8th International Congress of Andrology
June 12-16, 2005, Seoul, Korea
from POC Chair J. Anton Grootegoed to ISA President Hector E. Chemes and to the attention of the ISA Executive Council and ISA General Assembly ISA POC members for the 8th International Congress of Andrology (ICA 2005)
Hermann M. Behre (Germany)
Hector E. Chemes (Argentina)
Aleksander Giwercman (Sweden)
J. Anton Grootegoed (Netherlands) (Chair)
Robert I. McLachlan (Australia)
Masaru Okabe (Japan)
Jon Pryor (USA)
Shmuel Segal (Israel)
Christina Wang (USA)
Ad hoc advisor: Sae-Chul Kim (Chair LOC)
ISA POC meetings
The First POC meeting was held in Malm?weden, during the 2nd European Congress of Andrology on Friday 20 September (13.00 - 18.00) 2002.
The Second POC meeting was held in Phoenix, Arizona, during the 17th Testis Workshop and the ASA 28th Annual Meeting on Saturday 29 March (13.00 - 17.00) 2003 and Sunday 30 March (08.00 - 10.00) 2003.
The Third POC meeting was held at Castle Elmau, Germany, on Sunday September 28 (9.00-18.00) 2003.
The LOC for ICA 2005 has provided an effective budget for the POC meetings, for which we are grateful.
From ICA 2001 in Montreal to ICA 2005 in Seoul
From the available evaluation of ICA 2001 in Montreal, it appeared that the clinical aspects were more highly appreciated than the basic topics. There were relatively high scores for topics such as prostate cancer screening, aging male, testicular cancer, androgens and brain, and male sexual function. However, the POC discussed that this should not lead to the conclusion that basic aspects need to be minimized in ICA 2005. The POC feeled that the ISA had a responsibility to support and stimulate discussion of basic and translational/clinical aspects, to keep moving forward introducing new basic science methods and knowledge. This view was taken as an important guiding principle for ICA 2005. It was agreed to name a general theme for ICA 2005: Men?s health: nature and nurture
Registration and abstract submission
The LOC prepared and distributed printed First and Second Announcements. The First Announcement gave the program outline, and was available for distribution in November 2003. Also a website was launched (www.ica2005.org). The Second Announcement contained the provisional program, including names of invited speakers and tentative titles of lectures and workshops, and was available at the time of the 3rd European Congress of Andrology, September 11-14, 2004, M?, Germany, were it was distributed among participants. The announcements were distributed to all ISA member societies and from there to the society members. The website was further developed, also to provide a mechanism for on-line registration and abstract submission. The final deadline for abstract submission was 28 February 2005, but this was postponed a few weeks to try to include more submissions. With the abstract submission, the presenting author was asked whether he/she would be willing to accept an invitation for an oral presentation (free communication) in one of the symposia. If yes, he/she was asked to provide a reference to one or two recent international publications on the respective topic, published by the presenting author and/or a senior author from the same research group. In the registration procedure, participants were given the possibility to request award of a travel grant.
Abstracts for posters and free communications
Submitted abstracts were reviewed by POC members, and the authors were requested to submit revised abstracts, when this was felt essential. In the review procedure, a limited number of abstracts was rejected. About 45 abstracts were selected for free communication (out of about 90 candidate abstracts submitted by about 60 institutes, for which the authors indicated that they would be willing to accept an invitation for an oral presentation). More than 200 abstracts were accepted for presentation as poster. The total number of presenters at ICA 2005 was in the order of 300. There were 435 participants from 45 countries. The abstracts have been published in the International Journal of Andrology, Volume 28 Supplement 1, June 2005, in the form they were submitted or resubmitted following revision.
Invitations to invited speakers
Invitations to invited speakers were sent, by ISA POC Chair, by email and letter in the period November 2003 - April 2004. For 50 positions for invited speakers (plenaries, plenary debate, symposia, workshops) 13 rejections were received (4 from USA, 2 from Canada, 3 from UK, 1 from France,1 from Italy, 1 from Germany, 1 from Hong Kong) and 3 cancellations (2 from USA and 1 from China). We finally arrived at a list of 47 invited speakers.
