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Home Membership Publications AUA Investigator AUA Investigator 2019: Issue II

  AUA Investigator
2019 Issue II
Feature Articles
 
 

AUA and Urology Care Foundation Push Forward on Bladder Cancer Research

 Early-Career Investigators

Urologic research on bladder cancer—the fourth most common cancer in men and expected to occur in over 80,000 new cases in 2019—has recently experienced an explosion of new opportunities to improve our understanding of the disease and to improve patient care. The AUA, along with support from the Urology Care Foundation, has created new opportunities to further catalyze these advancements in bladder cancer research through innovative and collaborative symposia, and funding early-career investigators.

In 2016, the AUA’s Office of Research initiated a collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute that has thus far produced two impactful scientific symposia. The first, titled Biology & Therapy of Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer, was held in March 2018. This day-and-a-half meeting convened both U.S. and international research experts. Attendees discussed topics such as field defects and tumor heterogeneity, biomarkers, BCG responsive and nonresponsive disease, and novel approaches to therapy.

Then, recognizing the problems of under-diagnosis and worse outcomes for women with bladder cancer, the March 2019 co-sponsored symposium focused on Bladder Cancer in Women: Identifying Research Needs to Improve Diagnosis and Treatment. In addition to exploring gender disparity in understanding and treating the disease, the meeting also included a Patient Discussion Forum in collaboration with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN). During this highly-impactful session, female bladder cancer survivors were given the opportunity to share their stories to help physicians, scientists and researchers understand the real-life nuances of diagnosing and treating women with this disease. Keeping a narrow focus on specific understudied areas of bladder cancer research is enabling this collaboration to stimulate research that might not otherwise receive the attention needed to move forward quickly. Selection of a topic for the 2020 symposium is underway.

In February 2019, the AUA also partnered with the Israeli Urological Association and the Urology Care Foundation to host the Foundation’s first effort to expand its support for research internationally. This event, The US-Israel Forum for Collaboration: Advancing Bladder Cancer Research, brought together researchers from both Israel and the U.S. to share the latest discoveries in bladder cancer and explore opportunities for impactful research that could best be served through international collaboration. Sessions included identifying needs for clinical care, proposals for new research, and breakout discussions covering diagnostics and therapeutics.

Equally important to these efforts in research education is the direct funding, through Urology Care Foundation awards, for investigator support to the bladder cancer research community. The Foundation’s portfolio of funded bladder cancer research has increased by an average of 33% over the past five years. This is a reflection of not only the goal to advance research, but also an increase in the number and quality of bladder cancer research applications submitted for funding, and a high level of engagement between the bladder cancer research community and the Foundation. This high engagement has also been evident in the number of bladder cancer researchers being nominated for the AUA’s Early-Career Investigators Workshop. Held each fall at the AUA headquarters, the workshop helps attendees improve their urology grant applications, and has averaged five bladder cancer research participants per year since 2015.

The AUA, its Office of Research and the Urology Care Foundation are committed to advancing research in all areas of urologic diseases and conditions. They have seized the opportunities presented in recent years to increase bladder cancer research, and continue to look forward to working with the urologic research community to bring hope and help to patients.


 

Stimulating Urology Interdisciplinary Team Opportunity Research (SUITOR) Program

Inaugural Physician Scientist Residency Training Awardee Announced

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recently announced the publication of the Stimulating Urology Interdisciplinary Team Opportunity Research (SUITOR) Program funding announcement in support of two NIDDK priorities: building a robust investigator-initiated research portfolio investigating benign genitourinary conditions and supporting interdisciplinary research teams. Interdisciplinary research involves the integration of perspectives, concepts, theories and methods from two or more disciplines or fields to address a problem. Increased inclusion of the surgeon-scientist in translational research is a recognized need that NIDDK hopes this program can support.

