Professor Christopher Chappel.
Prof Chapple, thank you for taking the time to chat with the Urology News team. Can we start by asking about your background and how you ended up in the field of urology?
Early in my career I was exposed to functional urology when I trained at the Middlesex Hospital Institute of Urology in London, and found reconstructive urology fascinating as this allowed the urologist to practise urology from ‘bench to bedside’. The department at the Middlesex Hospital developed modern ‘urodynamics’ as we know it and early in my career I did my doctorate in pharmacology of the urinary tract and was lucky to train under some of the most eminent reconstructive urologists in the United Kingdom at that time.
You are involved in both clinical work as a Consultant Urological Surgeon with Sheffield NHS Foundation Trust, and in teaching at the University of Sheffield – what would you say have been the highlights of your varied career?
I have been most proud in my career to be involved in the training of young urologists in all aspects of clinical practice and research. Working with my colleagues we have developed one of the premier urological departments in the UK, providing both a secondary care and a tertiary service. My specific interest is clearly in the field of functional and reconstructive urology and along with my three colleagues we have developed one of the most active departments in Europe in both clinical practice and research. We are honoured to be the lead unit for the EU European Reference Network eUROGEN providing multidisciplinary advice on rare congenital conditions and disorders within urology.
You were appointed Secretary General of the EAU back in 2014 – how did your involvement with the organisation begin and did you have any specific goals in mind when you took over the position of Secretary General?
I started working in the organisation for the European School of Urology (ESU), I was honoured to be elected as the chairman of the ESU and subsequently became the adjunct Secretary General responsible for Education. My aim as Secretary General working with colleagues on the EAU Executive Committee and EAU Board is to improve the standards of care in urology and support best practice for the benefit of patients in Europe and indeed worldwide.
What are the challenges facing urology at the moment and do you see the EAU as having a role in addressing them?
- The ageing population experiences an increasing incidence of urinary tract dysfunction and several cancers and this will lead to higher demand for urological expertise. More urologists will be required and we must therefore ensure we attract the best medical students at the beginning of their career to our diverse and fascinating specialty.
- We still see great differences in the standards of care across Europe. In addition many patients are not managed according to the existing EAU guidelines. We strive to provide equal access to the highest quality urological care for all patients and aim to achieve this by increasing our educational activities.
It is so exciting to have the EAU Annual Congress returning to the UK for the first time since 2002 –what can you tell our readers about the focus or theme of the London meeting?
Obviously it is a great pleasure and honour to host the EAU in the UK, although the decision to select London as the location was made years before I became Secretary General. I know that many in the UK are very excited by the prospect, especially since EAU17 will be the largest medical conference held this year in London. At this time more people have registered for the congress than at the same time before last year’s congress in Munich.
“We strive to provide equal access to the highest quality urological care for all patients and aim to achieve this by increasing our educational activities.”
With regard to the focus of the meeting, delegates can expect the latest in science and education in various formats to suit the needs of all participants, including challenging state-of-the art lectures, fascinating HD video surgery sessions, skill-boosting hands-on trainings, practice-oriented courses, and of course the launch of the 2017 EAU evidence-based guidelines.
Is the EAU launching anything new at this year’s congress?
This year the main Plenary Sessions have been expanded from four to seven to accommodate new formats such as the opening plenary session ‘Sleepless nights: Would you do the same again?’ which critically re-evaluates management decisions in kidney cancer cases through a lawyer’s perspective.
The Scientific Programme will provide not only theoretical perspectives but also identify best clinical practice. It will tackle contemporary topics such as the recent evidence relating to prostate cancer screening in low grade cancer (prospective randomised study – PROTECT), focal therapy of prostate cancer and immunotherapy for urological cancer.
The use of meshes in the treatment of urinary incontinence i2n women will also be analysed.
These are just a couple of the highlights in the Scientific Programme. The ESU as usual introduces new innovative courses in education and highlights the latest developments in technology. Also the ESU will present some new courses including:
- Two paediatric urology courses
- ESU course 21 ‘What has changed in the non-oncology guidelines?’
- ESU Course 51 ‘How will immunotherapy change the multidisciplinary management of urothelial bladder cancer?’
- ESU Course 45 ‘Oligometastatic prostate cancer’
Furthermore there are several new Hands-on Training courses like non-technical skills in urology, social media courses for both beginners and advanced users, and a course aimed at young urologists to boost their management skills.
What do you think will be the social and networking highlights of the event?
For many delegates the Annual EAU Congress not only means the latest in urological science, it is also a time to catch up with old friends, share experiences with peers in other parts of the world and meet new colleagues. During our Urology beyond Europe (UEB) on Friday the international character of our meeting is emphasised. Together with urological societies from all over the world, we will host joint sessions to talk more in-depth about local experiences, needs and developments.
Also the exhibition is always a place where many come together. Last year nearly 200 companies from all over the world exhibited their latest innovations.
For those who are not able to attend the congress in person, we are planning to report frequently via social media. Follow @uroweb via Twitter or like the EAUpage on Facebook and get all #eau17 updates in an instant. And finally, what are you personally most looking forward to at EAU17 in London? Meeting my friends and colleagues and learning about the latest developments in clinical practice in urology at the first major international urology meeting of 2017.