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As the only academic urology department in central and western Massachusetts, the UMass Department of Urology is committed to improving the understanding of urologic disease through research and discovery and developing treatment paradigms that maximize optimal outcomes while minimizing the invasiveness and cost of these therapies.

Clinical Trials and Clinical Research

New drugs and treatments for cancer are often evaluated through a series of studies called clinical trials.  These are closely monitored and regulated studies in which the effectiveness and safety of new drugs and technologies are evaluated.

Clinical trials consist of three phases. The purpose of phase 1 is to determine possible side effects of a drug or treatment method. If results from phase 1 trials are positive, the drug is tested in a larger group of patients to determine how it affects a specific disease and what its short-term side effects may be. Phase 2 studies focus on comparing the new treatment with the current treatment or placebo.  In phase 3 clinical trials, the drug is further studied for safety and efficacy in a much larger group of patients who have the disease being studied.

The University of Massachusetts has a strong legacy and rich tradition of clinical research in urologic cancer.  Our objectives are to improve the treatment of patients with cancer.  Our focus is on the patients and how we, as clinician-scientists, can improve their lives. 

Translational Research Program: New Cancer Therapies

The primary objective of The University Mass Department of Urology Translational Research Program is to develop, advance, and subsequently offer state-of-the-art treatments to patients with urologic cancers by developing improved therapies and treatment paradigms that incorporate novel anti-cancer agents and technologies as a compliment to conventional surgical therapy.  

Basic Science Research

Physician-scientists are committed to enhancing the management of patients with urologic cancers.  To accomplish this goal, biochemical, genetic, and molecular biologic studies are performed to improve our fundamental understanding of cancer biology and how to better target cancer cells with surgical and medical approaches.

Research Portfolio

Our current research portfolio includes the following:

  • Prostattak  Trial: This is a placebo-controlled trial investigating the effectiveness and safety of using gene therapy prior to radiation therapy for some men with intermediate and high risk prostate cancer.
  • IMP-3: This basic science project investigates the use of molecular staining for the IMP-3 protein for prognosticating tumors in patients with kidney cancer.
  • P3P: This is a web-based trial investigating the role of patient education in prostate cancer decision-making.
  • AUA Data Grant: This research project involves investigating changes in the use of PSA in contemporary medical proactive.
  • Primary Care Questionnaire: This research project involves investigating the use of PSA and the comfort level of prostate cancer screening among primary care physicians.