May 2013


Urologic Oncology Program: Integrated care fueled by research and clinical expertise


The UNC Urologic Oncology Program's multidisciplinary model has experienced rapid growth in the past few years, significantly expanding its breadth and depth of services. Advances in minimally-invasive surgery for all tumor types, development of novel genetic signatures and biomarkers, and an expanded range of clinical trials distinguish this growing team.


The program is nationally and internationally renowned for innovation in the development and application of robotic techniques and other minimally invasive procedures to reduce the impact of treatment on the quality of life for patients with these complicated conditions. This expertise extends into radiation oncology, with the latest state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, including Cyberknifeâ„¢ radiosurgery, as well as ablative therapies for prostate, bladder and kidney cancers.


"The values and purposes underlying our commitment to optimal patient care naturally motivate our dedication to innovation and the discovery of the treatments of tomorrow," said Raj Pruthi, MD, chief of urology and co-director of UNC's Urologic Oncology Program.


To make a referral, call the Program Coordinator at 919-966-9696. For additional information, visit the program's website.


Cancer Outcomes Research Program


The Urologic Oncology Program's commitment to innovative patient care dovetails with the members' active, multidisciplinary research program. In addition to cutting-edge translational research in the lab, program members are actively engaged in critically evaluating the outcomes of cancer treatment using a variety of state and national databases as well as unique cohorts of patients receiving care at UNC Cancer Care. In collaboration with researchers at the internationally recognized UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the support of the University Cancer Research Fund, the team is committed to identifying best practices and opportunities for improvement and optimization of quality, defined in patient-centered terms, across the continuum of cancer care.



The North Carolina Prostate Cancer Comparative Effectiveness & Survivorship Study (NC ProCESS)


UNC Lineberger members, Paul Godley, MD, PhD, and Ronald Chen, MD, MPH, are currently recruiting patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer from across the state to participate in a longitudinal study called NC ProCESS. This observational study will follow patients through diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Patients enrolled in the study will make their own health care and treatment decisions. The goal of the study is to learn how prostate cancer treatment affects patients' quality of life. This unique study has been successful in recruiting 1,400 patients from all areas of the state, from rural community hospitals to larger urban practices.


The study is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). For more information visit the study's webpage.



Prospective Outcomes of Radical Cystectomy with or without Chemotherapy (PORCH)


PORCH (LCCC 1206, PI: Angela Smith) is a prospective cohort study which captures functional status, p16 (a molecular biomarker of aging), surgical complications and survival in elderly patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer who undergo bladder removal with or without chemotherapy. The goal of this study is to determine whether functional status and p16 predict surgical morbidity and mortality in this population. Additionally, the study will evaluate how functional status changes over time in the elderly to better counsel patients prior to surgery. These findings may ultimately inform interventions to improve outcomes through physical rehabilitation, nutrition optimization, and other perioperative methods. The project is supported by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through Grant KL2TR000084.

Internationally recognized leader in cancer outcomes research joins Lineberger


Dr. Ethan Basch is a medical oncologist with expertise in the treatment of prostate cancer. He recently joined Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is on the ASCO GU steering committee and chairs three of ASCO's prostate cancer guideline panels, including the panels for PSA screening, hormonal therapies and chemotherapies. He is principal investigator of a national randomized trial of cabozantinib (XL-184) in metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (COMET-2 trial), as well as a multicenter prostate cancer registry funded by the Department of Defense. Dr. Basch's research program in patient-reported outcomes during cancer treatment is internationally recognized. He also serves as director of the Cancer Outcomes Research Program.


More clinical trials in Urologic Oncology



CALGB 70807: Randomized Trial of Diet to Alter Progression in Patients with Localized Prostate Cancer on Active Surveillance (PI: Woods)
C11-092: Abiraterone Acetate +/- Degarelix versus Degarelix Alone in Prostate Cancer with Rising PSA +/- Nodal Disease (PI: Milowsky)
NCI-9012: A Randomized Gene Fusion Stratified Phase 2 Trial of Abiraterone with or without ABT-888 for Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer (PI: Whang)
XL-184-306: Cabozantinib versus Mitoxantrone plus Prednisone in men with Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer (PI: Milowsky)
UTHSCSA 36911: Randomized Trial of Open vs. Robotic Cystectomy (PI: Woods)
LCCC 1209: Pilot Study of [18F] FDG-PET-MRI for Staging of Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer (PI: Milowsky)
MSKCC-12-071: Phase II Study of Neoadjuvant Dose Dense Gemcitabine and Cisplatin in Patients with Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer (PI: Milowsky)
N10-1: Adjuvant Therapy in High Risk HER2+ Urothelial Cancer (PI: Milowsky)
CALGB 90601: Gemcitabine/Cisplatin plus Bevacizumab versus Gemcitabine/Cisplatin plus Placebo in Patients with Metastatic Urothelial Cancer (PI: Milowsky)
LCCC 1213: Defining Molecular and Functional Imaging Correlates of Renal Cell Cancer Biological Features (PI: Rathmell)
LCCC 1028: Neoadjuvant Pazopanib for High Risk Renal Cell Cancer (PI: Rathmell)

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For questions about all clinical trials at UNC, contact the UNC Lineberger Protocol Office at 919-966-4432 or (toll-free) 1-877-668-0683. For questions about clinical trials offered at other sites, contact the UNC Cancer Network at 919-966-7359 or (toll-free) 1-877-668-0683.


To make an appointment at the N.C. Cancer Hospital for one of your patients, visit our web page for referring physicians. You may also contact the Carolina Consultation Center at 1-800-862-6264.