Prostate Cancer Treatment
If there is any positive news about prostate cancer, it is that there are more effective options for treating the disease than ever before. At the Barbara and Maurice Deane Prostate Health and Research Center, we have extensive expertise diagnosing and treating prostate cancer. Our multidisciplinary team of outstanding physicians provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art care tailored to the unique needs of each individual.
Mount Sinai has a history of innovation in prostate cancer treatment. We are a pioneer in nerve-sparring laparoscopic surgery techniques for prostate cancer using robotics and computer technology. We have also pioneered advances in radiation therapy for prostate cancer that target the prostate tumors but spare nearby healthy tissue. In addition, we played a key role in developing The Prostate Interactive Education System (PIES), a web-based patient education and treatment decision support tool.
As part of one of the nation’s leading hospitals and a highly ranked medical school, the Deane Prostrate Health and Research Center has the advantage of being able to draw on the talents of specialists and researchers spanning various disciplines.
Treatment for prostate cancer depends on:
- The stage and grade of your cancer
- Your age
- Other existing health problems
- And your goals for treatment
Among the options we offer for prostate cancer treatment are:
Active surveillance (also referred to by some specialists as “watchful waiting” or “expectant management”) means a period of active observation, including periodic testing (such as PSA tests; digital rectal exam, or DRE; ultrasounds; and biopsies), and watching for symptoms to see if a cancer is growing. Active surveillance is often recommended for early stage prostate cancer that is determined to be small and contained within one area of the prostate (localized) and slow-growing. It may also be recommended for older prostate cancer patients or those with serious medical conditions for whom the risks of treatment may outweigh the possible benefits.
Surgery for Prostate Cancer
Mount Sinai’s prostate surgery team is highly skilled in traditional radical prostatectomy techniques, as well as minimally invasive and robotic techniques. Radical prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate along with the nearby tissues and seminal vesicles) is an option for many men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland. Dr. Ash Tewari, Chair of the Department of Urology and one of the foremost leaders in robotic prostate surgery, has designed specialized techniques to preserve normal sexual function and bladder function. During the procedure, Dr. Tewari unique approach involve reconstructing the supporting structures responsible for urinary continence helps to minimize and prevent urinary leakage.
Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy beams to kill cancer cells and eliminate tumors. Under the leadership of Richard G. Stock, MD, of Mount Sinai’s Department of Radiation and a nationally recognized expert in prostate cancer and prostate brachytherapy, Mount Sinai provides the most refined radiation therapies available for prostate cancer, including intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), Novalis shaped beam radiosurgery, real-time ultrasound guided prostate seed implants (called brachytherapy) and Mammosite – all of which allow for meticulously targeting the tumor while achieving maximal sparing of normal tissues.
Hormone (Andogen Deprivation) Therapy
Hormone therapy, also called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or androgen suppression therapy, is used to lower levels of male sex hormones (known as androgens), which feed prostate cancer cells and cause them to grow. The main androgen is testosterone. This can be done using drugs, surgery, or other hormones. Lowering androgen levels can cause prostate cancers to shrink or grow more slowly, but it does not cure cancer. ADT is often used for patients whose prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate or has recurred after treatment.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer. There are many different types of chemotherapies used in different combinations. They are typically used when cancer that has spread beyond the prostate and hormone therapy isn’t working.
Therapeutic vaccines are designed to harness the body’s own immune system’s ability to attack cancer. One such vaccine, Provenge® (sipuleucel-T) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 for advanced prostate cancer. Clinical trials, led by Mount Sinai researchers, were integral to the approval of Provenge® by the FDA.
In addition to standard treatments, other prostate cancer treatments are being investigated in clinical trials at Mount Sinai. Patients may want to consider taking part in a clinical trial when weighing treatment options. To find currently open clinical trials for prostate cancer, please visit the Clinical Trials and Research Studies area of our website.