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Prostate Cancer

The Department of Urology is at the forefront of research and medical advancements in prostate cancer. 

Northwestern University scientists work closely with Northwestern Medicine physicians to translate scientific discoveries into meaningful solutions for patients.

Our comprehensive prostate cancer program offers innovative, personalized treatment to optimize patient outcomes and reduce side effects of cancer treatment, apply state-of-the-art imaging techniques to detect urologic cancers, and enhance overall well-being with recovery and survivorship programs.

Selected Media 

Edward Schaeffer MD, PhD, Ashley Ross MD, PhD and Hatice Savas MD discuss PET PSMA imaging for prostate cancer the recent FDA approval of Pylarify for prostate cancer detection. Listen here

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. Dr. Schaeffer shares some of the exciting developments currently underway at Northwestern. Watch here

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. In this video, he shares details about and future directions of this work. Watch here

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 delves into the genetics of prostate cancer, describing how genetics can impact cancer development and prognosis and how genetic testing aids in treatment selection. 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 Urology 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

Channa Amarasekera, MD, discusses how prostate cancer uniquely impacts men who have sex with men and explains his recent study assessing areas of sexual function predicted to be important after treatment for prostate cancer in gay men. Listen here


Selected Publications

High intratumoral plasma cells content in primary prostate cancer defines a subset of tumors with potential susceptibility to immune-based treatments. Weiner AB, Yu CY, Kini M, Liu Y, Davicioni E, Mitrofanova A, Lotan TL, Schaeffer EM. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2022 May 14.

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

A transcriptomic model for homologous recombination deficiency in prostate cancer. Weiner AB, Liu Y, McFarlane M, Bawa PS, Li EV, Zhao X, Li Z, Hammoud T, Hazime M, Karnes RJ, Davicioni E, Reichert ZR, Chinnaiyan AM, Lotan TL, Spratt DE, Schaeffer EM. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2021 Jul 5.

Plasma cells are enriched in localized prostate cancer in Black men and are associated with improved outcomes. Weiner AB, Vidotto T, Liu Y, Mendes AA, Salles DC, Faisal FA, Murali S, McFarlane M, Imada EL, Zhao X, Li Z, Davicioni E, Marchionni L, Chinnaiyan AM, Freedland SJ, Spratt DE, Wu JD, Lotan TL, Schaeffer EM. Nat Commun. 2021 Feb 10;12(1):935.

 Impact of a Genomic Test on Treatment Decision in a Predominantly African American Population With Favorable-Risk Prostate Cancer: A Randomized Trial.Murphy AB, Abern MR, Liu L, Wang H, Hollowell CMP, Sharifi R, Vidal P, Kajdacsy-Balla A, Sekosan M, Ferrer K, Wu S, Gallegos M, King-Lee P, Sharp LK, Ferrans CE, Gann PH. J Clin Oncol. 2021 May 20;39(15):1660-1670. 

A pilot trial of pembrolizumab plus prostatic cryotherapy for men with newly diagnosed oligometastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Ross AE, Hurley PJ, Tran PT, Rowe SP, Benzon B, Neal TO, Chapman C, Harb R, Milman Y, Trock BJ, Drake CG, Antonarakis ES.  Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2020 Mar;23(1):184-193.

CDKN1B Deletions are Associated with Metastasis in African American Men with Clinically Localized, Surgically Treated Prostate Cancer. Faisal FA, Murali S, Kaur H, Vidotto T, Guedes LB, Salles DC, Kothari V, Tosoian JJ, Han S, Hovelson DH, Hu K, Spratt DE, Baras AS, Tomlins SA, Schaeffer EM, Lotan TL.  Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Jan 22.

Small-Molecule MYC Inhibitors Suppress Tumor Growth and Enhance Immunotherapy. Han H, Jain AD, Truica MI, Izquierdo-Ferrer J, Anker JF, Lysy B, Sagar V, Luan Y, Chalmers ZR, Unno K, Mok H, Vatapalli R, Yoo YA, Rodriguez Y, Kandela I, Parker JB, Chakravarti D, Mishra RK, Schiltz GE, Abdulkadir SA. Cancer Cell. 2019 Nov; 36(5): 483-497.e15.

Transcriptomic Heterogeneity of Androgen Receptor Activity Defines a de novo low AR-Active Subclass in Treatment Naïve Primary Prostate Cancer.Spratt DE, Alshalalfa M, Fishbane N, Weiner AB, Mehra R, Mahal BA, Lehrer J, Liu Y, Zhao SG, Speers C, Morgan TM, Dicker AP, Freedland SJ, Karnes RJ, Weinmann S, Davicioni E, Ross AE, Den RB, Nguyen PL, Feng FY, Lotan TL, Chinnaiyan AM, Schaeffer EM.  Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Nov 15;25(22):6721-6730.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Risk of Prostate Cancer. Burns JA, Weiner AB, Catalona WJ, Li EV, Schaeffer EM, Hanauer SB, Strong S, Burns J, Hussain MHA, Kundu SD. European Urology. 2019 May; 75(5): 846-852. 

 Patient Care

Our comprehensive prostate cancer program offers personalized, integrative and innovative care for the diagnosis, treatment and management of prostate cancer. Housed within the Polsky Urologic Cancer Institute, we offer a multidisciplinary access point for prostate cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, as well as resources, including genetic counseling and nutritional guidance. Bolstering promising, active research while strengthening advanced tracking and diagnostic techniques, we offer precision diagnosis and treatment, groundbreaking innovation in treatment and prevention and sustained wellness beyond diagnosis and treatment through our survivorship and follow-up care services.

Learn more about our state-of-the art comprehensive prostate cancer program at Northwestern Medicine

 My nMRIsk Calculator

Calculate the risk for clinically significant prostate cancer prior to biopsy with the My nMRIisk Calculator, a prostate cancer nomogram developed at Northwestern University. 

Specialty Chief


Shilajit Kundu, MD
Chief of Urologic Oncology in the Department of Urology
Associate Professor of Urology

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