The FDA has approved Axumin (18F-fluciclovine or FACBC), a radiotracer for PET imaging invented and developed at Emory University, for diagnosis of recurrent prostate cancer in men who have elevated blood levels of prostate specific antigen after previous treatment. Axumin imaging via CT scan is pictured above, showing areas of cancer in red, with a blue inset of the FACBC-fluciclovine compound structure. David Schuster, MD, of the Emory Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, led the clinical studies that developed Axumin for use in identifying prostate cancer in collaboration with Emory urologists Peter Nieh, MD, Viraj Master, MD, PhD, Muta Issa, MD, and Emory radiation oncologists Peter Rossi, MD, and Ashesh Jani, MD.
Bruce Green, MD, received the 2016 Emory Urology Distinguished Alumni Award at the Emory Urology Residents Graduation Event on June 26. The award recognizes alumni of Emory School of Medicine, past Emory Urology graduates, and/or Emory faculty members for their outstanding contributions toward advancing the field of urology. Dr. Green completed his Emory Urology residency in 1975, and started a private practice in the Sandy Springs area shortly thereafter. His interest in neurologic urology also allowed him to initiate the urology program at the Shepherd Spinal Center as Director of Urology and Urodynamics.
PGY4 Emory Urology resident Jeffrey Pearl, MD, received an Excellence in Research Award at the 2016 American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in Washington, DC, October 16-20. The ACS Scientific Forum Committee bestows the awards on the top 1% of abstracts submitted to the congress by residents, fellows, and scientific investigators in training (Mary Hawn, MD, chair of the committee, is shown above presenting Dr. Pearl with the award). Dr. Pearl was also a finalist in the top poster category of the 9th Annual Emory Healthcare Quality Conference held on June 6th.
Emory Urology was well represented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Urologic Association in San Diego, May 6-10. Faculty, trainees, and staff were involved in a total of 30 poster presentations and three podium presentations encompassing a wide range of topics, from oncology to pediatrics. The conference was capped by Emory Urology's Annual Alumni and Friends reception, held at Roy's Restaurant on the San Diego waterfront.
Chad Ritenour, MD, Professor of Urology and Vice Chair of Education and Faculty Affairs for Emory Urology, has moved from his former role as Associate Chief Medical Officer of Emory University Hospital (EUH) to full CMO of the facility. Dr. Ritenour also directs the Division of Men's Health and Infertility, which he has developed into the premier urological wellness service for men in Atlanta and the surrounding state of Georgia, as well as patients from neighboring states and other countries. "Many Emory members have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Ritenour, and know him to be a thoughtful leader who is dedicated to supporting our staff and physicians in delivering optimal care," says William Bornstein, MD, PhD, Chief Quality Officer and Chief Medical Officer for Emory Healthcare.
John Petros Recognized on Researcher Appreciation Day
John Petros, MD, Professor of Urology, was one of 50 Emory researchers honored by the Emory Medicine Recognitions Committee on Researcher Appreciation Day, September 1, 2016. These researchers were nominated by their peers and colleagues for groundbreaking work, development of new technologies, and continued pursuit of novel and innovative ideas. The official Researcher Appreciation Day announcement emphasized Dr. Petros' focus on investigating the basic mechanisms underlying highly prevalent, potentially lethal diseases such as prostate cancer and other genitourinary malignancies, and concluded that his efforts had contributed to our understanding of cancer disparities and has application to screening and risk reduction. Visit the Emory 2016 Researcher Appreciation Day web page at www.2016emoryrad.strikingly.com.
The 2016 Emory Urology Residents Graduation Event was held on the evening of June 26 at Magnolia Hall in Piedmont Park, where Emory Urology members gathered to commemorate the achievements of faculty and the graduating class. The outgoing chief residents were Andrew Michigan, MD, Paymon Nourparvar, MD, and Aaron Weiss, MD (shown above between Martin Sanda, MD, and Chad Ritenour, MD); the graduating pediatric urology fellow was Michael Garcia-Roig, MD; and the graduating reconstructive urology fellow was Paul Espy, MD.