ICA 2005 Scientific Program
The POC decided to aim at:
- Plenary lectures and a Plenary debate
- Symposia with two invited lectures of 30 min (including a discussion directly after the lecture) by established investigators, preferably one basic and one translational/clinical (this, to emphasize the basic/clinical translational aspect, which is considered an important aspect of ICA 2005)
- In addition, in each symposium, inclusion of several free communications of 10 or 20 min (including a discussion directly after each presentation) selected on basis of abstract submissions
- Workshops and a video session, to be programmed at lunch-hour
- Much time for presentation and discussion of posters
In planning symposia and workshops, the POC payed attention to the spreading of different topics over different days and sessions, so that participants with different basic and/or clinical backgrounds would benefit from taking part in the congress throughout the program. The LOC emphasized that it would be important to have specific topics for symposia and lectures, such as medical treatment of BPH, erectile dysfunction, andropause, and prostate cancer, to facilitate sponsoring. This was taken into account by the POC. The American Society of Andrology provided generous support of the scientific program, by direct and unrestricted sponsoring of one plenary lecture, one symposium, and the Women in Andrology session, for which we are grateful. The final scientific program included a total of six plenary lectures with presentations on global issues in male reproductive health, prostate cancer screening, estrogen receptor beta as an antiproliferative principle in the prostate, gametogenesis in culture, gene expression and epigenetic aspects of spermatogenesis, and pathogenesis of germ cell cancer. Moreover, a plenary debate was presented on the aging male and testosterone deficiency. In addition to these presentations, eleven workshops were organized on endocrine evaluation in andrology, androgen action at genomic and proteomic levels, androgen replacement therapy, imaging and the male reproductive system, laser microdissection technology for the study of reproductive tissues, semen analysis, assessment of the azoospermic male, genetics of male infertility, high power microscopy for sperm selection prior IVF-ICSI, culture of mouse spermatogonial stem cells, and bioinformatics for the basic and clinical andrologist. Moreover, a total of 19 symposia were organized on a broad range of topics: germ line and gonadal development, gene expression in spermatogenesis, chromatin and chromosome dynamics in spermatogenesis, sperm pathology, development and dysfunction of external genitalia, prostate development and dysfunction, male sexual dysfunction, health supplements in andrology, ejaculation and sperm physiopathology, prostatitis and epididymitis, male reproductive immunology and oxidative stress, male toxicology, and hormonal male contraception. A total of 44 free communications and 215 posters were presented throughout the meeting, and the main topics included: male sexual dysfunction, treatment and animal models, spermatogenesis and testis cancer, sperm function and semen analysis, male infertility and assisted reproduction, infection and sexually transmitted diseases, male toxicology and anti-fertility agents, varicocele, prostate, and internal and external genital defects and surgical interventions. In addition, four video presentations were included in the program, on cryoablation of prostate cancer, laparoscopic varicocelectomy, vasovasostomy, and penile augmentation surgery. The POC decided not to aim at publication of proceedings with contributions by invited speakers. Rather, the POC proposed to ask for selected slides summarizing the presentations and/or giving background information, to be incorporated into a cd-rom that was available to all participants. Selected slides from many presentations can be found here.
The POC accepted a suggestion by Mikio Namiki from Japan, to organize a satellite symposium on Genetics of male infertility and Y chromosome microdeletions, which took place on June 13, 2005, during ICA 2005 in Seoul. There also was a satellite in Alexandria, Egypt, June 5-8, 2005, organized by Adel H. El Beheiry, on andrological advances in assisted reproduction The POC contacted Patrick Y.D. Wong and Barry T. Hinton (who have collaborated on this with Simon C.L. Au and Ursula-Friederike Habenicht) to discuss the possibility to have a satellite on the epididymis, and we were very pleased that this resulted in an initiative to organize the satellite meeting on Post-meiotic Approaches to Male Contraception, which took place in Hong Kong, June 8-10, 2005. For further information: see the report by Simon C.L. Au and Patrick Y.D. Wong.
With pleasure, I would like to express that I am grateful for the great efforts made by the POC members, the organizers of the satellite meetings, the LOC members, and the collaborators of the Meci congress secretariat. Also, on behalf of the POC, I would like to thank the symposium speakers, presenters and copresenters of workshops, chairpersons, presenters of free communications and posters, and all other participants of ICA 2005, for their willingness and inspiration, to work together to make ICA 2005 a successful and memorable event.