Three overall objectives comprise the SUITOR program: to broaden the conceptual framework of urologic research; to promote productive interdisciplinary research collaborations; and ultimately to catalyze discoveries in basic, translational, clinical and/or epidemiological research. to provide critical new insights into the pathogenesis, prevention, detection, and potential treatment of benign genitourinary diseases and conditions within the mission of the NIDDK. Currently, investigator-initiated Research Project Grant (R01) applications submitted to the SUITOR Funding Opportunity Announcement should propose studies designed to minimize the impact of urinary incontinence (nonneurogenic and neurogenic causes) on the lives of males and females across the life course. NIDDK encourages investigators to think beyond local and systemic biologic factors to broader considerations such as behavioral, psychological and executive functioning and social determinants of health

The NIH R01 is the primary mechanism for investigator-initiated research within the NIDDK and across the NIH. R01 grants support discrete, specified, circumscribed projects that enable researchers to pursue the research questions most important to them. In turn, this allows a wide range of innovative ideas to surface, crystalize and advance. An important NIH metric for the health of a research community is the number of funded R01 grants, as these grants increase the size of the RO1 portfolio investigating benign genitourinary conditions.

While the initial focus of the SUITOR program is urinary incontinence, the SUITOR program will focus on other benign genitourinary conditions over time, based on information gathered from the research community through various venues. Notifications of updates to SUITOR program areas of interest will be issued as notices in the NIH Guide and widely disseminated through professional organizations.

Any questions regarding the SUITOR program can be directed to Dr. Tamara Bavendam, NIDDK, NIH (tamara.bavendam@nih.gov).

 

 

AUA Research Symposia at AUA 2019

Inaugural Physician Scientist Residency Training Awardee Announced

The Urologic Oncology Research Symposium: Metabolism and Cancer was a full-day symposium held on Friday, May 3, 2019. Organized by co-chairs Othon Iliopoulos, MD and Sunil Sudarshan, MD, the meeting addressed the role of metabolism in renal, bladder and prostate cancers. There was also a session devoted to basic science in these areas. Keynote presentations were delivered by Navdeep S. Chandel, PhD and Massimo F. Loda, MD, titled “Mitochondria control cancer and immunity” and “Interfering with lipid metabolism to target androgen receptor in castration-resistant prostate cancer,” respectively. The session was later highlighted in a plenary presentation given by Natasha Kyprianou, PhD.

The Basic Sciences Symposium: Social (and Antisocial) Cell Signaling Networks in the Urinary Tract was co-sponsored by the Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR). This half-day meeting was comprised of two sessions. First, cell types present in organs of the urogenital tract, current techniques and developments for examining the cell types, and the discovery of new subpopulations of cells that these techniques have enabled were discussed. The second session explored the consequences of intercellular signaling in disease pathogenesis, particularly in relation to the consequences of inflammatory processes. The Program Planning Committee was chaired by Simon Hayward, PhD and members included Rosalyn Adam, PhD; Ganesh Raj, MD, PhD and Will Ricke, PhD. Travel awards were supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Awardees were given the opportunity to present their own research during a poster session.

This year’s Challenges for Urologic Research Symposium Series was co-sponsored by the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) and titled Use and Misuse of Testosterone Therapy - What the Research Tells Us. The Program Planning Committee was chaired by John Mulhall, MD and included Robert Brannigan, MD; Mohit Khera, MD; Daniel Shoskes, MD and Landon Trost, MD. Sessions covered topics in male reproduction, cardiovascular health and prostate cancer, with additional talks on hypogonadism, diabetes and FDA labeling.

In addition to these more conventional scientific symposia, the AUA also hosted two forums dedicated to the early-career surgeon scientist and researcher communities. The Funding Opportunities and Grant Writing Guidance for Early-Career Investigators convened speakers representing funding agencies including the NIH, Department of Defense, American Cancer Society and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to discuss the types of urologic research they fund and how to apply. A keynote presentation was delivered by Erika Wolff, PhD and covered tips on writing a compelling and successful grant application. The second forum, Early-Career Investigators Showcase, is the only session at the AUA Meeting dedicated to highlighting the work of early-career researchers and physician scientists. Read more about the Showcase competition below.

