Urologic Cancers

Urologic cancers—those affecting the prostate, bladder, kidney, and other genitourinary organs—are among the most common cancers diagnosed in the United States. Their treatment can vary greatly depending on their origin, stage, and aggressiveness. At John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, the experts in our Urologic Oncology Division collaborate to customize a treatment plan that meets your needs—taking into account the features of the cancer as well as your overall health and personal preferences to choose the most effective therapy while maintaining your quality of life. Central to our approach is a robust portfolio of clinical trials assessing innovative and potentially more effective therapies, giving you the best chance for a good outcome.

Localized Therapies for Urologic Cancers

Many patients with urologic cancers can receive localized treatments, which zero in on a tumor without affecting other parts of the body. We offer all of the major localized therapies for urologic cancers, such as cryoablation (extreme cold) to treat prostate and kidney cancers, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to destroy prostate tumors with very high-energy sound waves, and laser therapy for ureter cancers.

Comprehensive Care for All Urologic Cancers

Our urologic cancer team uses the latest techniques and the most advanced technology—along with a personalized approach—to diagnose and treat all types of urologic cancers. We have exceptional experience treating cancers of the prostate, bladder, kidney, ureter and renal pelvis, urethra, and testis.

Our team also understands that urologic cancer treatment can affect your sexual health and/or fertility. We maintain a focus on preserving these functions as much as possible, tailoring your therapies to maximize effectiveness while minimizing side effects.

Urologic Cancer Services

National Ranking, International Reputation

The Department of Urology at Hackensack University Medical Center is the only urology department in New Jersey nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Our urologic oncologists have published more than 500 research abstracts and peer-reviewed publications. They are invited to speak around the world and travel internationally to demonstrate the latest minimally invasive urologic oncology techniques.

Pinpoint Radiation Therapies for Urologic Cancers

Radiation therapy is a part of the treatment plan for many patients with urologic cancers, particularly prostate cancer. Today’s revolutionary radiation treatment approaches rely on the latest technology to focus high-intensity radiation on tumors while sparing nearby healthy tissue more than ever before, reducing the risk of side effects such as urinary discomfort and rectal irritation. We use techniques such as TomoTherapy®—image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) that enables us to take images of a tumor before each treatment so we can customize the radiation to the size and shape of your tumor as its shrinks and changes position, giving you only the dose you need and reducing exposure to noncancerous tissues.

We also offer brachytherapy alone (the implantation of tiny radioactive seeds or wire into tumor tissue), as well as in combination with external radiation therapy for men with high-risk prostate cancer. Our radiation oncologists have special expertise in the treatment of men with recurrence of cancer after prostatectomy, enabling them to fine-tune treatment to cancerous tissue while minimizing exposure to the bladder and rectum.

A Team to Meet Your Needs

The care of patients with urologic cancers requires the expertise of doctors from multiple specialties. We put together the team that best meets your needs and can support you along every step of your treatment journey. Our urologic cancer care team includes urologic surgeons (urologists), medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and interventional radiologists, pain management specialists, oncology nurses, social workers, sexual health experts, and others with experience and passion caring for patients with genitourinary cancers.

If you have other medical issues that require attention, your doctors collaborate with other specialists at Hackensack University Medical Center who can address those needs. Nurse navigators help manage your appointments so that your care is well coordinated and seamless. We don’t just care for you, but about you. In fact, according to Press-Ganey surveys, 99 percent of our patients report satisfaction with their care.

Our Urologic Oncology Specialists

A Leader in Robotic Surgery

Our urologists take a minimally invasive approach to urologic surgery whenever appropriate, operating through small incisions and returning you to your regular activities sooner than following open procedures. We are among the top five robotic urologic surgery centers in the New York City metropolitan area, and the only hospital in New Jersey with three Da Vinci Xi systems. Surgeons from all over the world visit our facility to learn the latest robotic surgery techniques for treating prostate, kidney, bladder, ureter, and testicular cancers. When open surgery or a more complex procedure is required, our surgeons are experienced in performing those approaches, too.

Our Robotic Urologic Oncology Program

Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy

Advanced urologic cancers may require anticancer drugs as part of the treatment plan. If this is the case for you, we’ll match you with the chemotherapy that is most appropriate for your cancer type, stage, and biology. Some are given intravenously, while others (particularly newer therapies for renal cell kidney cancer) are taken orally. Our team also administers chemotherapy directly into the bladder for patients with bladder cancer, which may enable them to avoid bladder removal surgery. We also offer the latest immunotherapies for urologic cancers, which boost the power of the immune system to find and kill cancer cells.

Active Surveillance: To Treat or Not to Treat?

Some men with early-stage low-risk prostate cancer and elderly patients with small kidney tumors may be able to forego immediate cancer treatment and have active surveillance instead—a program in which we monitor you with periodic exams and tests to see if your cancer is growing. We don’t provide treatment unless we see evidence that you need it to keep your cancer from getting worse. This approach enables some patients to avoid the side effects associated with therapies they may not necessarily need.

Clinical Trials of Novel Therapies

A hallmark of the care provided at John Theurer Cancer Center is access to a wide range of clinical trials evaluating exciting new treatments, including studies not available elsewhere. We have an especially strong program committed to Phase I clinical trials, the earliest phase of assessment of a new therapy in patients. For urologic cancers, we are evaluating particularly novel biological agents as well as immunotherapy options that are changing the field. You may have the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial.