Treatment Programs

Prostate Cancer

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

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 other centers nationwide.

Innovative ApproachesUnique approaches to prostate cancer treatment offered here include:

  • Advanced diagnostic techniques to determine which men are candidates for active surveillance and which need aggressive treatment
  • The latest surgical and radiation techniques

Multidisciplinary Patient CareNew patients are generally seen within two weeks of referral. At your first appointment, you will meet the genitourinary cancer specialists who will be involved in your care. These specialists may include:

  • Urologists and surgical oncologists experienced in the latest prostate cancer surgery approaches, including laparoscopic and robotic surgery
  • Radiation Oncologists who specialize in delivering the optimal therapeutic dose while protecting healthy tissue
  • Medical Oncologists to prescribe the most effective treatments, including hormone therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy

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
  • Palliative care providers to improve quality of life

This team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that balances potential side effects and benefits of treatment. They will continue to monitor your care and communicate regularly with you and your referring physician about your progress.

Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging CancersExact 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 permit more accurate detection of 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

Standard and Novel Medical TreatmentsOur patients have access to traditional and innovative medical treatments. These approaches include hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Cancer Center researchers studying androgen deprivation therapy, a form of hormone therapy for advanced metatstic prostate cancer, have recently linked this treatment to greater risk for osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and are now working together to identify all the adverse side effects and to find ways to reduce or eliminate them.

Excellence in Surgical CareStudies 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. These approaches include:

  • Laparoscopic prostatectomy, in which the prostate is removed through the use of several small incisions
  • Robotic prostatectomy, another highly effective, minimally invasive technique

Pioneering Radiation TherapiesDepending 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. We are one of only a few centers in the country offering proton beam radiation. This approach is used very selectively as we work to understand its correct place in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Learn more about radiation therapy.

Treating Cancer through Clinical TrialsWe have one of the region’s largest clinical trial programs in genitourinary cancers, with opportunities for eligible patients to participate in trials designed to improve outcomes for men with early stage prostate cancer, develop novel therapies for recurrent and metastatic disease, and improve the quality of life for prostate cancer survivors.

View all open trials for prostate cancer.

Developing Better Therapies through ResearchAs one of the region’s foremost research centers in genitourinary cancers, we are developing promising new prostate screening and treatment approaches such as:

  • Evaluation of circulating tumor cells as a prostate cancer biomarker
  • Studies to determine the most effective uses of proton beam therapy
  • Determining the effectiveness of using nanoparticles and MRI to diagnose genitourinary cancers
  • Reducing the side-effects of hormone therapy

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 Room

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides cancer patients and their families with information and resources for living with cancer.

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 Room

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides cancer patients and their families with information and resources for living with cancer.

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

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.