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Urologic Cancers

Researching mechanisms of bladder and kidney cancer initiation and progression to develop novel therapeutics and treatments for genitourinary malignancies.

 Shilajit Kundu Lab
Investigating the association between inflammatory bowel disease and prostate cancer

Research Description

Dr. Kundu has successfully conducted and published on prospective evaluations of patients with urologic cancers and found that the impact of cancer treatment goes beyond physical limitations associated with treatment. The application of these findings have resulted in interventions to improve the physician-patient relationship, patient education and the health care environment overall.

Dr. Kundu is currently performing genetic studies to distinguish mechanisms that drive prostate cancer development in men with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). His research aims to identify the specific factors underlying prostate cancer and IBD to uncover the mechanisms that may drive carcinogenesis in this inflammatory condition. In this podcast, Dr. Kundu explains approach to screening, diagnosing and treating this unique combination of conditions.


Hudnall MT, Desai AS, Tsai KP, Weiner AB, Vo AX, Ko OS, Jan S, Schaeffer EM, Kundu SD. It's all in the name: Does nomenclature for indolent prostate cancer impact management and anxiety? Cancer. 2021 Sep; 127(18): 3354-3360.

Goldberg IP, Chang SL, Kundu SD, Chung BI, Singer EA. Impact of inflammatory bowel disease on radical prostatectomy outcomes and costs of care. Prostate Int. 2021 Jun; 9(2): 66-71.

Desai AS, Sagar V, Lysy B, Weiner AB, Ko OS, Driscoll C, Rodriguez Y, Vatapalli R, Unno K, Han H, Cohen JE, Vo AX, Pham M, Shin M, Jain-Poster K, Ross J, Morency EG, Meyers TJ, Witte JS, Wu J, Abdulkadir SA, Kundu SD. Inflammatory bowel disease induces inflammatory and pre-neoplastic changes in the prostate. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2021 May 25.

Meyers TJ, Weiner AB, Graff RE, Desai AS, Cooley LF, Catalona WJ, Hanauer SB, Wu JD, Schaeffer EM, Abdulkadir SA, Kundu SD, Witte JS. Association between inflammatory bowel disease and prostate cancer: A large-scale, prospective, population-based study. International Journal of Cancer. 2020 Jan.

Burns JA, Weiner AB, Catalona WJ, Li EV, Schaeffer EM, Hanauer SB, Strong S, Burns J, Hussain MHA, Kundu SD. Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Risk of Prostate Cancer. European Urology. 2019 May.

Weiner AB, Tsai KP, Keeter MK, Victorson DE, Schaeffer EM, Catalona WJ, Kundu SD. The Influence of Decision Aids on Prostate Cancer Screening Preferences: A Randomized Survey Study. Journal of Urology. 2018 Nov.


For contact information, visit Dr. Kundu's faculty profile.

 Joshua Meeks Lab

Investigating genetic and epigenetic changes in bladder cancer, as well as immuno-oncology in bladder cancer

Research Description

The Meeks lab is investigating the epigenetics and genetic mutations associated with cancer biology. Specifically, he is studying how chromatin remodeling genes play a role in bladder cancer. In addition, he is investigating the “driver mutations found in bladder cancer. In the future, he hopes to develop novel systemic and intravesical therapies to improve survival of patients with bladder cancer.

In the United States, there are an estimated 72,570 new cases of bladder cancer each year. Dr. Meeks is conducting innovative research to increase our understanding of the biology of bladder cancer and to identify new therapies and technologies for bladder cancer in order to improve quality of life for our patients. In this podcast, 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.

Dr. Meeks is investigating 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. In this video, Meeks shares details about his work.


Refer to PubMed for a full list of publications.


For more information, visit Meeks Lab.

 Hiten Patel Lab

Studying novel diagnostic approaches and comparative effectiveness of treatment for kidney and prostate cancer

Research Description

Dr. Patel is an expert in applying evidence-based medicine to urologic oncology through performance of systematic reviews to inform guidelines, initiation of quality improvement studies, and conduct of comparative effectiveness research. His research focuses on active surveillance for kidney and prostate cancer, development of MRI-based predictive tools to detect clinically significant prostate cancer, and reduction in surgical morbidity including venous thromboembolism and opioid prescribing through advances in surgical technique and robotic technology.

He has identified novel approaches to optimize detection of prostate cancer and avoid unnecessary surgery for benign kidney tumors using advanced imaging and biopsy. He applies rigorous public health methodology to the design of cohort studies and clinical trials.

In this podcast, Dr. Hiten Patel MD MPH discusses improvements in treating localized kidney cancer and identifying benign tumors that can avoid the need for surgery.


Patel HD, Koehne EL, Shea SM, Fang AM, Gerena M, Gorbonos A, Quek ML, Flanigan RC, Goldberg A, Rais-Bahrami S, Gupta GN. A prostate biopsy risk calculator based on MRI: development and comparison of the Prospective Loyola University multiparametric MRI (PLUM) and Prostate Biopsy Collaborative Group (PBCG) risk calculators. BJU Int. 2022 Jun 22.

Patel HD, Schwen ZR, Campbell JD, Gorin MA, Partin AW, Burnett AL, Allaf ME. Effect of Erythropoietin on Erectile Function after Radical Prostatectomy: The ERECT Randomized Clinical Trial. J Urol. 2021 Jun;205(6):1681-1688.

Patel HD, Faisal FA, Trock BJ, Joice GA, Schwen ZR, Pierorazio PM, Johnson MH, Bivalacqua TJ, Han M, Gorin MA, Carter HB, Partin AW, Pavlovich CP, Allaf ME. Effect of Pharmacologic Prophylaxis on Venous Thromboembolism After Radical Prostatectomy: The PREVENTER Randomized Clinical Trial. Eur Urol. 2020 Sep;78(3):360-368. 

Pierorazio PM, Cheaib JG, Patel HD, Gupta M, Sharma R, Zhang A, Tema G, Bass EB. Comparative Effectiveness of Surveillance, Primary Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection for the Management of Early Stage Testicular Germ Cell Tumors: A Systematic Review. J Urol. 2021 Feb;205(2):370-382.

Patel HD, Faisal FA, Patel ND, Pavlovich CP, Allaf ME, Han M, Herati AS. Effect of a prospective opioid reduction intervention on opioid prescribing and use after radical prostatectomy: results of the Opioid Reduction Intervention for Open, Laparoscopic, and Endoscopic Surgery (ORIOLES) Initiative. BJU Int. 2020 Mar;125(3):426-432.

Refer to PubMed for a full list of publications. 


For contact information, please see Dr. Patel's faculty profile.

 C. Shad Thaxton Lab

Fabricating new nanomaterials and translational nanotechnology with regard to nanoparticle-based molecular diagnostics and nanotherapeutics.

Research Description

Shad Thaxton MD, PhD, invented, synthesized, and characterized the first biomimetic high-density lipoprotein nanoparticles. High density lipoproteins (HDLs) are natural nanoparticles that circulate in the human body to carry cholesterol. Cholesterol carried by HDLs is often referred to as “good cholesterol” because HDL blood levels inversely correlate with the development of cardiovascular disease. The Thaxton Group utilizes a gold nanoparticle scaffold to assemble the natural surface chemical components of HDLs to create synthetic HDL nanoparticles. The HDL nanoparticles recapitulate the size, shape, surface chemistry, and cholesterol binding properties of natural HDLs. As such, The Thaxton Lab is using these unique biomimetic materials to better understand the structure-function properties of natural HDLs and also as potential therapies for atherosclerosis and heart disease.

For more information, see the faculty profile of  C. Shad Thaxton, MD, PhD.


View Dr. Thaxton's other publications at PubMed.


Email Dr. Thaxton

Phone 312-503-1826

Postdoctoral Fellows: Nick Angeloni, Kannan Mutharasan, Jonathan Rink

Graduate Students: Kaylin M. McMahon, Michael Plebanek, Sushant Tripathy, Andrea Luthi

Research Technician: Amritha Singh

 Rendong Yang Lab

Integrating genomics, big data, and computing to drive innovations in human genetics, precision oncology, and cancer immunotherapy

Research Description

The Yang laboratory is interested in the integrative analysis of large-scale, multi-dimensional genomic data to understand the initiation and progression of diseases. The research projects involve in the development of highly accurate and sensitive computational methods for analyzing large-scale genomic data, especially in the area of detecting and analyzing genetic variations and somatic mutations using next generation sequencing data. Current work in the lab is to explore the functional consequences of somatic alterations in cancer patients, to identify driver alterations, and to understand the genetic mechanisms of cancer progression and drug resistance by integrating multi-dimensional data from large-scale cancer studies such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Example projects span from technique-driven research that aims developing algorithms for a wide range of applications to hypothesis-driven investigation of specific biological problems where the main goal is the discovery and advancement of biological knowledge.

For more information, visit Dr. Yang's lab website.


See Dr. Yang's publications on PubMed.


Contact Dr. Yang.

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