Urologic Cancer Program


Premier Research Program

Since Penn’s discovery of the Philadelphia Chromosome, which revolutionized cancer treatment, we’ve had a history of groundbreaking research.

Every day, Penn scientists and physicians work to increase our knowledge about urologic cancer and to find new ways to prevent and treat this disease. Because of these efforts, research advances can more quickly benefit our patients.

Penn's Abramson Cancer Center has one of the nation's leading programs for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of urologic cancers.

We are at the forefront in a number of areas, all of which can make a difference to patients and their families, both today and in the future.

Making History

  • Created the device that provides the most precise image of the prostate gland currently available to more accurately stage prostate tumors.
  • Developed surgical treatment techniques to preserve urinary and sexual function.
  • Our physicians have pioneered chemotherapy regimens that have become the national standard of care.
  • In the mid 1970’s, Penn radiation oncologists carried out the first radioactive seed treatment for prostate cancer in Philadelphia.

Shaping the Future of Cancer Care

  • Research, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is seeking to understand why African Americans have poorer outcomes when they are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  • Our world renowned urologists are:
    • Studying clinical outcomes for minimally invasive urologic surgery, as well as, testing and evaluating new surgical instruments
    • Developing robotic instruments and procedures for kidney and adrenal surgery
    • Outcomes Post-Radiation and Post-Surgical Robotic Prostatectomy
  • Researchers in Radiation Oncology are investigating ways to improve our understanding of how radiation interacts with the body’s tissues. These efforts are targeted at developing treatments and imaging approaches that can be used to improve patient outcome.
  • Conducting investigations into how tumors metastasize in bladder and prostate cancer.
  • Researching ways to stimulate the immune response against urologic cancer.
  • Studying novel molecular markers that will better predict prognosis for prostate and bladder cancer.  This research will eventually make its way from the laboratory to the clinical setting with the promise to improve patient care and outcomes.
  • Researchers are studying a gene that has the potential to suppress bladder tumors and may also be involved in other human tumors.
  • Our innovative and highly respected Developmental Therapeutics Program has launched phase I and phase II clinical trials for patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer.
  • Sensitive to the issues that survivors face, we are conducting research to determine cardiovascular risk in long-term survivors of testicular cancer.