Research Profile: University of Colorado Cancer Center, Denver, Colo.

At the University of Colorado, where I work, we have a number of research protocols going on, ranging all the way from vaccines to experimental therapies with agents that block the other kinds of signals to prostate cancer cells that cause them to grow. These are often in the category of what are called tyrosinase inhibitors or signal transduction inhibitors.

In addition, our surgical department has a very innovative program looking at the equivalent of lumpectomy. In this case, the prostate cancer which might only involve a small portion of prostate and perhaps be it low grade prostate cancer can be treated with chryotherapy, freezing that portion of the prostate gland, rather than surgically removing the entire gland, or freezing the entire gland. Dr. David Crawford, my colleague, heads up that effort along with Dr. Barkowi. And one of the main points of this kind of treatment is to know exactly how much cancer's in the prostate first.

And Dr. Barkowi heads the effort to do what we call 3-D mapping and using computerized simulations after multiple biopsies are taken from the prostate gland. It can be reconstructed on a computer, and we can assure patients we only have one small bad, or not so bad, prostate cancer that can be treated effectively with a very focal approach.

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