Exploring a New Combination Therapy to Prevent Renal Cell Cancer Recurrence

close-up of cells

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have transformed the management of patients with advanced kidney cancer. However, these therapies only work for a subset of patients with advanced disease and can be associated with substantial side effects. As a result, researchers are focused on new therapeutic combinations to boost the effectiveness of current immune therapies in renal cancer, including in patient populations with early-stage disease that is likely to recur.

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Using Motion-Capture Technology to Advance Ergonomic Studies of Ureteroscopy

Person testing out motion capture technology
Eugene Cone, MD, a Harvard Urologic Oncology Fellow, performs a ureteroscopic simulation task in the motion capture laboratory.

Ureteroscopy is one of the most common procedures performed by urologists. Yet little is known about what optimizes the procedure’s success, especially in terms of how the urologist holds the ureteroscope and which hand and arm movements are most effective.

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Improving Communication and Safety During Urologic Surgery Through Simulation Training

doctor and resident in the operating room

Communication breakdowns and poor teamwork are major contributors to preventable patient harm during surgery. To combat these and other threats to patient safety, surgical teams at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have long been provided with training that simulates crises in the operating room (OR). The proactive nature of these simulations is something that the Brigham’s Division of Urology finds invaluable.

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Research Efforts Focus on Underactive Bladder, a Common but Poorly Understood Condition

Doctor is making notes while listening to his patient

Physicians have a good sense of the symptoms and causes of overactive bladder, and clear guidelines exist for diagnosis. Thanks to advertising for pharmaceuticals and other products, even many members of the general public are aware of this condition and know that treatments are available.

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Researchers Identify Promising New Drug Target for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Model depicting the mechanism by which selective targeting of PARP-2 attenuates FOXA1/AR signaling and inhibits prostate cancer growth
Model depicting the mechanism by which selective targeting of PARP-2 attenuates FOXA1/AR signaling and inhibits prostate cancer growth.

Although surgery and radiation provide good disease control for localized prostate cancer, developing long-lasting approaches for treating metastatic disease has been challenging because resistance to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) frequently develops.

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How 2019 Nobel-Winner Kaelin’s Work Changed the Treatment of Kidney Cancer

Members of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital community celebrated in October upon learning that William G. Kaelin Jr., MD, a senior physician-scientist at the Brigham, had won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

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Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Program and Innovations Advance Quality of Care in Radical Cystectomy

Mature couple walking together with water bottles. Copy space.Complications and high readmission rates are a persistent challenge following radical cystectomy for the treatment of bladder cancer. The complex, intrabdominal operation, which  includes replacement of the bladder or creation of a stoma, and often includes removal of reproductive organs as well, is associated with a high rate of morbidity. Patients undergoing the procedure often have additional risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE), such as pre-operative chemotherapy, older age and a history of smoking, and VTE is estimated to occur in 5.5 to 8.5 percent of patients and cost more than $10,000 per event. In a comprehensive effort to reduce risk of VTE, reduce length of stay and improve other measures of quality of care, Brigham and Women’s Hospital urologists have implemented a perioperative VTE prophylaxis program and analyzed its results, reporting key quality of care improvements. In addition, in collaboration with nurses, anesthesiologists, pharmacists and other members of patients’ care teams, clinicians in the Division of Urology are exploring innovative initiatives to continue to make strides in improving patient care.
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Urology and Oncology Work Together to Advance Treatments for High-Risk Prostate Cancer

Doctor consulting male patient, working on diagnostic examination on men's health disease or mental illness, while writing on prescription record information document in clinic or hospital officeUrologists and oncologists at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center have laid the groundwork for what would be the first Phase III international, randomized trial of a new treatment for patients with high-risk prostate cancer in more than a decade. The treatment involves using novel, potent neoadjuvant hormone therapy for six months prior to prostatectomy surgery, an approach that has been shown to improve both tumor pathology and long-term remission.
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Identifying and Combating the Dangers of ADT in Prostate Cancer Patients

Micrograph of metastatic prostate carcinomaThe modification of the androgen axis plays a central role in men’s health, from maintaining vitality to controlling prostate cancer. Trying to balance the side effects and benefits of altering this axis is a fertile area of research.

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Addressing a Critical Gap in Prostate Cancer Screening

Mark A. Preston, MD, MPH in a surgical theaterMark A. Preston, MD, MPH, a urologic surgeon in the Division of Urology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is co-lead author of a study focused on improving prostate cancer (PCa) screening for African American men. The results were recently published in European Urology.
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