Renal Cancer Ablation and Bladder Cancer Prevention

University of Wisconsin-Madison urology researchersThe University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Urology is committed to advancing the knowledge and ability to treat urologic cancers through ground-breaking research as well as clinical efforts.


Highlights of the department's research efforts in renal cancer include the initial description and characterization of ice-ball temperatures generated by the treatment modality known as cryoablation.


Researchers in the department were also the first to provide convincing animal data demonstrating the equivalent utility of this treatment approach relative to nephrectomy which had been considered the "gold standard" treatment of localized renal malignancy at the time.


In addition, the department was the first to develop and publish a murine model for the study of human renal cryoablation using closed tip cryoprobes and argon gas. This model remains an invaluable tool for further investigations performed at a number of institutions.


Studies conducted in the laboratory by Dr. Sean Hedican, Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Wisconsin, later demonstrated an immune mediated survival advantage of both cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of advanced renal malignancy superior to nephrectomy using the department's murine model.


This work has been recognized at two consecutive World Congress Meetings in Endourology by a panel of international experts as the "Best Overall" and "Best Scientific" paper presented at these meetings.


Additional investigations into the treatment of renal cancer being conducted by the department include characterization of the cytokine response to cryoablation, the development of a virus-mediated cytokine gene delivery system to use in conjunction with cryoablation and radiographic imaging of the ablation sites using a newly developed imaging radiotracer.


UW Urology's experimental observations are already being applied to the care of patients with advanced renal malignancies at this and other institutions.


Nationally Recognized Bladder Cancer Research


Researchers in the department have also continued their nationally recognized pursuits in the realm of Bladder Cancer. These efforts include the study of bladder cancer chemoprevention, early events in carcinogenesis and biological markers of recurrence and progression.


Bladder cancer studies include the in vitro assessment of the dietary agent genistein (a soy protein) and green tea catechins to determine their efficacy in the inhibition of bladder cancer cell growth.


UW Urology continues its commitment to improve the health of urologic cancer patients through vigorous and innovative research programs bringing "the bench to the bedside."


Recent Urologic Oncology Studies


Our team of researchers has designed and conducted randomized phase II clinical studies of relatively non-toxic dietary agents in genitourinary (GU) cancer prevention. These studies have focused on genistein as well as the green tea compound (-) - epigallocatechin- 3-gallate (EGCG) in bladder cancer prevention and the cruciferous vegetable compound 3,3'-Diindolylmethane (DIM) in prostate cancer prevention.