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Highly anticipated research — including the potential for a novel vaccine for urinary tract infections and results from a randomized, placebo-controlled trial on immunotherapy as a post-nephrectomy adjuvant therapy for patients with kidney cancer — will be presented at the American Urological Association (AUA) 2021 Annual Meeting, being held September 10 to 13.

In addition, COVID-19 research can be found throughout the agenda, with topics such as overactive bladder symptoms after recovery from the disease, urologic emergency care with COVID-19 considerations, nexium migraines and the evaluation of spontaneous stone passage rates during the pandemic.

Panelists will also discuss the effect of COVID-19 on sexual function and the telemedicine boom in urology that sprung from lockdowns and restrictions.

John Denstedt

Another session will feature what’s next for vaccines and boosters and an insider’s explanation of “how they pulled it off,” regarding the unprecedented speed of development, AUA Board Secretary John Denstedt, MD, told Medscape Medical News.

The momentum of the Delta variant also caused a daunting last-minute change in format for AUA 2021.

The conference was scheduled to be a hybrid of in-person and online sessions until the board announced on August 20 that it would switch to an all-virtual format in light of the escalating threat.

“We were in a burning house,” Denstedt said. “A tough decision became a little easier as time went on. It was just the right thing to do.”

Controversies in Urology

Several sessions will feature hot topics of controversy. Among them is whether open radical prostatectomy is still relevant in urologic residency. Another debate will focus on whether focal therapy should replace prostatectomy in a patient with a localized, clinically significant lesion and a negative standard biopsy.

Five experts will present their views on a prostate biopsy dilemma, weighing transrectal ultrasound-guided (TRUS) against transperineal biopsy.

Several sessions will center on the treatment of kidney stones, which are expected to be of interest because global incidence is rising, Denstedt said. The estimated annual cumulative incidence of kidney stones is approaching 1.0% in the United States, up from 0.6% in 2005, according to a report published in the Journal of Urology.

Denstedt highlighted a lecture on whether kidney stones can be prevented, which will be delivered on September 11 by Glenn Preminger, MD, professor of urologic surgery at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Six Sets of Guidelines Coming

Explanations of guidelines are popular at the annual meeting, Denstedt noted, and this year, leaders will present new or updated guidelines in six study areas: male infertility, priapism, benign prostatic hyperplasia, muscle-invasive bladder cancer, neurogenic lower urinary tract disease, and advanced prostate cancer.

The conference also offers plenary sessions each day that will tackle topics such as advances in endoscopic treatment of bladder tumors, urgency incontinence in geriatric patients, and semi-live demonstrations (via video) of surgical techniques.

Denstedt said one of the most forward-looking plenaries will be the Friday morning lecture with a panel of five experts discussing how the role of the urologic cancer surgeon will be affected by advances in technology and science.

And four speakers will address what urologists hope never to face during the When Disaster Strikes: Preventing and Managing Nightmares in Urology plenary.

Denstedt has disclosed no relevant financial relationships

American Urological Association (AUA) 2021 Annual Meeting. September 10 – 13, 2021.

Marcia Frellick is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has previously written for the Chicago Tribune, Science News, and, and was an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times. Follow her on Twitter at @mfrellick.

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