculty took part in two full days entirely devoted to bladder cancer. Lectures were designed to provide an update on key aspects of modern management of the disease, always keeping in mind a strong link to clinical practice. This task was also accomplished in difficult topics such as molecular staging (E. Comperat (FR)), genomic approaches (F. Liedberg (SE)), variant hystologies (P. Black (CA), S. Shariat (AT)) and urinary markers (L-M. Krabbe (DE)), admirably brought from bench to the bedside.
Clinical case scenarios represented the core of the meeting, either in the more traditional format of a multidisciplinary panel case discussion (F. Soria (IT)) or as a guide for group discussions. In the latter case, hot and controversial topics such as techniques and new methodologies of visualization for TURBT (M. Babjuk (CZ), A. Breda (ES), B. Malavaud (FR), J Dominguez-Escrig (ES)), template of lymphadenectomy (M. Babjuk, F. Witjes (NL)), choice of urine diversion (M. Ribal (ES), A. Stenzl (DE)) or techniques of cystectomy (open versus robotic – P. Gontero, J Palou) were addressed as case discussions between the faculty and attendees divided into 3 subgroups in order to foster interactive discussion.
The outstanding lectures by A. Bossi (IT) on trimodal therapy, A. Necchi (IT) and T. Powles (GB) on latest development of oncological care and R. Faletti on MRI staging of bladder cancer superbly enriched the multidisciplinary intent of the meeting.
Live surgery event
A unique aspect of the meeting was the live surgery event that was organised by the Division of Urology, chaired by me at the Auditorioum of Molinette Hospital, an Academic Institution of the University of Studies of Turin. A wide range of surgical procedures specific to urothelial cancer were performed in three of the Urological Theatres that were simultaneously connected with the Auditorium.
In Theatre 1, M. Babjuk and F. Witjes presented 2 different ways to perform a TURBT for a papillary tumour (en-bloc resection) and a multifocal high-risk bladder cancer (TURBT with PDD) respectively, discussing the aims and principles of the 2 difference approaches. Subsequently, A. Breda presented the modern conservative management of a 2cm primary pelvic papillary lesion using the Cellvizio and a combination of Thulium and Holmium laser to achieve a successful complete ablation.
In Theatre 2 a nerve-sparing open radical cystectomy (A. Stenzl ) with an “N” neobladder (H. Van Poppel (BE)) took place while a robotic nerve sparing cystectomy (J. Palou) with an intracorporeal VIP neobladder (M. Gallucci (IT)) was ongoing in theatre 3. Notably, the urine diversion part of both procedures occurred at the same, thus providing a unique show for the enthusiastic audience.
The steering and the scientific committee have primarily conceived BCa19 as a highly educational event for clinicians (urologists as well as non-urologists) that intend to update their clinical knowledge in the field of urothelial cancer. Two full days of intense work and no room for sponsored sessions. On top of that, a significant investment effort by the EAU that allowed an incredibly affordable budget of €200 for two nights’ stay in the congress hotel and registration for the meeting.