 
Urology Researchers Making a Difference
 
 

Integrating Health Care Apps into Clinical Practice – Eugene Lee, MD

 Dr. Timothy Daskivich

Patients undergoing radical cystectomy with urinary diversion are at great risk of having post-operative complications and readmissions. Significant effort has been made to mitigate these risks through enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols, increased surgery knowledge and improved nutrition education. Despite our best efforts, patients have approximately a 65% chance of complication and 25% chance of hospital readmission within 90 days.1,2 A team from the University of North Carolina assessed the specific needs of bladder cancer patients, caregivers and providers around the time of radical cystectomy. It was concluded that education about the surgical process, knowledge of normal versus abnormal symptoms and the ability to track symptoms were of greatest need.3 Unfortunately, within the confines of our current medical system, there are both financial and personnel challenges that limit our ability to address these issues. Therefore, incorporating technology in this patient setting may be of significant benefit.

Dr. Lee’s multi-disciplinary bladder cancer research team at the University of Kansas Health System has recently demonstrated the feasibility of a mobile healthcare application in educating and monitoring patients through the perioperative radical cystectomy process.4 They invited any patient undergoing radical cystectomy to participate in this clinical trial. Twenty participants entered the trial, of which fifteen completed radical cystectomy and completed the trial (three had disease progression and two withdrew consent). Each participant was provided a tablet preloaded with the m.care healthcare application (Life Science Technology – Leawood, KS), an accelerometer (Garmin) and Bluetooth-enabled equipment to check vitals. During the pre-operative time period educational videos were pushed out to participants at pre-specified times based on sex, type of surgery (robotic vs. open) and type of urinary diversion (ileal conduit vs. neobladder). Participants were encouraged to perform at least 30 minutes of walking everyday beginning at the time of study enrollment. The accelerometer was synced through the application periodically to assess daily step counts. Post-operatively, participants were asked to perform vital sign assessments daily until the first follow-up visit at 2-3 weeks. These vitals were taken and synced daily, and any abnormalities were flagged to the care team through e-mail.

Patients demonstrated a willingness to participate in the application-based trial. This was despite the median age of the participant of 69.5 years. Every participant viewed the videos, and the most frequently viewed were “Ileal conduit versus Neobladder” and “Comprehensive Care Pathway.” All participants utilized the accelerometer and 60% synced their results regularly. As expected, daily step counts decreased post-operatively but improved by the first post-operative visit. Vital signs were recorded by participants on 85% of assigned days leading to 33 triggers for abnormal values and subsequent intervention. The majority of triggers led to repeat assessment, education and encouragement. Four participants underwent outpatient management of abnormal vitals including cultures, IV fluids, antibiotics or dronabinol prescription.

These results demonstrate that patients undergoing radical cystectomy are capable and willing to use a healthcare application to supplement their care. Dr. Lee’s group found that, while some participants had trouble with technology, education by the study team and in some cases help from family and caregivers made continued usage possible. Participants found that having videos released at pre-specified times made for smaller “digestible” pieces and avoided information overload, which can occur during office visits. Additionally, patients were able to share educational material with family, friends and caregivers without their presence at the office visit. Accelerometers functioned to both monitor and to encourage participants to ambulate. The monitoring of vitals post-operatively allowed the care team to identify concerning features, possibly earlier than when symptoms occurred. While not the primary aim of the study, they did identify four instances where vitals triggered intervention, which potentially prevented readmission. Dr. Lee and his team are well poised to perform the next logical step, which is to move this concept to a randomized clinical trial.

Eugene K. Lee, MD is an Assistant Professor of Urology at the University of Kansas Health System. He serves as the Director of Clinical Research and as the Program Director for the Urologic Oncology Fellowship Program. Dr. Lee is a former Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Awardee and is now a member of the AUA’s Research Education, Conferences and Communications Committee. He recently moderated a Plenary Panel Discussion at the 2019 AUA Annual Meeting titled “Top 10 Apps for Wellness, Work and Study.”

