“There are two commonalities that unite cancer patients – the fierce desire to overcome their illness and the need for treatment options that will help them realize this goal.”
— Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology
|Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., Chair,|
Department of Radiation Oncology
The caliber of the ACC’s research sets the quality of care above the rest with a cadre of faculty dedicated to investigating, understanding and eradicating prostate cancer.
Our multi-faceted, comprehensive approach allows patients and families to have the whole spectrum of prostate cancer care in one place, while providing patients the tools needed to identify the most appropriate treatment plan for their cancer. From surgery to radiation to immunotherapy, the ACC provides the highest level of clinical expertise.
The Division of Urology is a national leader in the surgical treatment of prostate cancer and is at the forefront of developing state-of-the-art surgical techniques. Thomas J. Guzzo, M.D., MPH, Assistant Professor of Urology, is trained in four innovative areas of surgery: open, robotic, laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures. With his comprehensive expertise, he is equipped to individualize surgical treatment options for prostate cancer patients. As with many of Penn’s urology physicians, his clinical reach expands beyond just one form of treatment.
Neha Vapiwala, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Chief of the Genitourinary Service, has the unique ability to offer patients a full spectrum of radiation therapy treatment options, including proton therapy. With the latest pencil beam proton technology, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), Trubeam, RapidArc, and Cyberknife technologies, Penn’s Radiation Oncology Department is the most comprehensive in the world. Located within the department of radiation oncology, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center offers patients the most advanced radiation therapy treatments to more precisely deliver high doses of radiation to tumors, optimizing efficacy while at the same time limiting side effects to patients. Dr. Vapiwala’s research focuses on identifying and understanding new molecular and imaging biomarkers to more accurately diagnose, stage and treat prostate cancer.
Naomi B. Haas, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine and Director, Prostate and Kidney Cancer Program, has collaborated with Carl June, M.D. in an exciting new immunotherapy trial that uses the patient’s own genetically engineered T cells to treat prostate cancer. Currently being tested in animal models, the opening of a phase I/II clinical trial for patients is in the near future, in part due to generous funding from the Prostate Research Foundation, and other philanthropic resources.
Timothy Rebbeck, Ph.D., Director, Center for Genetics & Complex Traits is co-leading one of the world’s largest initiatives in prostate cancer research to better understand disease outcomes and factors that contribute to patient survival. While prostate cancer is extremely treatable in the United States, this isn’t true in other parts of the world. Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men worldwide. Dr. Rebbeck’s research is focused on discovering why certain populations are at an increased risk of mortality from prostate cancer. By understanding each patient’s own risks using genetics, biomarkers and other risk factors, treatments can be further tailored to identify patients who may benefit from aggressive treatments and those it is more appropriate to actively monitor in order to avoid unnecessary side effects of treatment.
Active surveillance, or diligently monitoring the prostate over time, may be an excellent treatment option for men whose cancer is not aggressive. This option is supported in the urologic cancer community and consistently recommended to many prostate cancer patients. Alan J. Wein, M.D., FACS, Ph.D. (Hon), Chief, Division of Urology, iterates the validity of active surveillance as a treatment option, saying that “surgery or radiation is not always the best option for every patient.” Active surveillance includes regular biopsies, digital rectal exams and regular Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing – a blood test to detect chemicals in the bloodstream that may cause prostate problems, such as enlarged prostate, infection or cancer.
Justin E. Bekelman, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, studies the effectiveness of treatments for prostate cancer. His research aims to generate the evidence needed to support patients’ treatment decisions, thereby addressing the essential purpose of comparative effectiveness research. By combining data from federally-sponsored cancer registries with hospital-based registries across the United States, Dr. Bekelman’s research will track and compare the outcomes of hundreds of thousands of men with prostate cancer.
To support prostate cancer research and patient care, contact Sarah Evans at (215) 746-3005 or email@example.com.