In focus: Dr. Daniël Osses

Prize winner of the 2020 EAU Prostate Cancer Research Award

By Erika De Groot

Every year, the European Association of Urology (EAU) bestows prestigious awards to clinicians for their pioneering research and outstanding performance in the field of urology. Dr. Daniël Osses (NL) of the Erasmus University Medical Center is the esteemed recipient of the 2020 EAU Prostate Cancer Research Award. In this article, he talked about the research that garnered the accolade, the inspiration behind his study’s pursuit, and what lies ahead regarding his research.

The EAU launched the EAU Prostate Cancer Research Award to encourage innovative, exceptional research in prostate cancer (PCa). Together with the support of the Fritz H. Schröder Foundation, an expert jury selects and grants the best published paper on clinical or experimental studies in PCa with the award during the Annual EAU Congress.

In 2020, the recognition was bestowed upon Dr. Osses for his research which was entitled “Results of Prostate Cancer Screening in a Unique Cohort at 19yr of Follow-up”. His paper was initially published in the March 2019 edition of the acclaimed peer-reviewed journal European Urology.

Based on his research, long-term data predominantly coming from an era with hardly any prostate specific antigen (PSA) contamination show that PSA-based PCa screening could result in a considerable reduction of both metastatic disease and prostate-cancerspecific mortality. If confirmed in larger datasets, this could refuel the discussions on the harms and benefits of PCa screening.

When asked what inspired Dr. Osses to pursue this research topic, he explained, “Despite observed reductions in metastatic disease and prostatecancer- specific mortality by PCa screening in previous studies, unnecessary testing and overdiagnosis still preclude PSA-based PCa screening from adoption as public health policy.

“Extended follow-up is required to better understand the long-term risks and benefits of PCa screening. Therefore my supervisor Prof. Dr. Monique Roobol (NL) had the excellent idea to assess the effect of PSA-based PCa screening in an European Randomized study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) Rotterdam study cohort (i.e. Pilot 1 study) with men randomised in the period of 1991 to 1992 (an era in which PSA testing was uncommon) and enabling us to report on the basis of long-term follow-up (median follow-up of 19 years). Additionally, because the main ERSPC trial does not have the availability of this long-term follow-up yet.”

Next steps for his research
Dr. Osses stated that the collection of follow-up data in the main ERSPC trial is still an ongoing process. “These long-term data will provide us with more insights on the full effect of PCa screening, and will definitely trigger the discussions on the pros and cons of PCa screening.”

Beginnings and aspirations
To know more about the man behind the achievements, we asked Dr. Osses when did he know that he wanted to be a urologist. He replied, “I knew that urology was going to be my calling when I had my internship at the Haga Teaching Hospital in The Hague, Netherlands back in 2014/2015.”

He added that his biggest inspiration were his parents. “My Cuban mother and Chilean father, who built their lives in the Netherlands, gave my brother and I all the opportunities we could ever wish for.” And what is Dr. Osses’s greatest professional aspiration? He shared, “I want to further cultivate and build my knowledge and competencies as a urological clinician and researcher, and to also train the next generation of young doctors. A good friend and colleague of mine once taught me a valuable life lesson as he quoted Benjamin Franklin: ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ In my opinion, to be able to provide optimal care for patients, as well as, to have a successful medical career, one must incorporate this important lesson in his/her daily practice.”