From the Desk of the Editor: Volume 5, Issue 4

Dear Colleagues, As the 2020 pandemic has altered our behavioral, economic, educational policies, and numerous other career and life events worldwide, SARS-CoV-2 has also impacted global healthcare and patient outcomes. Fortunately, and not unexpectedly, frontline and advanced line healthcare workers, researchers, and scientists have never ceased the tradition of tireless sacrifice and dedication to advancing patient care. Assuredly we have reviewed and read exceptional cancer care advancements in 2020, including innovative efforts for delivering care via ambulatory processes or through virtual technologies while prioritizing our most vulnerable patient populations. Fortunately, numerous diagnostic and therapeutic advancements in 2020 have occurred in Genitourinary Oncology.

While safeguarding both patients and the healthcare team from unnecessary risk of SARS-CoV-2, telehealth technology and its widespread adoption among healthcare practitioners and patients have allowed for innovative patient care strategies. Virtual education has also persevered and improved during this year of in-person and travel adversity. Scientific meetings are critical for the ongoing education of physicians, nurses, and all allied health care personnel. In this issue’s Spotlight section, we showcase advancements in urologic oncology presented at the International Bladder Cancer Network (IBCN) Virtual Annual Meeting and the Société Internationale d’Urologie (SIU) 2020 Virtual Annual Congress. We also highlight telemedicine sessions, which have become an integral part of cancer care delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There have been many important systemic therapy advances in treatment for patients with renal cell carcinomas (both clear call and nonclear cell). This issue’s cover story expertly reviews the transformational change of therapeutic options for renal cell carcinomas during the past fifteen years. Most recently, combining immunotherapy-based approaches has both potentials for long-term cure or otherwise significantly delaying disease progression.

Importantly, and not until recently, there has been a paucity of well-performed trials to delineate the optimal timing of radiotherapy for high-risk post radical prostatectomy patients, specifically addressing adjuvant timing versus salvage radiation therapy. In the Expert Perspective article, we highlight data derived from phase 3 trials: RADICALS-RT, GETUC-AFU 17, RAVES, and the ARTISTIC prospective systematic review and meta-analysis, as the data and trials review, will guide and assist clinicians in their patient discussion for this controversial decision, i.e., immediate adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) vs. early salvage RT post RP. 

In closing, the continued progress in the field of genitourinary malignancies and our global healthcare community’s dedicated efforts have been silver linings of a dystopian 2020. Social cohesion, change, and resilience are evolving. As we look ahead to 2021, we wish you, your loved ones, as well as all of your friends and neighbors, continued health, wellness, and peace.

Neal Shore, MD, FACS

Related Content:
The Evolving Landscape of First-Line Therapy for Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma
Post-Operative Radiotherapy in Prostate Cancer – The State of the Data

: Everyday Urology — Oncology Insights, Volume 5 Issue 4