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Genitourinary Cancers

Source: Cancer Resource Room

Genitourinary cancers are cancers of the kidney, ureters and bladder are the body parts that make and carry urine. The male reproductive organs are the prostate, testicle and penis. Cancers of the female reproductive organs are discussed in the section on Gynecological cancers.

Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer occurs in the lining tissue of the bladder. To read more on Bladder Cancer >>>

Kidney Cancer (Renal Cancer)
The kidneys are organs that cleanse the blood of wastes and extra water. Blood in the urine can be an early sign of kidney cancer. To read more on Kidney Cancer >>>

Penile Cancer or Cancer of the Penis
Cancer of the penis, a rare kind of cancer in the United States, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found on the skin and in the tissues of the penis. To read more on Penile Cancer >>>

Prostate Cancer

This common cancer of older men starts in the prostate gland. To read more on Prostate Cancer >>>

Renal Pelvis and Ureter Cancer
Renal pelvis cancers are cancers that start in the middle of a kidney, where urine collects before going to the bladder. Ureter cancers start in one of the tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder. To read more on Renal Pelvis and Ureter Cancer >>>

Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer occurs most often in young men from age 20 to 35. This cancer is usually found by feeling a small lump on a testicle. To read more on Testicular Cancer >>>


What’s New in Genitourinary Cancers?

Bladder Sparing Procedure is Effective for First Line Therapy for Invasive Bladder Cancer
For patients with bladder cancer that has invaded the muscle wall, the usual treatment is bladder removal, a difficult and long operation; it also has a negative impact on the patient’s quality of life. A less invasive treatment option which allows for bladder preservation has shown the same long-term effectiveness as surgically removing the bladder. These findings appear in Urology. Drs’ Donald S. Kaufman, Director of The Claire & John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers and William U. Shipley, Deputy Head for Clinical Research of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology and urologists Drs. W. Scott McDougal, Alex F. Althausen, Niall M. Heney and others pioneered the bladder-sparing approach. Their current work has led to technical improvements and greater tolerance, establishing bladder preservation as an important alternative to radical surgery. To watch a streaming video from Channel 5 News interview, please go here.

Detecting the Spread of Prostate Cancer
Physicians in The Claire & John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers conducted a study that finds that a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique may be able precisely to identify the spread (metastasis) of prostate cancer to lymph nodes.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the report describes how high-resolution MR studies using an iron-oxide-containing contrast agent accurately localized tumor metastases. The imaging agent is currently being evaluated for approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

“This technique allows us to clearly distinguish between benign [non-cancerous] and malignant nodes and to construct three-dimensional maps to guide surgical planning,” says lead author Mukesh Harisinghani, MD, of Mass General’s Radiology Department.

The standard practice in treating prostate cancer is to analyze lymph nodes adjacent to the prostate gland for the presence of cancer. But metastases can appear in nodes beyond the area of analysis. Moreover, standard imaging can only identify enlarged nodes, which may or may not contain tumor cells. Some enlarged nodes prove to be benign while very small nodes can harbor metastases.

Eighty patients with prostate cancer participated in the study. Laboratory examinations confirmed that this technique missed no metastases; in fact more than 70 percent of the metastases were so small they would not have been identified as malignant by current imaging techniques.

According to Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, director of the Mass General Center for Molecular Imaging Research, this technique has the potential to revolutionize cancer staging—the process of determining how far the disease has spread. Researchers are also optimistic that this approach could be applied to several other types of cancer.

To Search Pub Med on genitourinary cancers, please see below.
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Selected Professional Journals