The Mount Sinai Health System is taking steps to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer through a new multidisciplinary program that combines the best of urology, pathology, and radiology to analyze and inform medical care for each patient.
Under the leadership of Ash Tewari, MBBS, MCh, the Kyung Hyun Kim, MD Chair in Urology, at The Mount Sinai Hospital, and head of Urology for the Mount Sinai Health System, this precision urology program is expected to be up and running throughout the system in June. It will combine sophisticated diagnostic imaging with an in-depth genomic analysis of each patient to create an informed treatment plan.
Dr. Tewari recently joined Mount Sinai from New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College, where he directed the LeFrak Center for Robotic Surgery, and served as a Professor of Urology and Public Health.
According to Dr. Tewari, each hospital within the Mount Sinai Health System will adopt uniform procedures for screening patients and making referrals for those who need more comprehensive testing, which will be done at Mount Sinai’s 59th Street and Madison Avenue location. This newly renovated and expanded midtown facility will also house a state-of-the-art laboratory. Testing there will be done in conjunction with Mount Sinai’s supercomputer and specialized MRI equipment, so that each patient will receive a fully personalized analysis.
“When patients come to our building at 59th and Madison they will receive the highest level of imaging, genomic testing, and DNA analysis. From that we will recommend a unified plan of action,” says Dr. Tewari. “Sometimes we may decide not to do anything. This will help patients avoid unnecessary biopsies and treatments, yet they will not miss an opportunity for a cure.”
One of the biggest challenges in prostate cancer treatment is the inability to determine how aggressive a patient’s cancer is from a standard biopsy. Mount Sinai’s ability to analyze the cancer on multiple levels will help direct the patient’s treatment and help find cancer that might otherwise go undetected.
Dr. Tewari estimates that of the 1.2 million biopsies for prostate cancer performed in the United States each year, some 300,000 patients actually have prostate cancer, and fewer than 100,000 of those are found to have an aggressive form of the disease that requires treatment.
“The fear of undertreatment results in overtreatment, which, in turn, can lead to medical complications,” says Dr. Tewari. “We can minimize the number of biopsies we perform and give our patients a more targeted plan.”