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Translational Research

NorthShore has built a reputation of quality translational research, focusing its scientific inquiry on the direct improvement of clinical care and patient outcomes. Our Urology Research team of scientists is involved in several initiatives including:

Obesity, Peritumoral Fat and Cancer Risk

This project investigates how obesity and the fat surrounding organs confer an increased risk for cancer and tumor progression. Results from these studies may offer a better understanding of how fat can serve as a fuel to promote cancer growth and may provide new, less invasive tests to diagnose and monitor prostate cancer progression.

Gene Therapy and Drug Delivery

Our scientists have developed a novel intravenous delivery method for gene therapy in advanced prostate cancer. This new viral delivery system is currently being tested in mice and early data shows a reduction in bone metastasis and liver damage compared to other methods.

Biomarker Research

Biomarkers are molecules that are found in blood, urine and tissues that help to diagnose cancer and monitor disease progression. Currently there are no reliable biomarkers that can distinguish slow-growing from aggressive prostate cancer. In conjunction with scientists in the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at NorthShore, our physician investigators are exploring new molecular markers and commercial tests that may identify men harboring aggressive prostate cancer while their cancer is still in its early stages.

Field Carcinogenesis

In conjunction with colleagues at Northwestern University and Boston University Medical Center, this project uses partial-wave spectroscopy (PWS) to analyze benign biopsy tissue to determine if early changes to cells in normal tissue can predict the presence of cancer or risk of high-grade prostate cancer.

Genetic Marker Research

We are involved in several projects investigating genetic mutations and variants that may result in predisposition for prostate cancer, that are associated with aggressive prostate cancer or that coincide with a family history of prostate cancer. 

Medical Informatics and Clinical Outcomes Research

NorthShore Research Institute is staffed with senior clinical informatics specialists who analyze the vast wealth of over 11 million bits of patient care in its electronic medical records (EMR) system. This analysis is yielding new insights into complex diseases; identifying opportunities to improve patient outcomes and helping NorthShore globally manage the effects of new drugs and community epidemics, as well as address the risk factors in individual and family medical histories.