American Urological Association's Annual Meeting, May 19-24, 2007

American Urological Association's Annual Meeting

More than 16,000 attendees, two-thirds of them physicians, met May 19-24 in Anaheim, Calif., for the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association.

The annual meeting was "a success by all counts," Janet Skorepa, the association's associate executive director of Education and Scientific Meetings, said via email. The meeting featured more than 1,600 scientific presentations -- including posters, podiums and plenaries.

"For the first time, we offered 'late-breaking news' on our plenary, including breaking research on amniotic fluid and placenta as stem cell sources for urologic reconstruction and new information on circumcision reducing the risk of HIV transmission," Skorepa said.

Plenary sessions attracted more than 4,000 researchers and medical professionals, Skorepa added. "This year we also increased the number of hands-on lab courses -- and for the most part, these were filled to capacity. Overall, more than 120 courses were offered -- including new offerings on skill verification for ultrasound. Our 'Lunch with the Experts' program -- which allows attendees to spend focused time with some of the most prominent minds in urology -- was again very popular."

Research presented at the meeting covered urologic oncology to pediatric urology. Hot topics included research on HIV and circumcision, advances in prostate cancer screening and therapy, and new insights into erectile dysfunction.

Anthony Atala, M.D., of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., presented new information suggesting that amniotic fluid could serve as a new source for stem cells.

"The significance of that is that he's identified a potential source of stem cells which is ethically acceptable to virtually everyone," said Ira Sharlip, M.D., clinical professor of urology at the University of California San Francisco and a spokesman for the AUA. "They're not embryonic stem cells, so this would be a way of working with stem cells that does not involve the destruction of embryos."

John N. Krieger, M.D. of the University of Washington in Seattle, presented data linking HIV risk reduction and circumcision.

"He found that circumcision provides a 60 percent reduction in the risk of HIV transmission," said Sharlip. "It's a big deal. It's a major way of reducing a man's risk for HIV infection. It's a fairly simple surgical procedure, so it could be a significant addition to the things we can do to reduce the risk of HIV infection."

Sharlip added, "The explanation is that on the inner surface of the foreskin, there is a heavy concentration of cells which the HIV attacks. And that surface is covered by skin that does not have an outer layer, called the horny layer. Normal skin has an outer layer which form a protective layer that is not present on mucosal surfaces, and that's what this is. So it's got a relatively unprotected surface, and underneath that surface is a high concentration of HIV target cells."

As always, prostate cancer treatment and screening were hot topics at the meeting. Kurt Miller, M.D., and colleagues from multiple medical centers in Germany including Berlin, Bremerhaven and others, presented the results of a study comparing the effects of intermittent versus continuous androgen deprivation therapy for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

"They found no difference between intermittent and continuous therapy, and they found that intermittent therapy was safe and feasible," said Sharlip. "Intermittent therapy does have the advantage of limiting side effects and having improved quality of life compared to continuous treatment."

New this year was research on the effect of statin medications on urologic conditions. "In several papers, statins used for cholesterol were shown to reduce prostate-specific antigen levels," Sharlip noted, "and decreased prostate-specific antigen levels are associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer."

In addition, erectile dysfunction and lower urinary tract symptoms also provoked a lot of interest. "There was a paper on reduction of lower urinary tract symptoms by treatment with PDE5 inhibitors, which are specifically Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. And they also treat erectile dysfunction. They've shown again good evidence that each of them can have an effect."

AUA: Botox Can Relieve Enlarged Prostate Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Botox injections can relieve lower urinary tract symptoms and improve quality of life in men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Anaheim, Calif.

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AUA: Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Improve Urinary Symptoms

TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Phosphodiesterase inhibitors used to treat erectile dysfunction may also improve lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia, according to three studies presented at the American Urological Association's annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

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AUA: Statins Linked to Lower Prostate Cancer Incidence

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Statins appear to reduce the levels of prostate-specific antigen and are associated with a lower incidence of prostate cancer, according to three studies presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

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AUA: Viagra May Have Cardiovascular Benefits

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Viagra (sildenafil) can improve endothelial function and reduce oxidative stress in rats with metabolic syndrome and in men with type 2 diabetes, according to two studies presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

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AUA: Agent Orange Linked to Cancer Recurrence in Blacks

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to Agent Orange is associated with a higher risk of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence and shorter PSA doubling times in black veterans but not white veterans undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, according to a study presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

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AUA: Sling Better Than Burch for Stress Incontinence

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Pubovaginal sling surgery is more effective than the Burch colposuspension method for treating stress incontinence in women, however the sling procedure has a higher rate of complications, according to the results of a new head-to-head trial presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Anaheim, Calif. The findings also appear in the May 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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