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About Urologic Cancers

Accounting for almost 20 percent of cancers worldwide, urologic cancers include malignancies of the prostate, bladder, kidney and testes. The Polsky Urologic Cancer Institute is home to an outstanding team of scientists, clinicians and fellowship-trained urologic oncologists with significant expertise in urologic cancers. Together, our physicians and scientists are working to increase our understanding of the biology of urologic cancers, create innovative tools to distinguish aggressive disease, develop novel and more effective treatments, and to improve the overall survival and well-being of patients.

Choose one of the most common urologic cancer types below to learn more about symptoms, how we come to a diagnosis and our many treatment options.


View our library of podcasts and videos highlighting the breakthroughs in care and research at the Polksy Urologic Cancer Institute.

  • Edward Schaeffer MD, PhD, Ashley Ross MD, PhD and Hatice Savas MD discuss the recent FDA approval of PSMA PET imaging agent 18F-DCFPyL (Pylarify) for prostate cancer detection. Listen here
  • Maha Hussain, MD, FACP, FASCO, deputy director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University discusses this designation, that the latest advances in the management of prostate cancer and how her work, that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, will benefit men with aggressive states of prostate cancer. Listen here
  • Sean Sachdev, MD, discusses his unique focus on stereotactic radiotherapy of metastatic cancers. He offers insight into the role of imaging in diagnosis and ongoing treatment for prostate cancer treatment; he shares information from a recent publication in the Journal of Clinical OncologyListen here
  • Urologists treating men with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) are facing a global shortage of standard-of-care Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Shilajit D Kundu, MD, chief of Urologic Oncology in the Department of Urology, shares how Northwestern Medicine is handling the shortage and allocating the drug to patients with NMIBC. Watch here
  • Men with inflammatory bowel disease have four to five times higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to a 20-year study from Northwestern Medicine published in the journal European Urology. In this podcast, Shilajit Kundu, MD, chief of Urologic Oncology discusses the link between prostate cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Listen here
  • Joshua Meeks, MD, PhD shares how his team of scientists are involved in three active trials focused on genetic and epigenetic changes in bladder cancer, as well as immuno-oncology in bladder cancer. Listen here
  • Joshua Meeks, MD, PhD investigates the gender disparities in bladder cancer by dissecting the tumor and immune mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This research may translate into novel pathways and potential therapeutic targets to improve outcomes and reduce gender disparities in bladder cancer. Learn more
  • Edward Schaeffer, MD, PhD and his research team aim to better understand racial disparities in prostate cancer in order to improve identification, treatment selection and outcomes for men of all races with prostate cancer. Learn more
  • Dr. Schaeffer is conducting research to identify the molecular mechanisms associated with aggressive prostate cancer, which will permit the exploration of effective therapeutic modalities and development of robust biomarkers for treatment intensification and improved clinical outcomes. Learn more
  • Ashley Ross, MD, PhD is conducting research on the development, testing and implementation of novel diagnostics and therapeutics with a goal of reducing the suffering from prostate cancer. In this video, Dr. Ross describes the biomarker-driven clinical trials that are showing promise for prostate cancer and other future research directions in the field. Watch here
  • Ashley Ross, MD, PhD explains the genetics of prostate cancer, describing how genetics can impact cancer development and prognosis and how genetic testing aids in treatment selection. Watch here
  • Ashley Ross, MD, PhD examines the role and efficacy of focal therapy in the management of prostate cancer. He also speaks about recent advances, patient selection and future directions for this emerging "middle ground" treatment modality. Listen here
  • Ashley Ross, MD, PhD and Brittany Szymaniak, PhD, CGC, an expert researcher in Cancer Genetics converse about Germline genetic testing and prostate cancer. Listen here

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