1Stimson CJ, Chang SS, Barocas DA, Humphrey JE, Patel SG, Clark PE, Smith JA, Jr., Cookson MS. Early and late perioperative outcomes following radical cystectomy: 90-day readmissions, morbidity and mortality in a contemporary series. The Journal of Urology. 2010;184(4):1296-300. Epub 2010/08/21. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.06.007. PubMed PMID: 20723939.
2Shabsigh A, Korets R, Vora KC, Brooks CM, Cronin AM, Savage C, Raj G, Bochner BH, Dalbagni G, Herr HW, Donat SM. Defining early morbidity of radical cystectomy for patients with bladder cancer using a standardized reporting methodology. European Urology. 2009;55(1):164-74. Epub 2008/08/05. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2008.07.031. PubMed PMID: 18675501.
3Garren B MD, Filippou P, et al. PD11-02 IMPORTANCE OF PATIENT-REPORTED OUTCOMES IN IMPROVING PERIOPERATIVE CARE AMONG CYSTECTOMY PATIENTS. The Journal of Urology. 2018;199(4):e234.
4Metcalf M, Glazyrine V, Glavin K, Dahlgren A, Michael C, Bechtel M, Bishop D, DeRuyter M, Mirza M, Taylor J, Wyre HW, Hamilton-Reeves JM, Holzbeierlein JM, Lee EK. The Feasibility of a Health Care Application in the Treatment of Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy. The Journal of Urology. 2019;201(5):902-8. Epub 2019/01/30. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000000050. PubMed PMID: 30694938.


 

Congratulations 2019 Early-Career Investigators Showcase Winners!

 Alexander W. Patuszak, MD, PhD

The Early-Career Investigators Showcase is held annually at the AUA Annual Meeting and is the only session completely dedicated to the work of early-career researchers and physician scientists. Participants must be nominated by their AUA Sections, their urology sub-specialty societies, or a member of the AUA Research Council or Research Committees. All nominees are invited to give poster presentations during the Showcase. In addition, a peer review committee selects the top ten individuals to give oral presentations at the event where a panel of judges scores each talk to determine first, second and third place winners.

First Place – Nathan R. Tykocki, PhD
University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine
Nominated by a member of the AUA Research Education, Conferences and Communications Committee

Dr. Tykocki’s presentation focused on new techniques to measure coordinated calcium signals, micromotions and transient pressure events in the mouse urinary bladder. Research suggests that micromotions play an important role as sensors of bladder fullness, but the nature of their generation and coordination remain unclear. Recognizing the limitations of traditional confocal and multiphoton microscopy, Dr. Tykocki and his colleagues sought to devise a means of capturing and analyzing the macroscopic patterns of calcium signals and micromotions from the entire bladder wall to determine how and where transient contractions originate. They designed and fabricated a specialized chamber and imaging analysis software to image bladder micromotions while simultaneously measuring intravesical pressure in an ex vivo mouse bladder. They discovered that a “transient pressure event” is the integration of multiple micro-contractions of discrete portions of the bladder wall. Interestingly, these micromotions vary in frequency and duration, but result in regular, phasic increases in intravesical pressure characteristic of a transient contraction. While calcium transients within the bladder smooth muscle seem stochastic in nature, global synchronous calcium events can and do occur. These techniques, while still in their infancy, represent new and novel tools to finally determine the nature and origin of transient contractions in the urinary bladder.

Second Place – Christina Barbara Ching, MD
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Nominated by the Society for Infection and Inflammation in Urology

Dr. Ching presented results of her research project evaluating how the cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 impacts urinary tract infection (UTI) susceptibility. IL-6 is a cytokine induced in response to UTI; yet, the role of IL-6 in limiting UTI has been unclear. Her study evaluated the impact of IL-6 loss in an animal model of UTI on the development of intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs), which are associated with UTI chronicity, and tried to identify the mechanism by which IL-6 affected the development of IBCs in an in vitro model of infection. She found that IL-6 limits the development of IBCs, likely through increasing the expulsion of uropathogenic E. coli to limit the intracellular reservoir that leads to IBC formation. This is important because it could suggest a mechanism for limiting the development of chronic UTIs.

