Clinical Research for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer

October 22, 2010

Lawrence Karsh, M.D., F.A.C.S.

As life expectancies continue to increase, it is imperative that the medical community continues to perform clinical research in an effort to develop better ways to diagnose and treat prostate cancer. As part of our commitment to excellence in urology, TUCC is proud to be involved in cutting edge research designed to prevent prostate cancer, detect prostate cancer at earlier stages and develop more effective treatments for advanced prostate cancer.

Screening for prostate cancer has been a controversial subject since the development of the PSA blood test in the mid 1980’s. And as the very complicated Health Care Reform Bill is debated, screening for all diseases will be discussed. There is no doubt that screening is expensive, but to those whose lives have been saved by screening, there is no debate. For this reason, we need to develop inexpensive, mass produced and more accurate tests.

Research at TUCC is helping develop future technologies for the detection of abnormal cancer genes in the blood and urine. These tests may detect prostate cancer earlier and distinguish lethal cancers from non-aggressive cancers so that physicians can target those men who will require aggressive treatment sooner.

TUCC is a member of the prestigious Society of Urologic Oncology-Clinical Trials Consortium (SUO-CTC) as well as the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). Our center has participated in prostate cancer prevention trials as well as numerous trials focused on developing sophisticated, biological and targeted therapies for advanced prostate cancer. We are also participating in clinical trials that explore the use of vaccines and immunotherapies for prostate, bladder and kidney cancers.

Research and development is critical to any successful organization and TUCC is no exception. In an effort to offer our patients tomorrow’s therapies today, TUCC continues to develop and expand our research department. Our research applies not only to urologic cancers but also to all urologic diseases. World renowned physicians and scientists regularly visit and lecture at our center as part of the Visiting Professor Program, which is designed to educate and enable our staff to stay on top of the latest advancements in clinical treatment.

Research at TUCC depends heavily on patient participation. I would like to thank those patients who are participating and have participated in clinical trials. You are the most important component of the research program and your safety is our utmost concern. All TUCC physicians are certified by the National Institutes of Health Human Protection Program and we continue to strive for excellence in the conduct of clinical trials prescribed by the International Conference of Harmonization and Good Clinical Practice (ICH/GCP).

Please consider enrolling in a clinical trial if a TUCC clinical staff member or your physician approaches you. They have already pre-screened you and believe that you may benefit from the particular study that they are recommending. All trial related costs are free. Your participation may help not only you but also future generations of patients. Remember, the approved treatments that are saving lives today were developed in the clinical trials of the past.