The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center genitourinary cancer team specializes in treating all stages of prostate, kidney, bladder, urothelial, adrenal and germ cell (testicular) tumors. Like all of our cancer programs, the genitourinary cancer program focuses on delivering the latest in discovery driven medicine within the setting of a coordinated, multidisciplinary team of urologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, medical oncologists, fellowship-trained surgeons and a highly experienced oncology nursing staff.
Researchers within the center are working to discover the underlying reasons these types of cancers develop, with hopes of preventing them before they occur as well as standardizing treatments and methods for surveillance and detection for better patient outcomes.
These scientists have:
- Discovered a certain membrane channel (Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 3, or TRPM3) that promotes growth of kidney cancer tumors; targeting this channel therapeutically could lead to more treatments for a disease, which currently has few treatment options. A membrane channel is a family of proteins that allows the movement of ions, water or other solutions to pass through the membrane.
- Studied the role of tumor-initiating cells (cancer stem cells) in renal cancer cell lines to determine their ability to form metastases in bones with hopes of identifying pathways that promote this action and possible new targets for therapy.
- Discovered that kidney cancer growth depends on autophagy, a complex process that can provide cells with nutrients from intracellular sources and protect tumor cells from chemotherapy, allowing them to survive for long periods of time. These findings could help guide researchers to more effective treatment approaches for kidney cancer, particularly metastatic disease, based on knowledge of these specific processes.
- Studied multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mp-MRI) scans for cancer detection and MRI as a guidance tool for prostate biopsies. This targeted detection/surveillance tool was first studied in a clinical trial at UC prior to FDA-approval of the technology. Our experts were some of the first in the country to use this for patients, eliminating the need for a blind biopsy.
- Launched a study reviewing the samples of prostate cancer biopsy patients in an effort to identify biomarkers that are indicative of aggressive prostate cancer in patients.
- Began studies to develop a promising imaging biomarker to more accurately diagnose and stage prostate cancer.
- Enrolled prostate cancer patients in a novel study to diagnose aggressive cancer earlier using an FDA approved contrast, Eovist, in conjunction with biomarker analysis.
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