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Weill Cornell Cancer Center

Treatment

Like most cancers, the choice of treatment for genitourinary cancers depends on the type, location, and stage of the disease as well as the patient's age and physical health. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.

Kidney Cancer

Weill Cornell Cancer Center surgeons take the least invasive approach possible for patients with kidney tumors and have significant experience with these procedures. The most effective treatment for localized kidney cancer is removal of the tumor, a procedure that can typically be done using a minimally invasive approach such as laparoscopic partial nephrectomy.

Some patients are candidates for "percutaneous cryoablation," in which tumors are frozen using small needles inserted through the patient's skin. Over time, the tumor tissue "scars down" and eventually disappears. The procedure is best suited for older patients with masses on the back of the kidney less than 3 cm in diameter that are not located too close to the main blood supply or urine-producing cells of the kidney. Other patients may benefit from cryoablation performed during a laparoscopic procedure.

For patients who need to have more kidney tissue removed, Weill Cornell Cancer Center urologists offer laparoscopic nephrectomy (removal of part or all of the kidney during laparoscopy) for selected patients —a graded approach to treatment that helps retain more kidney function than radical nephrectomy.

Patients with advanced kidney cancer who require targeted anti-angiogenic therapy (drugs which inhibit the growth of blood vessels that tumors need to grow and spread) have access to these treatments at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center, including newer drugs such as sunitinib, sorafenib, bevacizumab, everolimus, and temsirolimus.

Weill Cornell Cancer Center investigators have also developed antibodies to detect advanced kidney cancer, and are studying the reasons why patients' tumors develop resistance to therapy. They are also experts in the treatment of less common types of kidney cancer, such as sarcomatoid and papillary types.

Kidney Cancer Clinical Trials

Clinical trials of novel therapies are available for patients who may be eligible.

Find a kidney cancer clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center.

Find a kidney cancer clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Department of Urology.

Bladder Cancer

Many patients with bladder cancer at Weill Cornell Cancer Center receive chemotherapy first. In some cases, this approach enables the patient to retain the bladder, while in others it shrinks the tumor enough to make it easier to remove with surgery. Such "neoadjuvant" chemotherapy has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and improve survival.

Weill Cornell Cancer Center surgeons are leaders in the use of robotics to remove the bladder (robotic cystectomy). They have demonstrated that the technique is not only feasible and safe, but also reduces patients' recovery time compared with conventional radical cystectomy.

Bladder Cancer Clinical Trials

Clinical trials of new agents for treating bladder cancer are also available for patients at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center, including investigator-initiated studies as well as large cooperative group protocols. Investigators are also assessing new drugs, such as a class of agents called TOLL-like receptor antagonists.

Find a bladder cancer clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center.

Find a bladder cancer clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Department of Urology.

Testicular Cancer

Weill Cornell Cancer Center urologists take a minimally invasive approach to testicular cancer management. Initial therapy may involve removal of the testicular tumor, sparing the remaining normal testicular tissue and sperm-producing regions. After initial diagnosis, some men may only need to be observed or "watchful waiting." Others with more advanced disease may benefit from a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The goal is to treat the cancer effectively while preserving testicular function whenever possible.

Our physicians work with experts at Weill Cornell Medical Center's Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility to preserve fertility in men with testicular cancer who wish to do so. For example, in men who have no sperm in the ejaculate, the retrieval of sperm for preservation can be accomplished during the same surgical procedure performed to treat the tumor.

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