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Posts tagged ‘AUA’

At the annual American Urological Association (AUA) meeting this week in Washington DC, Dr Matthew Smith from Mass General Hospital presented updated data from the phase III 147 trial comparing denosumab to placebo in managing skeletal related events (SREs) and bone metastases-free survival.   Skeletal complications are a major cause of prostate cancer morbidity.

The results were somewhat controversial, however, because while surrogate measures such as delaying time to SREs clearly show a benefit in favour of denosumab, no difference in overall survival was seen over placebo.

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Today it’s Friday 13th and we’re heading off on the road again, this time to Washington DC for the much anticipated annual meeting of the American Urology Association (AUA).

We’ll be covering the hot topics on urologic cancers, including bladder and prostate cancers and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). I’m particularly interested in castrate resistant prostate cancer and updates on the abiraterone (Zytiga) data following the recent approval post chemotherapy in the US, and also the long term data for Medivation/Astellas’ MDV3100 from their phase I/II trial. It’s always important to know how patients in the early trials are doing.


Getting back to the blogging groove after 3 weeks on the road at successive conferences (AUA, ASCO and EHA) is a bit of a shock, so the first post will be short and pithy.

AUA will be remembered for incredibly unsocial and early 6am education session starts.  No thanks, with three meetings in a row stamina trumps insanity by a long shot.  At ASCO, the Chicago venue is sprawling with long walks between sessions that appear to have no theme or cohesion around them and of course, the Press Room is way out in left field over the walkway no matter where you need to go.  The S406 Vista Room was particularly bad and became notorious for the #blisterwalk on Twitter.  Never again will I complain about switching between Halls A and F at Orlando, that's a piece of cake by comparison!

It's been an interesting time here in San Francisco at the American Urology Association (AUA) meeting. Mostly, I've attended prostate cancer sessions to get both a breadth and depth perception of what's going on this cancer type.  

My focus is very much therapeutic development, so here are three key trends that I've noticed at the 2010 AUA meeting:

  1. PSA is not a brilliant biomarker, but it's all we have for now.
  2. Androgen ablation is not permanent.
  3. Immunotherapy is a hot new topic.

What alternatives are there to PSA?

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Past American Urological Association (AUA) meetings have seen a lot of same old, same old with very little that is new in the way of truly innovative and exciting new developments.  In many ways, prostate cancer is the male equivalent of ovarian cancer, with pharma companies considering it after the breast, lung and colorectal cancers, despite prostate cancer being fairly large in terms in epidemiology, from a pure numbers perspective.

Why is this?

Firstly, we need to consider the natural course of the disease, which unlike breast and lung cancers, is fairly indolent.  Men diagnosed early with prostate cancer can live for 10-15 years, often with long periods of watchful waiting, making adjuvant trials necessarily long ones.


On Friday, I'm heading off to the annual American Urology Association (AUA) meeting in San Francisco and looking forward to catching up on the hot topics in prostate and renal cancers.  

image from promises to be a good meeting this year with lots of new data expected from a number of marketed products, newly approved products and of course, products in development.

I'll be tweeting snippets from the meeting under the hashtag #AUA2010 as some attendees are already actively using that one.  Unfortunately, #AUA already seems to be used for something else, which is a shame as those extra 4 characters make a huge difference on Twitter!

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