Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is One of Seven Worldwide Sites to Offer Debulking Prostatectomy in Men Newly Diagnosed with Metastatic Prostate Cancer

May 5, 2015

Isaac Yi Kim, MD, PhDNew Brunswick, N.J. – Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is one of seven international sites to offer a clinical trial investigating the surgical removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy) in addition to as much of the tumor as possible in the surrounding area (debulking) in men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). The goal is to increase survival rates by potentially improving the effectiveness of other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, which would be given after surgery.

Research shows that approximately five percent of men are initially diagnosed with prostate cancer that already has metastasized (Siegle et al, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2014). The outcome for these patients remains poor with only a five-year survival rate of 28 percent (Siegle et al, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2014). More importantly, even with the recent advances in treatments, the survival rate of men with metastatic prostate cancer has largely remained unchanged over the last 25 years (Wu et al, Cancer, 2013).

Currently, surgery is not the standard of care for men who are first diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. In these men, androgen ablation that shrinks tumors is the first-line therapy. “Androgen deprivation therapy does halt cancer growth, but only for a short time, possibly leading to a more aggressive form. By addressing the primary disease site with debulking radical prostatectomy, there may be an opportunity to have better outcomes with post-surgical forms of treatment,” says Isaac Yi Kim, MD, PhD, chief of urologic oncology and principal investigator of the clinical trial at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and associate professor of surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Patients accepted into the study will undergo radical prostatectomy surgery (either through a robotic or non-robotic method) that will include the debulking procedure. Following surgery, participants will receive hormone therapy and a combination of drugs to be determined by their cancer doctor and followed for three years.  They also will be asked to complete three questionnaires following surgery about urinary and sexual functioning.  The answers will help doctors better understand how the experimental treatment affects these functions.

Participants also will be asked for permission for researchers to study tissue samples taken from their surgery.  Scientists will study these tissue samples to see if there is genetic information that could help them understand how metastatic prostate cancer reacts to hormone therapy.  This information could help doctors one day prescribe more exact therapies to treat metastatic prostate cancer. 

Men aged 18 and older who are diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to the bones or lymph nodes are eligible to take part in the clinical trial, although other criteria must also be met.  Prior to being accepted into the study, participants would be required to undergo a number of tests including blood work and a physical exam. 

For more information on how to take part in this trial, individuals should call the Cancer Institute’s Office of Human Research Services at 732-235-8675 or e-mail

Clinical trials, often called cancer research studies, test new treatments and new ways of using existing treatments for cancer.  At the Cancer Institute, researchers use these studies to answer questions about how a treatment affects the human body and to make sure it is safe and effective.  There are several types of clinical trials that are currently underway at the Cancer Institute, including those that diagnose, treat, prevent, and manage symptoms of cancer. Many treatments used today, whether they are drugs or vaccines, ways to do surgery or give radiation therapy, or combinations of treatments, are the results of past clinical trials.

As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Cancer Institute offers patients access to treatment options not available at other institutions within the state.  The Cancer Institute currently enrolls more than 1,200 patients in clinical trials annually, including approximately 17 percent of all new adult cancer patients and approximately 70 percent of all pediatric cancer patients. Enrollment in these studies nationwide is fewer than five percent of all adult cancer patients.

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey ( is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. As part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey is dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and to serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. Physician-scientists at the Cancer Institute engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life.  To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-3637 or visit Follow us on Facebook at

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides the highest quality cancer care and rapid dissemination of important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. System Partner: Meridian Health (Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center, and Bayshore Community Hospital). Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center and Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: JFK Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (CINJ Hamilton), and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. 

Michele Fisher


precision medicine at Rutgers Cancer Institute







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