Prostate and Urologic Cancers

Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer diagnosed in American males and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. When caught early and treated appropriately, the majority of patients can be cured from their cancer. The organization of the Yale Prostate and Urologic Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital offers patients easy access to specialized care for these cancers. As a multispecialty program it is dedicated to providing cutting-edge technology for the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate cancer and other urologic cancers (bladder, kidney, and testicular cancer).

Since every specialty exists within one clinical practice, an important advantage to the patient is our ability to form a comprehensive, disease-based multispecialty team to treat prostate, bladder, kidney, and testicular cancers. The Program design coordinates the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment through the collaboration of specialty physicians who have nationally and internationally recognized expertise in these cancers.

Specialties involved include medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, and diagnostic imaging. Physicians meet regularly to discuss every patient's care and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan unique for each patient, in consultation with the patient's referring physician. We find this coordination and collaboration to be efficient and, in turn, it raises the medical management to the highest quality.

Not only does the team provide a complete range of standard treatments, but also available are medical and surgical approaches not found elsewhere in Connecticut. Treatment modalities include: non-invasive surgical techniques with laparoscopic surgery, precision guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), combined modality approaches with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and novel experimental therapies.

The first to offer IMRT in 1998, the physicians of Smilow Cancer Hospital have the longest experience in Connecticut using IMRT. Since then, Yale has accumulated a vast experience with the IMRT and we have continued to enhance the techniques to deliver IMRT, which has led to extremely minimal complication rates of 1%. Patients who are cared for through the Yale Prostate and Urologic Cancers Program and need radiation therapy, as a component of their prescribed treatment, can feel confident that they are receiving the highest quality care from the most experienced team of radiation oncologists in the State.

Yale Urologic Surgery is a referral center for all malignancies of the testes, bladder, prostate, and kidney. Urologic laparoscopic procedures include: laparoscopic nephrectomy and partial nephrectomy and laparascopic lymph node dissection for testes cancer. Cryoablation (freezing the tumor) is available for appropriate kidney and prostate tumors. Focal ablation of prostate cancer with cryotherapy is also available for a select group of patients on an investigational basis. Ureteroscopic laser ablation for urothelial tumors is also used for upper tract lesions.  In addition, Smilow Cancer Hospital has the most advanced daVinci robotic surgical technology for radical prostatectomy.

Patients also benefit from specialized resources at Smilow Cancer Hospital, such as the newest imaging technologies. Additionally, patients have access to caregivers who help them cope with the physical, emotional, and psychological issues related to these cancers. The extended team includes a health educator, social worker, dietitian, complementary therapists, and more.

Among the comprehensive cutting edge capabilities available through the program are:

  • Experience and knowledge in state-of-the-art treatment options and investigational therapies.
  • Coordinated access to necessary physicians and specialized resources within Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital.
  • Urologic medical oncology expertise.
  • Urologic expertise within every specialty.
  • Urologic laparoscopic and robotic surgery expertise.
  • Advanced laparoscopic prostatectomy.
  • National and international experience using chemotherapy and hormonal therapy in localized and advanced disease.
  • Cutting edge radiation therapy technology, including 3D-CRT and IMRT.
  • State-of-the-art diagnostic imaging - CT and MRI, including multiparametric MRI (mpMRI), MRI fusion prostate biopsy, and Artemis technology.
  • Comprehensive diagnosis and care for hereditary kidney cancer.
  • Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview, which has been proven to significantly increase the detection of bladder cancer.