Third Place – Rodney H. Breau, MD, MSc
University of Ottawa
Nominated by the AUA Northeastern Section

Dr. Breau presented a multi-center randomized trial evaluating the effect of renal hypothermia during partial nephrectomy. Renal hypothermia has been used for decades in an effort to reduce the ischemic damage incurred during surgery. However, to cool the kidney, slightly longer durations of ischemia are required. It is therefore plausible that renal hypothermia results in harm to a patient due to extending the ischemic duration. Dr. Breau and his team found that renal hypothermia did not improve renal function at one-year post surgery. This trial has added to growing evidence that the human kidney is resilient to short durations of ischemia. One of the important applications of this trial is the justification for expanding the role of minimally invasive partial nephrectomy. During laparoscopic/robotic partial nephrectomy, hypothermia is not feasible and longer durations of ischemia may be required. Their trial suggests that slightly longer intraoperative clamp times without hypothermia is safe from a renal function perspective.

Third Place – Anne M. Suskind, MD, MS
University of California, San Francisco
Nominated by the Society of Women in Urology

Dr. Suskind’s research focuses on surgical outcomes in frail older adults with the goal of preventing unnecessary or potentially harmful procedures in this population. Her presentation focused on functional outcomes and one-year mortality among nursing home residents undergoing what are considered to be relatively “minor” urologic procedures (i.e., cystoscopy, cystoscopy with bladder biopsy, transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT), prostate biopsy, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), removal of ureteral obstruction, and suprapubic tube placement). Dr. Suskind’s lab evaluated 37,671 nursing home residents undergoing these procedures from 2004 to 2012 in the United States. The mean age in this cohort was 81.5 (+7.4) years, 63.7% were male and 78.2% of procedures were elective. At baseline, 29.2% experienced declines in activities of daily living (ADLs) in the past six months and 60.3% had cognitive impairment. Following surgery, 11.5% and 48.7% of individuals died within one and 12 months, respectively, while ADLs declined steadily over this time period and never returned to levels of preoperative functional status. Poorer baseline ADL status and ADL decline at baseline were both predictors for death or ADL decline in the 12 months following surgery [adjusted HR 1.40 (95% CI 1.28-1.53) for worst quartile of ADL status compared to best quartile] and [adjusted HR 1.38 (95% CI 1.29-1.47)], respectively. Her study demonstrated that patients undergoing relatively minor urologic surgery experienced detriments in function and high rates of mortality in the year following surgery. This information is important to weigh the risks and benefits of any type of surgery, no matter how small, in this vulnerable population.

 
Research Funding Highlights
 
 

2020 Research Scholar Award Competition Now Open

NIH National Cancer Institute

Did you know that as many as 96% of former award recipients report that these grants were an important catalyst in jumpstarting their research careers? Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Awards provide $40,000 per year for one- or two-year mentored research training for clinical and postdoctoral fellows or early-career faculty. Sponsoring institutions provide additional funds and ensure that the Scholar receives the necessary research support to successfully complete the study. Letters of intent are required and are due by August 8, 2019. Apply today!


 

Department of Defense (DoD) Funding Presents Unprecedented Opportunities for Early-Career Investigators

NIH National Cancer Institute

The DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) fund urologic research through its Peer Review Cancer Research Program (bladder cancer), Peer Review Medical Research Program (interstitial cystitis), and Prostate Cancer Research Program. However, the majority of award mechanisms under these programs are restricted to more established investigators with faculty appointments. Although the CDMRP’s Career Development and Idea Development Awards are open to new investigators, ‘new investigators’ are defined, in part, as no more than 10 years beyond a terminal degree. This definition potentially advantages more experienced researchers over those who have recently completed their postdocs or fellowships. In an effort to better target early-career investigators, the Prostate Cancer Research Program initiated the Early Investigator Research Award and Physician Research Award for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19).

The Early Investigator Research Award is designed to attract and retain postdoctoral investigators in prostate cancer research. While applicants must demonstrate a strong potential for pursuing research in this field, they are not required to have previous prostate cancer research experience. The project must be conducted under the guidance of one or more mentors, and applications in prostate cancer health disparity research are strongly encouraged. This award is restricted to principal investigators (PIs) with three years or less of postdoctoral research experience, excluding clinical residency or fellowship training. The Physician Research Award supports a mentored research experience as well, and will help prepare physicians with clinical duties and/or responsibilities for productive careers in prostate cancer research. The PI must be in the last year of an accredited graduate medical education program as a resident or fellow, or within five years of having initiated a faculty appointment.

