About Brent Hollenbeck, MD, MS

Dr. Brent K. Hollenbeck is a urologic oncologist and Chair of Urology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. A graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine, he completed his residency in urology and fellowship training in oncology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Hollenbeck joined the faculty at Michigan in 2005 and subsequently served in multiple leadership roles during his tenure, including Director of Division of Health Services Research, Associate Chair for Research and Vice Chair. In 2023, he was recruited by the Massachusetts General Hospital to serve as Chair of Urology. His vision for MGH Urology is to be widely recognized as the premier Department, renowned as the incubator for developing leaders in the field and for discovery aimed at eliminating suffering from urological diseases. 

Dr. Hollenbeck’s clinical practice is uniformly focused on caring for men with prostate cancer. The genesis of this focus was borne out of patient demand and capped only by his commitments to extramurally funded research. Over nearly two decades, he built one of the largest prostate cancer surgical practices in the state of Michigan, the epicenter of robotic surgery in the early 2000s. He has acquired a strong national and international reputation as one of the premier surgeon-scientists focused on prostate cancer.

As Chair of MGH Urology, Dr. Hollenbeck is committed to being a force-multiplier in the field by catalyzing the scientific and professional trajectories of colleagues and learners. His lab has been continuously funded since 2007 and has served as a substrate for learners to pursue their own avenues of discovery. He previously served as primary research mentor for two predoctoral students and 14 postdoctoral fellows. Currently, he serves as research mentor for two predoctoral students, three postdoctoral fellows and three junior faculty. While measures of academic success, including extramural funding and scholarship, are tangible and imperative, they are a byproduct of his most important contribution of inspiring others to sustain impactful careers in science and cancer-related research. Among his mentees, 10 have successfully competed for career development awards and 8 have secured independent (R01 or similar) funding. Currently, 6 of his mentees serve as PI of 7 active R01s (or equivalent awards) and one research-focused training award.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:



Mass General Urology
165 Cambridge St.
7th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 857-238-3838

Medical Education

  • MD, Indiana Univ. School of Medicine
  • Residency, Michigan Medicine University of Michigan
  • Fellowship, Michigan Medicine University of Michigan
  • Fellowship, Michigan Medicine University of Michigan

American Board Certifications

  • Urology, American Board of Urology

Accepted Insurance Plans

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Dr. Hollenbeck is an international leader in urological health services research with a focus on how delivery system organization and financial incentives affect clinical practice and quality. His impactful contributions to the field have been recognized by the University of Michigan (Clinical Scholars Science Program in 2005), the American Urological Association (Rising Star in Urology Award in 2007) and the Society of Urologic Oncology (Young Investigator Award in 2010). His sustained track record of extramural funding resulted in his election to the University of Michigan?s League of Research Excellence in 2014. Dr. Hollenbeck?s scientific contributions led to his election to the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, the premier organization in the field of urology, in 2017, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2019. He has served continuously as a member of scientific review groups since 2010?the American Cancer Society (Health Policy and Health Services Committee 2010-2016, Institutional Research Grants 2022-) and the National Cancer Institute (Subcommittee F, 2016-2022).

Dr. Hollenbeck?s lab has been funded continuously since 2007. He current serves as PI for two R01s from AHRQ, two R01s from the NCI, an R01 from the NIA, and a Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society. Two areas of ongoing focus include:

Urologist organization effects on prostate cancer care Physicians adapt to policy and payment, often aligning themselves with practice models that are financially most rewarding. In the 2000s, many urologists moved from solo or small practice to large single-specialty groups, largely to facilitate entrepreneurial activities requiring large capital outlays (e.g., investment in a radiation vault). Growing administrative burden (e.g., reporting requirements, electronic health record implementation) and declining reimbursement further prompted a more recent shift towards the formation of even larger groups. As contact PI of NCI R01 CA168691 and AHRQ R01 HS025707, Dr. Hollenbeck led a team to characterize the implications of urologist practice organization for men with prostate cancer. This work demonstrated that financial incentives embedded in the practice organization have a significant effect on treatment, quality, and payments for prostate cancer. This line of inquiry has suggested that uncertainty about treatment decision-making, which is particularly prominent in sicker and older men with prostate cancer, renders it highly susceptible to the influence of organizational context and associated financial incentives. Importantly, this body of work has informed policymakers around legislating issues such as anti-trust regulations and price transparency, controls, or caps. As further practice consolidation has the potential to undermine policies aimed at cost containment and quality improvement, he is leading a team to evaluate these effects.

Evolving delivery system for advanced prostate cancer care Advanced prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death among American men. Prior to 2011, its treatment was limited to physician-administered cytotoxic chemotherapy, such as docetaxel, delivered by medical oncologists. The introduction of oral ?targeted? therapies (i.e., directed at specific molecules affecting tumor growth) over the last decade has transformed the management of this disease. Dr. Hollenbeck has led a team exploring both the quality and financial implications of this sea change for men with advanced prostate cancer. His work has demonstrated a dramatic shift in patterns of care, with urologists increasingly prescribing these drugs and managing these patients independently. Further, his research demonstrated strong relationships between promotional payments from the manufacturers of these medications and subsequent prescribing behavior by both urologists and medical oncologists. Collectively, this body of work has raised concerns about underlying financial incentives driving change in the delivery of care for advanced prostate cancer, which mirrors the circumstances surrounding gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists in the 1990s. To better understand incentives and advanced prostate cancer care, Dr. Hollenbeck was awarded an R01 CA275993 from the NCI in March 2023.


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