As 2016 comes to a close, we wanted to take this opportunity to look back on some of the highlights from the last year in both the field of urology and for our practice specifically.
Treatment Protocol Highlights
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) now available.
In October 2015, the FDA approved HIFU in the treatment of prostate cancer. In the spring of 2016, Greater Boston Urology became the first to perform this treatment in New England (as of the writing of this article, we're still the only practice in the area that offers HIFU).
Dr. Clifford D. Gluck and Dr. James C. Lin have been certified to perform this procedure. We're thrilled that we can now offer this incredibly effective treatment protocol to people in the greater Boston area. Read this Q&A with Dr. Gluck or check out this feature from MD News to learn more.
Immunotherapy for advanced prostate cancer now available.
Immunotherapy is an extremely effective treatment for men with castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). At Greater Boston Urology, we now offer PROVENGE® treatment for CRPC. Learn more here.
Molecular marker studies help patients make informed decisions.
In our molecular pathology program for prostate biopsies, we're doing two things. First, we're helping the patient who doesn't have cancer avoid future biopsies. Second, we're helping the patient who has prostate cancer pick the appropriate therapy for them based on the genetics of their individual cancer. Read more.
The UroCuff™ test is now available.
The UroCuff is the only non-invasive diagnostic test for male urinary disorders. Read more about the UroCuff here.
Rezūm® system is now available.
Rezūm is a new type of steam-oriented treatment for enlarged prostates. As the website states, "Rezūm is a transurethral needle ablation* procedure to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that can be performed in a clinic or out-patient setting. Rezūm uses radiofrequency water vapor thermal therapy to treat the extra prostate tissue that is causing symptoms such as frequency, urgency, irregular flow, weak stream, straining and getting up at night to urinate."
ThermiVa® is now available.
ThermiVa is a new vaginal rejuvenation system that has recently come on the market and that we're now offering patients. Learn more about ThermiVa here. (Note: We also offer MonaLisa Touch® as well.
Community Outreach & Patient Advocacy
We were proud to sponsor the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk in Boston this past September. GBU had the largest team, and we raised over $7000. Check out the full recap here.
For the second year, we also participated in the Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition this past May. Three of our physicians were guest speakers at this event. In addition, Dr. Lopushnyan spoke at Prostate Cancer Awareness Day at the State House.
Speaking of Beacon Hill, we're also actively engaging legislators on patients' behalf. We've retained a lobbyist to help with these efforts. Les Cavicchi explains, "We're meeting with senators and representatives and other people who are part of the legislative process. It's critical to get out there and talk to our representatives because so much of the healthcare environment is controlled by regulation. Senators and representatives don't necessarily have a lot of exposure to the actual reality of what it's like to deliver care. For us to be able to meet with them and tell them about what works and what doesn't has been very helpful."
What's New at GBU?
We expanded our relationship with Shields Health Care Group. GBU is exclusive with Shields Healthcare for the MRI studies used in our 3D fusion biopsy systems. We have specific radiologists who read the MRIs. We have secure internet portals between Shields' equipment and our equipment enabling the radiologists to securely send the results of the MRI across the internet into our machine.
We expanded our lab capabilities. Prior to this year, we didn't do blood work in our labs. In 2016, we added serology (blood work) to our lab's capabilities. We now have a Beckman Coulter system that does PSAs and other studies that we did not have before.
Looking Ahead: What's In Store for 2017…
Destination Dedham. We're thrilled to announce that we're opening an 11,000 square foot facility in Dedham in early 2017. This past year, we acquired 910 Washington Street in Dedham. In January, we'll be opening a state-of-the art facility with a dedicated women's health center in addition to men's health and general urology. In particular, the women's health center will fill a huge void in this area.
Expanding on the Cape. Dr. Bleiler will be seeing patients on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Stoneman Outpatient Center in Sandwich. This increases our reach on Cape Cod, which is especially important to us.
Over 30 new urology drugs will be released in 2017. Most years, the FDA approves only one or two new drugs geared towards urologic conditions. Next year, we expect an unprecedented number (38) of new urology drugs. Consider subscribing to our blog to stay up-to-date on these new medications.
And, of course, we're just getting started. There will be much more to come next year, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, on behalf of all of us at GBU, we wish you and your family a joyful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2017.