Looking forward to the SOGUG (Spanish Oncology Genito Urinary Group) Annual Meeting - Cristina Suarez & Aránzazu González del Alba

November 14, 2022

President and Vice President of the SOGUG (Spanish Oncology Genito Urinary Group), Cristina Suarez and Aránzazu González del Alba join Charles Ryan in a discussion on the SOGUG's upcoming annual meeting being held November 16-18 in Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1998 and with more than 500 members, the majority from the field of Medical Oncology, the Spanish Genitourinary Oncology Group, is a non-profit cooperative group dedicated to treatment and study of genitourinary cancers: prostate cancer, bladder cancer and kidney cancer.


Cristina Suarez, MD, GU Oncologist, Senior Researcher, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, Vice President of SOGUG (Spanish Oncology Genito Urinary Group) 

Aránzazu González del Alba, MD, Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. Presidenta de SOGUG (Spanish Oncology Genito Urinary Group)

Charles J. Ryan, MD, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), the world’s leading philanthropic organization dedicated to funding life-saving prostate cancer research. Charles J. Ryan is an internationally recognized genitourinary (GU) oncologist with expertise in the biology and treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Dr. Ryan joined the PCF from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where he served as Director of the Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation Division in the Department of Medicine. He also served as Associate Director for Clinical Research in the Masonic Cancer Center and held the B.J. Kennedy Chair in Clinical Medical Oncology.

Read the Full Video Transcript

Charles Ryan: Hello. Today we have a very special interview because this is my first time doing it in Spanish. I'm with two friends from Spain. They are the president and the vice president of SOGUG. Aránzazu González del Alba, welcome and Cristina Suárez, welcome.

Aránzazu González del Alba: How are you?

Charles Ryan: We are in Paris.

Cristina Suarez: Hi.

Charles Ryan: where we are attending the 2022 ESMO. Aránzazu, as the president of SOGUG, tell us about this organization and what they do in Spain. The conferences and everything they do.

Aránzazu González del Alba: First, thank you very much for the invitation. SOGUG is the Spanish Oncology Genitourinary Group and it is the leading group in Spain with regard to research and ongoing education in genitourinary tumors. Above all, we focus on continuing education or ongoing training, in collaborative research with other international groups and also in numerous activities with patients. They are the focus of everything we do. It is a group
which was founded in 1998, so it has already been around for 24 years. and it is the benchmark in Spain for all of these topics that I indicated earlier

Charles Ryan: and, for example, do they do more than conferences and education? Do they give sessions, for example, on research trials, clinical research groups and things like that?

Aránzazu González del Alba: Yes, we conduct our own research within SOCUG and we conduct numerous clinical trials throughout the national territory of Spain, and not just clinical trials that involve patients from Spain. That's basically it. But we also collaborate in multiple international trials and we have many collaborative partnerships in trials like the ones presented here at ESMO. For example, the IMvigor130 in which biological markers have been presented as surrogate markers for overall survival. So, we have a specific part for research and international collaboration that is also very important. How many members does SOGUG have?

Charles Ryan:  SOGUG has about 500 members.

Aránzazu González del Alba: The majority of the members are medical oncologists, but we also have radiation oncologists, urologists and pathologists.

Charles Ryan:  OK. Very good. Great. Cristina, tell us something about the conference being held this November and the education plans of SOGUG.

Cristina Suarez: First of all, thanks for the invitation and for being here. The conference will take place in Madrid, from November 16th to the 18th. It is our thirteenth symposium. It more or less works like this: There are talks for which we invite Spanish as well as
international speakers. On one hand, these are educational talks, but there are also discussions on the latest data. We structure the conference by pathology. Usually the first day is prostate cancer. The second day, bladder cancer. And the third day, kidney cancer. It's really a very good chance to learn about the latest advances, to listen and the discussions are really interesting.

Charles Ryan: My impression, as a past speaker, is that it is a very important conference for young people. for young oncologists who are learning. To get together with colleagues from all over Spain.

Cristina Suarez: Exactly.

Charles Ryan: Are there conferences, classes, etc., for young people? So they can pursue a career in oncology?

Cristina Suarez:  Yes. First, as you said, it's a good chance for everyone. For young people, because good reviews are done. And also for the not so young, because you always learn.

Charles Ryan: Of course. We are all young!

Cristina Suarez:  We are all young! And of course, the calibre of the speakers is so high that we always learn a lot. And, as I was saying, also in the discussions, it’s true that, as you said so well, young people can learn a lot. But we also have events that target young people, fellows or junior associates, which involve courses. We organize two courses a year, one on prostate and the bladder, Dedicated to the prostate and the bladder. And another dedicated to kidney cancer and germ cell tumors. They are held six months apart, one in each semester. And there the talks are more educational. Not so much discussion but rather the training. In addition to the talks, every day we hold what we call workshops. People meet in small groups with experts.

They can discuss clinical cases in small groups. They can ask questions, because sometimes asking questions is difficult. Especially for young people. When we are all together in large groups, And these are courses that residents and young associates love. The residents at my hospital always come back thrilled about these training courses.

Charles Ryan: This year, in collaboration with PCF and UroToday, we will hold a special conference for patients. Tell us, Aránzazu, what we will be doing and what the purpose of this conference is.

Aránzazu González del Alba: The purpose of the conference... First of all, thank you for including SOGUG in this collaboration that is so interesting and important for us. Also, at the same time, to be able to talk a little more about the work we do with patients in Spain. that is important. We hold meetings and training programs for patients in Spain. And we want to make this known. We have training sessions in which we intend for certain patients to gain an expertise.

So they can get to know the disease more in depth. And so later, they can communicate this to other patients, so they can give more information about aspects of the disease and aspects about the consequences of the disease. So this collaboration with Prostate Cancer Foundation is crucial for all of us. and we are very happy we can collaborate.

Accordingly, the objective at this year's symposium, the twelfth... Sorry, the thirteenth SOGUG scientific symposium, is to have a specific event that highlights the most relevant aspects of the disease, with regard to patient outreach, but also to give a voice to the patients so they can tell their stories. Certain patients will be present there and can tell us about their experience. After the work done by the Prostate Cancer Foundation with all of the many events that are being featured in ... in various ... in um, stuck! in various forums.

In various forums published above all by UroToday. This event of SOGUG will take place on Friday, November 18. We are preparing it with a great deal of care and affection.

Charles Ryan: Excellent. It will be very special for the patients to be able to talk with other patients and also to be with doctors in a setting more informal than the clinic, for example. In collaboration with UroToday and Prostate Cancer Foundation, recordings of patients speaking
are also available at cancerpatientsvoices.com. That is a new website set up by UroToday, specifically so patients can learn from other patients. which is very important. and something that... has been missing from discussions about prostate cancer. It's going to be a very
important meeting. and I hope to see you in Madrid in November.

Cristina Suarez: Thank you very much.

Aránzazu González del Alba:  Thank you very much. For us it is very important. that it is the most important symposium of the year for us. And we want to expand it so people can learn about it outside of Spain and especially, all of the Spanish-speaking oncologists. On this occasion, I'm sure it will be much more interesting since we will hold this event in collaboration with you. So, thank you and we hope to see you November 16 to 18 in Madrid.

Cristina Suarez: Thank you very much. We hope to see all of you.