On May 25-26, Mark S. Litwin, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, inaugurated Emory Urology's newly declared annual visiting professorship. Dr. Litwin published the first well-validated instrument to assess disease-targeted, health-related quality of life in men treated for prostate cancer. The instrument was initially published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1995, is now in use in over 200 studies throughout North America, and has been translated into Spanish, Dutch, and Japanese for cross-cultural use.
The 20th Annual Golf Outing held on May 10 at Dunwoody Country Club raised $225,000 to benefit prostate cancer research at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, distinguishing the Dunwoody Country Club Champions Golf Association as the most successful community fundraising organization on the behalf of prostate cancer research at Winship. Fundraising is done in the name of the late John H. Kauffman, and all proceeds will be matched dollar for dollar by Winship through its own fundraising efforts. Last year's DCC fundraiser yielded $215,000, which rose to $430,000 with Winship's matching funds.
The 3rd Annual Emory Urology Town Hall, attended by over 80 faculty, residents, and staff, began with Jonathan Lewin, MD, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, presenting peer-selected recognition awards. He also recognized new team members that had completed their first year of service (the latter group are shown above with Dr. Lewin and Emory Urology Chair Martin Sanda, MD). Following the town hall, faculty, advanced practice providers, and other leaders then participated in the Emory Urology Department Retreat, which was held at the Michael C. Carlos Museum.
Dr. Lay received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in 2009. After completing his general surgery internship and urology residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital, he did an endourology and minimally invasive surgery fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from 2014-2016. Dr. Lay's clinical practice is focused in kidney stone care and minimally invasive urology at Emory University Hospital and at Grady Memorial Hospital, where he directs the Endourology and Kidney Stone Program.
Dr. Weiss received his MD degree and completed his general surgery internship and urology residency at Emory University. During the course of his residency, Dr. Weiss was recognized for excellence in both academics and patient care. He received the William Hollis Cooner Award for compassionate patient care in both 2015 and 2016, and also received the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Resident Achievement Award. His primary practice will be based at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, with a concurrent practice at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
For the first time since the course's initiation at Duke University School of Medicine, Emory Urology hosted the Basics in Endourology Course of the Southeastern Section of the American Urological Association (SESAUA) on Saturday, August 13, 2016.
The course was sponsored by SESAUA along with industry partners Olympus and Boston Scientific, and co-directed by our own Kenneth Ogan, MD, Associate Professor of Urology, and Michael Ferrandino, MD, Associate Professor of Urology at Duke. Additional course faculty consisted of Emory's John Pattaras, MD, Associate Professor of Urology, and Aaron Lay, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology; Glenn Preminger, MD, Professor of Urology at Duke; and Davis Viprakasit, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Using hands-on wet lab experiences and didactic sessions, the course is a concise and dynamic introduction to endourologic principles and techniques for 4th year medical students and 1st year urology residents. The interactive lectures reviewed endourologic technology and methods; indications and contraindications for cystoscopic, ureteroscopic, percutaneous, and transurethral resection procedures; and potential complications. The wet lab featured six stations dedicated to basic endoscopic equipment, stent placement, distal ureteroscopy, proximal ureteroscopy, laser lithotripsy, and transurethral resection.
A total of 31 enrollees from 11 SESAUA-member academic institutions participated in the course. The Course Coordinator was Jenny Alff, Residency Program Coordinator for Emory Urology.
"The plan is to make the course an annual event for junior urology trainees from programs that are affiliated with the SESAUA, and to base the courses at Emory from now on," says Ms. Alff. "The next course will probably be in early August 2017."