The Prostate Cancer Research Program was initiated in 1997 and has since funded research that will lead to the elimination of death from prostate cancer and enhance the well-being of service members, veterans, and all the families who are experiencing the impact of the disease. Applications for FY19 are required to address at least one of the following areas: 1) improve the quality of life for survivors of prostate cancer; 2) develop treatments that improve outcomes for men with lethal prostate cancer; 3) reduce lethal prostate cancer in African Americans, Veterans and other high-risk populations; and 4) define the biology of lethal prostate cancer to reduce death. Although letters of intent are no longer being accepted, these programs are likely to return in 2020. Subscribe to EUREKA! today to get funding opportunity announcements like these and others from the AUA!

 
Research Resources
 
 

NCI Genomic Data Commons (GDC) Provides Data for Urologic Oncology Researchers

NIH National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Genomic Data Commons (GDC) is a data sharing platform that supports the import and standardization of genomic data from cancer research programs. The GDC Data Portal enables users to submit and upload their own data online, and use bioinformatics tools to see how their data relate to other data in the GDC. The GDC currently houses data from 47 different projects, with the NCI’s The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) initiatives representing the largest data sets. Urologic samples available to the community include bladder, kidney, prostate and testis. Learn more!

 
Research and Patient Advocacy
 
 

AUA Advocacy Efforts Make Strides to Secure Funding for Urologic Research

Over recent years, the AUA has worked to build partnerships with NIH agencies to help support and grow critical research programs needed to help patients with urologic diseases and conditions. During the 2019 Annual Urology Advocacy Summit, members of the AUA Board of Directors and research community traveled to NIH campus and met with key members of NIA, NICHD and NIDDK leadership.*

Meetings engaged agency leadership in conversations about the relevance of urologic conditions to their specific agencies. Current opportunities and challenges in urologic research that offer possibilities for collaboration in promoting and aligning research agendas were addressed. The AUA highlighted that the 2019 Advocacy Summit featured a plenary session entitled “The Value of Research: How Funding for Urologic Research Improves Health Outcomes” that prepared more than 200 urology advocates to talk with Members of Congress specifically about the need to:

  • Support increased funding for Fiscal Year 2020 for the Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)
  • Support legislation to reauthorize the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and avoid a lapse in their important efforts
  • Provide $41.6 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Fiscal Year 2020 (a 6.4 percent increase over current funding level)
BHA Roundtable Meeting Group

In addition to cultivating key relationships within the National Institutes of Health, the AUA continues strong advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill to sustain momentum created during the Advocacy Summit surrounding the DoD CDMRPs, PCORI and NIH funding.

 

Congressionally Allocated Research Funding

The AUA participated in a major advocacy event, led by One Voice Against Cancer, to support cancer research by meeting with several lawmakers to discuss the urgency to increase NIH funding in FY 2020 to $41.6 billion. Additional advocacy took place by supporting the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research’s request for a $2.5 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health in FY 2020 that gained support from more than 300 patient and physician advocacy organizations. The request provided justification that this requested funding level would allow for meaningful growth above inflation in the base budget that would expand NIH’s capacity to support promising science in all disciplines.

As a result of consistent and persistent advocacy efforts throughout the urology and cancer communities, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee report released on May 21st included a $2.5 billion increase for the NIH, totaling $41.6 billion, that was in line with the AUA Summit ask, and a $300 million funding increase totaling $6.4 billion for the NCI. Notably, there was specific language pertaining to prostate cancer, urging NCI to consider how diagnostic and genetic testing and screening may reduce the rate of mortality among high-risk populations that was also discussed and advocated for during the AUA Advocacy Summit.

