Ringing in the new year was especially exciting this time around for Ashutosh K. Tewari, MB, BS, head of the new Center for Prostate Cancer at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, as January marked the opening of the facility. Dr. Tewari tells Renal & Urology News how he plans to execute the comprehensive center’s dual mission of patient care and research with a multidisciplinary plan of attack.
Why is the Center for Prostate Cancer at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center being established now?
Dr. Tewari: Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital have always excelled in the treatment of prostate cancer. The impetus to create the center was driven by the opportunity to coalesce advances in treatment, diagnosis, and genomics. This fits in nicely with the institutional goals to transform care and focus on personalized translational medicine. The new Center for Prostate Cancer is an important part of the Cancer Center at Weill Cornell and New York-Presbyterian and its goals.
Before the establishment of the center, you were the director of the Prostate Cancer Institute and the LeFrak Robotic Surgery Center at Weill Cornell Medical College. How will the new setup change the way you and your staff work?
Dr. Tewari: There is a strong move to build multidisciplinary centers around specific diseases. This center does just that. Within urology we are exploring several new diagnostic techniques and focal therapy options for prostate cancer. In addition, the scope of the center will span across multiple departments to better treat patients and their individual cancers. This includes formalized relationships with the departments of radiology, pathology, medical oncology, and radiation oncology. In addition, as these clinical departments start to work toward clinical treatment, this will drive our research portfolio.
You are considered an expert in robotic prostatectomy, having performed more than 5,000 such surgeries. How will this influence services provided at the Center for Prostate Cancer?
Dr. Tewari: Robotic prostatectomy is certainly a viable treatment choice for prostate cancer. Most prostatectomies in the United States are done robotically. I fully expect us to continue this work. In addition, we will offer a wide range of treatments, which before were beyond the scope of a urology department. We will have people with expertise in medical oncology, genomics, imaging and focal therapy, surgery, targeted therapies, and other areas. We’ll emphasize different approaches for different patients.