Treatment Programs

Prostate Cancer

Experts in our program offer care for slow-growing and aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

 

On this page you will find information to help you:

Information about Prostate Cancer

Learn More about this Condition

The prostate is a small, round gland located behind the pubic bone and in front of the rectum. Cancer that begins in the tissues of the prostate is called prostate cancer.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that about 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer would be diagnosed in the United States in 2015, and that the disease would cause about 27,540 deaths.

Prostate Screening and Diagnosis
Screening for cancer means testing for something abnormal before it makes you sick. Tests used to screen for prostate cancer include:

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE)
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test

If the DRE or PSA test raises possible concerns, your doctor may also order tests and procedures such as:

  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • Biopsy

Prostate Cancer Treatment
Treatment for early-stage prostate cancer may involve one or more of these options:

  • Active surveillance may be followed by hormone therapy
  • Prostate cancer surgery is done to remove part or all of the prostate, some surrounding tissues and/or some lymph nodes. Examples include open prostatectomy, laparoscopic prostatectomy and robotic prostatectomy
  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation beams to kill or shrink tumors while saving healthy tissue
  • Clinical trials may provide access to new and promising therapies

Treatment for metastatic prostate cancer may involve one or more of these options:

  • Active surveillance may be followed by hormone therapy
  • External radiation therapy also may be followed by hormone therapy
  • Bisphosphonate therapy aims to address bone pain associated with prostate cancer
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a type of surgery that requires no incisions and may relieve certain symptoms of prostate cancer
  • Clinical trials

Learn more about prostate cancer on our patient education page.

Back to top

Our Genitourinary Team

New patients are generally seen within a week of referral. At your first appointment, you will meet the genitourinary cancer specialists who will be involved in your care, including:

  • Urologists and surgical oncologists experienced in the latest testicular cancer surgery approaches
  • Radiation oncologists who specialize in delivering the optimal therapeutic dose while protecting healthy tissue
  • Medical oncologists to discuss overall prognosis and review the available treatment approaches

In addition, you may also see:

  • Pathologists specializing in urologic cancers
  • Radiologists specializing in genitourinary cancer imaging
  • Oncology nurses and nurse practitioners who specialize in cancer care
  • Oncology psychiatrists and social workers experienced in helping with the cognitive side effects of cancer and treatment, as well the emotional and spiritual side of the cancer experience
  • A nutritionist to help you with questions about diet and nutrition during treatment 

Matthew R. Smith, MD, PhD

See the Complete Team List

Matthew R. Smith, MD, PhD
Director, Genitourinary Malignancies Program

 

 

 

  

 

See the complete team list treating Prostate Cancer

 

 

Back to top

Our Approach

Endometrial Treatment Program
The Claire & John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers is one of the largest and most experienced centers in New England for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Many of the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches available here are offered at only a few centers nationwide.
Innovative Approaches
Our unique approaches to prostate cancer treatment include:

  • Advanced diagnostic techniques to determine candidates for active surveillance and patients needing aggressive treatment
  • The latest surgical and radiation techniques

Multidisciplinary Patient Care
New patients are generally seen within two weeks of referral.  We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that balances potential treatment side effects and benefits. We will continue to monitor your care and communicate regularly with you and your referring physician about your progress.

Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging Cancers
Exact diagnosis and staging are critical to defining the appropriate treatment for your cancer, including establishing whether you are a candidate for active surveillance. Your team will include sub-specialized pathologists, who work exclusively on analyzing genitourinary tumors, and whose training and experience help ensure your treatment plan is based on a precise diagnosis. Our pathologists perform a Gleason score analysis of every prostate tumor to assess the likelihood of tumor spread.

In addition to using the standard imaging techniques, we are conducting clinical trials on the use of novel techniques to diagnose and stage prostate cancer. These include:

  • New MRI techniques, including diffusion-weighted MRI, which more accurately detect cancer cells
  • Novel PET-scan imaging for early and more accurate diagnosis of bone metastases in patients with primary prostate cancer
  • Nanoparticle-enhanced MRI, an imaging technology developed here that can find cancerous lymph nodes missed by biopsies.

Excellence in Surgical Care
Studies have shown patients do better when they are treated in a facility that cares for a high number of patients with the same form of cancer; we perform a large number of prostate cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures annually.

In addition to being skilled at conventional surgery, our genitourinary cancer surgeons are at the forefront of developing minimally invasive approaches for the treatment of prostate cancer, including both laparoscopic and robotic prostatectomy.

Pioneering Radiation Therapies
Depending on the size of your prostate and the location of your cancer, you may receive internal radiation (brachytherapy) or external radiation. External radiation is delivered using advanced 3-dimensional (3-D) or intensity modulated (IMRT) radiation techniques. The prostate is targeted using daily imaging to precisely direct the radiation beam. As one of only a few centers nationwide offering proton beam radiation, we are working to understand its correct place in the treatment of prostate cancer. 

Learn more about radiation therapy

Research and Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new/different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of breast cancer that use the latest in cancer treatments.

Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic make-up of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Genitourinary Cancers also has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.

Click below to find listings of our current clinical and targeted therapy trials.

Find Clinical Trials for this ConditionFind Targeted Therapy Clinical Trials for this Condition

The Cancer Center also offers the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program, which strives to promote awareness about and access to cancer clinical trials through community outreach and education, financial assistance, and patient navigation. Click here to find out more about this program.

Back to top

Contact Us
If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our doctors, please call the Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers at 617-724-4000. 

Back to top

 

Prostate Cancer

Early prostate cancer may not present any symptoms and can only be found with regular prostate examinations by your physician.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Ostomy Support Group

We welcome patients with a new or existing colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy, and their family and friends, to monthly meetings of the Massachusetts General Hospital Ostomy Support Group.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

Q&A: Taking on the Challenges of Imaging Prostate Cancer – Diagnostic Imaging

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men, yet diagnosing this condition still presents a challenge. Physicians have traditionally used the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test to screen for prostate cancer. However, this diagnostic test may produce unclear results.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Ostomy Support Group

We welcome patients with a new or existing colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy, and their family and friends, to monthly meetings of the Massachusetts General Hospital Ostomy Support Group.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

Cancer Center

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-5130

patient

Request an appointment at the Cancer Center

Contact the Cancer Center to schedule an appointment with one of our cancer specialists

Discover the Cancer Center patient experience

Our approach to patient care unites cancer specialists across the hospital to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

patient

Make a gift to support genitourinary cancer research

With your support, the team at the Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers is able maintain their commitment to quality patient care and advancing discoveries.