Accomplishments, Happenings, and Milestones
Above photo: For the past several years, faculty, residents, and staff from Emory Urology and the Winship Cancer institute have grown or worn mustaches in November in support of the Movember Foundation, a global organization focused on raising funds for the fight against prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and for supporting other men's health initiatives. The fundraising team at Emory is called the "E-MO-ry Mo Bros." Donations can be made at https://us.movember.com/mospace/team/2247246.
Haydn Kissick, PhD, previously Senior Associate in Urology and Microbiology/Immunology, was appointed Assistant Professor in Urology, with a secondary appointment in Microbiology and Immunology. Prior to his faculty appointment, Dr. Kissick completed his doctoral studies at the University of Western Australia and a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Dr. Kissick is the first Emory faculty member to have received the prestigious Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award. His research focuses on the tumor immunology of prostate cancer and kidney cancers, and he holds an NIH K99 Award mentored by Dr. Rafi Ahmed, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of Emory's Vaccine Center, and Emory Urology Chief Dr. Martin Sanda.
The 18th Annual Atlanta Area Drive for the Cure Golf Tournament to benefit prostate cancer research at Winship Cancer Institute was held at the Country Club of Roswell on September 28. The proceeds from last year's event, estimated at over $20,000, were used to fund Emory endocrinologist Dr. Jessica Alvarez's pilot evaluation of Genistein supplementation to offset cardiac side effects of hormone therapy, and Dr. John Petros' pilot examination of the role of mitochondrial DNA mutations in prostate cancer. This year's tournament was attended by Drs. Christopher Filson, Muta Issa, Peter Nieh, and John Pattaras.
On September 23, Dr. Martin Sanda and his wife Anne held a Welcome Party for the New Residents (Drs. Biebighauser, Mullane, Mulloy, and Traore), New Fellows (Drs. Hartsell and Lightfoot) and New Faculty (Drs. Lay and Weiss). The event was attended by over 40 Emory Urology faculty, residents, and physician assistants.
Emory Urology and Winship Cancer Institute co-hosted distinguished prostate cancer surgeon Peter Carroll, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology of the University of California, San Francisco, as a visiting professor on July 20 and 21. Dr. Carroll gave a lecture highlighting the scientific data supporting active surveillance for a subset of prostate cancer patients; delivered another talk that considered the future of predictive approaches to indolent disease; had dinner with Emory faculty from radiation oncology, medical oncology, and urology; and lunched with our residents the next day.
In a New York Times story published on July 20, Dr. Christopher Filson spoke to reporter Denise Grady about misleading interpretations of a study that spurred frightening national news reports of skyrocketing metastatic prostate cancer cases. Dr. Filson joined Dr. Otis Brawley, Emory clinical faculty member and Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, in re-examining the study's data.
Dr. Bruce Broecker and Dr. Jeff Carney joined Emory general and GI surgery, pediatric surgery, and anesthesiology faculty, residents, and medical students for Emory Medishare's 2016 surgical trip to Haiti, June 16-July 7. Sixty-three surgeries were performed and 111 patients seen in clinic at L'Hôpital Sainte-Thérèse de Hinche.
Dr. Martin Sanda spoke to baseball fans and prostate cancer survivors at the Atlanta Braves/Major League Baseball Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day on June 26 at Turner Field.
Dr. Viraj Master spoke at a "meet the professor session" on upper tract transitional cell carcinoma at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology held June 3-7 in Chicago. His topic was "Surgical Considerations for Upper Tract Urothelial Cancer."
Dr. Lindsey Hartsell is the 2016-2017 Clinical Fellow in Adult Reconstructive Urology. She received her MD degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, where she also completed her urology residency. She was previously on the resident committee of SESAUA and was awarded the Robert Lee Hyder scholarship for academic achievement at the University of Tennessee.
Mehrdad Alemozaffar, MD, Assistant Professor of Emory Urology, married Banafsheh Vahid on August 20, 2016, at Bacara Resort and Spa in Goleta, CA.
PGY3 Dean Laganosky, MD, married Cassie West on July 16, 2016, at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, PA.