October 25, 2014

   A Publication of the James Buchanan Brady
   Urological Institute Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Volume V, Winter 2000
Why We Are Here


There is no place on earth like the Brady Urological Institute. Every year, thousands of men with prostate cancer come here for help. For many of them, we are the last hope.

We take that responsibility to heart. Every surgeon and scientist is dedicated to helping those men and their families, by finding answers to the toughest questions of prostate cancer: Where exactly does it begin, and why? How does it spread? If we can't cure it, can we contain it -- can we make advanced prostate cancer a chronic illness, like diabetes, instead of a fatal one? Can we change our thinking, and try drugs that were once considered "lastditch" measures sooner -- can we create adjuvant therapy? Can we actually prevent cancer, or somehow slow its progress with diet? If PSA comes back after surgery or radiation, what does it mean -- and how much time do we have to find a more effective treatment? As for radical prostatectomy itself, can we make the operation even better, with fewer side effects and quicker recovery of potency and continence? How can we help men and their families get their lives back? How can we improve quality of life?

Many centers around the world are grappling with one or two of these questions. Remarkably, only at the Brady are we attempting to answer all of them, and more.

In our one-of-a-kind environment, scientists and surgeons work side by side. This juxtaposition of laboratory and clinical setting encourages surgeons to learn science, and scientists to learn medicine. That's the magic of this facility -- our ability to bring discovery quickly from the "bench to the bedside, so the latest scientific knowledge can be transformed into new avenues for patient care.

Our doctors don't just stay abreast of the latest medical breakthroughs by reading current textbooks and journals, and by attending conferences; they're writing the textbooks and journal articles, leading the conferences, and sharing what we've learned with doctors throughout the world. We rejoice in every patient we are able to help; our grief at those we cannot bring back is tempered by our renewed commitment to learn from them, and apply that knowledge to the next patient, and the next. Because of such "meeting of the minds," it may be that one day, prostate cancer will be curable at any stage-or that it will be preventable entirely.

 

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