That's how long the Brady Urological Institute has been ranked the Number One urological center in the country by U.S. News & World Report Magazine. Amazing? Should it be surprising that one institution has held this rank for more than a generation? Not to me, because I am privileged to see what's happening here every day, in our laboratories, in the clinic, and in the operating room. I also see it in the medical literature - in the journal articles, and in the textbooks that are training doctors in the fi eld worldwide. Many of the advances in urology are Brady advances; some of the most important procedures and reference tools even bear the names of Hopkins doctors.
Our cover story highlights the advances that have come from Bal Carter's work with the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging. I can tell you as a surgeon and as a scientist that the nuts and bolts of what we know about PSA are due to this wonderfully productive collaboration. When I started working on prostate cancer, PSA was an unknown quantity. There were some in the field who thought it would never amount to much - or that, if it did, it would take decades to find out. Dr. Carter short-circuited all those arguments by using the decades of data already available. If you have had your PSA tested, and your doctor thought that your "PSA velocity" was a little high - you should know that this way of tracking PSA exists because of Dr. Carter's work; he even coined the term.
In this issue, we bring you other exciting news: Smart timing may make the combination of radiation and hormonal therapy even more effective for men with high-risk prostate cancer (read story). Through innovative research, scientists are combing through hundreds of drugs that are already available, looking for ones that might help treat or even prevent prostate cancer - and we've found one - the heart drug, Digoxin (read story). Did you know that cancer gets stressed out, just like people do? A multidisciplinary team of scientists is investigating new ways to go after cancer, and to "kick it when it's down" (read story). We also report on a monumental milestone: After 29 years and 4,569 "Walsh Procedures," world-famous surgeon Patrick C. Walsh, M.D., has performed his last operation, with his results at their best ever. He is not retiring - far from it. As he says (read story), "my decision was made easy, because I am confident that patients will have access to a large group of talented surgeons at Hopkins who are skilled in both open and robotic procedures."
Alan W. Partin, M.D., Ph.D.
David Hall McConnell Professor and Director The Brady Urological Institute