Smarter approaches to prevent cancer and disease before they occur are vital components of patient care at Keck Medicine of USC. In addition to leading in the surgical treatment of urologic diseases, Keck Medicine urologists are developing innovative approaches for the prevention of urologic cancers and benign urologic conditions to meet this goal.

Identifying trends and patterns may provide insight into areas of urology where care can be improved or where further research efforts should be directed. A National Institutes of Health-funded preliminary study is looking at the potential role of a common diabetes medication in preventing prostate cancer.  In addition, we are conducting research from a population-based perspective to investigate potential association between exposure to certain medications and subsequent development of kidney cancer.

We also are conducting several studies on better patient compliance with dietary changes necessary for kidney stone prevention. One novel approach to encourage increased fluid intake in kidney stone patients involves text messaging as a convenient reminder tool that matches with the mobile lifestyles of today’s population.

Exploratory research by Keck Medicine urologists used a national cancer registry to analyze kidney cancer occurrence to determine treatment benefits from surgical intervention. Our findings suggest that early detection and treatment of kidney cancer is resulting in smaller tumors that are best managed by surgery. We also used data to compare survival rates in men with metastatic prostate cancer who did or did not have radical prostatectomies. The initial research will help determine if more clinical trials are justified to offer new hope to men who previously had limited options.