The House report (mentioned above) that accompanied the FY 2020 Defense Appropriations Act recommends $100 million in funding for the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program to support research into a number of cancers, of which bladder cancer is listed first for up to $10 million. The AUA worked with advocacy partner BCAN to ensure language was included for bladder cancer for the fifth consecutive year. Additionally, $110 million for prostate cancer was included (10% increase from FY2019) and $30 million for kidney cancer (50% increase from FY2019). To become law, this bill needs to be approved by both the House and Senate and signed by the President.

 

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Reauthorization

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funding expires on September 30, 2019 and the AUA is advocating with other partners on reauthorization efforts. PCORI has awarded more than $2.4 billion in grants to more than 600 research-related projects in 44 states across the United States. Several of these projects generated particularly promising evidence for improving care and patient outcomes in key areas, such as shared decision making, minority health, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and opioid prescribing. In addition to supporting House and Senate sign-on letters in support of PCORI reauthorization, the AUA supported Friends of PCORI in their efforts urging Congress to reauthorize PCORI at its current funding mechanism for at least an additional 10 years.

Advocacy efforts were successful in the House of Representatives, as Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced R. 3030, the "Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Extension Act of 2019". The bill reauthorizes PCORI as-is for another decade. The AUA is continuing efforts to identify bi-partisan co-sponsors and the introduction of a Senate version of the bill.

*meetings with the NCI are scheduled for a later date


 

AUA Responds to Request for Input on National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Strategic Plan

NIH National Cancer Institute

Members of the AUA’s Research Advocacy Committee (RAC) orchestrated efforts to respond to NICHD’s call for strategic plan input. Feedback provided included input from a variety of urologic stakeholders including the Societies for Pediatric Urology, the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine, and Urogenital Reconstruction, and the American Urological Association’s RAC. The response aimed to ensure that urology is recognized as a central component of the strategic plan and integrated throughout NICHD’s overall themes and priorities. This effort is a key component of the RAC’s initiative to pursue, attain and maintain urology representation on all relevant NIH institute advisory boards.

In addition, the AUA continues to participate at the Friends of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s (FoNICHD) stakeholder meetings. In May, NICHD Director Dr. Diana Bianchi provided an overview of NICHD’s strategic planning process and included information regarding her testimony at the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 House Appropriations hearing where she fielded questions about maternal health and pediatric research. Stakeholders are optimistic that there will be funding increases in FY20 for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that include $1.580 billion for NICHD. Dr. Bianchi thanked stakeholders (including the AUA) for providing feedback to NICHD’s strategic plan and stated that NICHD will release a final strategic plan in fall 2019. The AUA’s Research Advocacy Committee will continue to work proactively with NICHD and provide comments and recommendations as requested.

 
Did You Know?
 
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Calendar of Research Events
 

Sep 26–29

Pediatric Urology Fall Congress

Westin Kierland | Scottsdale, AZ


Oct 3–5

Fourth Global Summit on Precision Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Seaport Hotel | Boston, MA


Oct 5

Neurogenic Bladder Research Group Multidisciplinary Think Tank Symposium

Houston Methodist Research Institute | Houston, TX


Oct 7–8

Uncovering the Hidden Burden of Genitourinary Conditions Workshop

NIH Main Campus | Bethesda, MD


Oct 24–27

Annual Fall Scientific Meeting of the SMSNA

Omni Nashville Hotel | Nashville, TN


Oct 29–Nov 2

World Congress of Endourology

Abu Dhabi, UAE


Nov 7–10

SBUR Annual Meeting – Novel Discoveries in Urology: Big Data to Microbiome

New Orleans Downtown Marriott, Convention Center | New Orleans, LA


Dec 4–6

Annual Meeting of the Society of Urologic Oncology

Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel | Washington, DC


Dec 6–7

StoneLab Scientific Symposium: Thinking Outside the Box for Kidney Stone Disease

AUA Headquarters | Linthicum, MD

Opportunities in Urologic Research

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We encourage the submission of employment opportunities in urologic research—trainees and faculty only—to be posted in our new Research Career Opportunities page. Submission is no guarantee of publication. Please contact the AUA Office of Research with any questions.

 
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