Interesting Contradictions

Alan Partin
Partin: Our approach is multi-faceted.

As this issue was being written, the Brady Urological Institute was named the best urological center in the country by U.S. News and World Report Magazine, for the 20th year in a row. And yet, if you were to walk with me today through our labs and clinics, you wouldn’t see any sign of our hardworking faculty, fellows, students, nurses, and staff resting on their laurels.

An interesting contradiction. Reading over this latest issue of Discovery, I came across several more. We are working to make our surgery better than ever, with strategies to help protect the fragile nerves involved in erection, and with a robotic probe to refine the laparoscopic prostatectomy procedure. And yet, we are also conducting many multidisciplinary studies to determine which men can put off or avoid having treatment for their prostate cancer. Our active surveillance program is designed to spare men the effects of treatment — while watching them vigilantly, with the toughest standards in the country, so that at the most subtle hint that cancer is progressing, we can give them curative treatment.

While we are looking for better markers to detect cancer, and to predict whether it is likely to need treatment, we are working with innovative therapies to catch it at the other end, if it comes back after treatment. And, as they work on ultra-sophisticated uses of viruses and other weapons, our scientists have discovered two very low-tech strategies that can help lower a man’s risk of recurrence after treatment, as well — losing weight and stopping smoking. We are studying the human genome to find ways to prevent cancer, and also working to create a better animal model, so that we can study the most aggressive forms of this disease, and bring new treatments to our patients faster.

We are fighting prostate cancer, even as we are proving that it is not just one disease, that it has many manifestations, and that myriad factors, including a man’s race, can play a role in determining its course.

Basically, we are working hard to be as multi-faceted, as direct, as complex, and as simple as prostate cancer. I’m proud of the advances featured in this issue, proud of all the people here at the Brady, proud of our patients, who are working to beat this disease, and to prevent it in their sons and grandchildren, and so appreciative of everyone who has supported the Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund, for helping to make these discoveries possible.

Best Wishes,
Alan W. Partin, M.D., Ph.D.
David Hall McConnell Professor and Director The Brady Urological Institute


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