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Dr. Gaetano Ciancio Honored by European Association of Urology

The Miller School professor of surgery and urology became the first American to receive the award for his contributions to the field of kidney transplantation.

Dr. Gaetano Ciancio in the operating room

Gaetano Ciancio, M.D., M.B.A., the Brandon and Kyle Simonsen Professor of Surgery and Urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, became the first American to receive the Le Maestro award for his worldwide contributions to the field of kidney transplantation.

The historic announcement came at the 39th edition of the European Association of Urology Congress (EAUA), held in Paris, France, and featuring the biggest names in the continent’s urological field.

Dr. Ciancio, the chief medical officer and chief academic officer of the Miami Transplant Institute, has made a name for himself on a global scale. Aside from the Le Maestro award, he was previously awarded the Francisco Diaz Medal from the Spanish Association of Urology and also received the Knight of the Order of Star of Italy

“Receiving this award was truly humbling and inspiring,” Dr. Ciancio said. “It’s a great honor to be recognized by European transplant surgeons for my efforts and contribution to the field of organ transplantation. This award means the world to me, as I see it as a testament to my dedication and passion for what I do. It’s also nice to represent the university around the world.” 

Dr. Ciancio’s impact in transplantation spans clinical practice, research and education. He has developed a passion for this subspecialty, which he has been a part of for more than 40 years. 

“The type of urological surgeries I’m involved with significantly improve the quality of life for patients, making this area of expertise a powerful motivator,” Dr. Ciancio said. “Urological surgery is ripe with opportunities for groundbreaking research and clinical trials and I still get satisfaction from mastering complex surgical techniques and managing the multifaceted care of urology patients.”

Dr. Gaetano Ciancio receives the Le Maestro award
Dr. Ciancio (second from right) receives the Le Maestro award.

As part of patient care, Dr. Ciancio focuses on developing several innovative surgical techniques that have improved the outcomes of transplant surgeries. His methods have enhanced the safety and efficacy of these complex procedures, contributing to better patient outcomes. 

Since he is a physician-scientist, Dr. Ciancio is involved in extensive research on transplantation immunology and patient management. His work has helped understand the complexities of immune response in organ transplantation and develop strategies to manage rejection and other complications. Dr. Ciancio also plays a crucial role in training the next generation of transplant surgeons. 

As recipient of the Le Maestro award, Dr. Ciancio was also invited to present his journey in kidney transplantation during the EAUA’s Conference of the Big Master. His keynote entailed three main topics, beginning with his talk on “Advancements in Surgical Techniques.” The presentation covered his use of minimally invasive procedures, robotic-assisted surgeries and advanced imaging techniques during surgery, advances that reduce recovery times and increase the precision and effectiveness of treatments.

In the “Innovations in Treatment Protocols,” Dr. Ciancio spoke about breakthroughs in management strategies for complex urological tumors. His examples included tumor thrombus, the use of different kidney donors for transplantation, complex vascular reconstruction of living and deceased donors and the transplantation of the bladder en-bloc with pediatric kidneys, among other cases.

He ended the session with “Research and Future Directions” and insights into ongoing research and future trends in transplantation. 

“My goal is to further contribute to the advancement of transplantation and urology by pushing boundaries, fostering innovation and advocating for patient care,” Dr. Ciancio said. “Whether through further research, mentoring the next generation of urologists or collaborating with colleagues worldwide, I am committed to continuing to make a meaningful impact.” 

Tags: diseases of the pancreas, Dr. Gaetano Ciancio, kidney transplantation, transplant