Being the Change We Wish to See                    

Alan Partin
Partin: New tables may
help men with PNI

In this issue of Discovery, we welcome home Ken Pienta. Ken did his fellowship in medical oncology here at the Brady, and his mentor was Don Coffey, the Director of Research. Now Ken is the Donald S. Coffey Professor of Urology, and Professor of Oncology and Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences. He is our new Director of Research, and throughout his career, he has stayed true to what he learned from Don Coffey. One of his favorite quotes is from Gandhi: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." I believe we are all working to do that here.

Two decades ago, our pioneering research on family history highlighted men who were at higher risk for developing prostate cancer, including African American men. Our ongoing work in this area has yielded sobering implications for African American men considering active surveillance. New research, led by urologist Ted Schaeffer, found that compared to Caucasian men, the tumors in African American men are larger, of higher grade, and more likely to appear in harder-to-diagnose areas of the prostate. In other words, African American men need to take a diagnosis of prostate cancer very seriously and seek curative treatment.

In this issue, as always, we do our best to cover every facet of prostate cancer. Length of stay after radical prostatectomy is shorter, and recovery is quicker than ever before. An analysis (read here) of 20 years' worth of radical prostatectomies at Johns Hopkins, led by Phillip Pierorazio and Trinity Bivalacqua, shows a dramatic drop in complications. In recent research, we learned something very important about the finding of perineural invasion (PNI) on a prostate biopsy: Many doctors, as well as patients, don't understand it, and PNI is different for men with low-volume cancer than for other men. Several Brady investigators including Michael Gorin, Bruce Trock, and I have developed a new set of tables (read here) that can help men with this finding choose the treatment that’s best for them.

In the area of sexual recovery after radical prostatectomy (read here), research led by Christian Pavlovich and Bruce Trock has found that taking Viagra as needed works better than taking it every night, and Bud Burnett (read here) has good news for men who need help with both urinary continence and erectile dysfunction.

Because the Brady owes its existence to philanthropy, we are always so grateful when our patients want to give back and help support our work. Bob Bruce is one of them (read here). Personally, I am not only grateful, but also very moved that so many of our patients want to help other men and their families with prostate cancer. Thanks to you, we are able to do more for them all the time.

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


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