Medical Treatment for Genitourinary Cancer
For some patients with genitourinary cancers, chemotherapy – the use of cancer-killing drugs – or other drug therapies may be the best course of treatment.
Many factors, including tumor location and stage, as well as the patient’s overall health, preferences, goals, and ability to tolerate different drugs, help doctors determine the most appropriate drugs or other treatment strategy.
UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center’s experienced medical oncologists – physicians who specialize in treating cancer with chemotherapy and other drugs – include specialists who exclusively treat patients with genitourinary cancers. Medical therapies include chemotherapy and personalized drug therapies.
The goal of chemotherapy is to kill the cancer cells that make up the genitourinary tumor. Chemotherapy can be used alone, before or after surgery, or in addition to radiation therapy to destroy remaining tumor cells and far-flung cancer cells that could cause the disease to recur.
Chemotherapy sometimes is combined with radiation therapy (chemoradiation) to treat genitourinary cancer, such as in cases when tumors don’t respond to chemotherapy alone or cannot be removed entirely with surgery. Chemoradiation is also an option for some patients who wish to avoid surgery altogether or can’t tolerate it.
Personalized Drug Therapies
Several targeted drugs kill certain types of genitourinary cancer cells based on a tumor’s unique molecular makeup. The cellular characteristics of some tumors can help physicians predict whether the disease will respond well in specific patients.
Tumor analysis at the cellular level is another way UT Southwestern genitourinary cancer specialists can personalize medical therapies. Our researchers are making important strides in understanding how kidney cancer develops, for example, and we’re working to translate our research findings into new therapies that target the disease’s molecular pathways.
UT Southwestern offers clinical trials that may provide you with an opportunity to complement traditional therapy for genitourinary cancer with the newest, most promising treatment strategies. Talk with your doctor to determine if a clinical trial is right for you.
Meet the Team
Request an Appointment
To schedule an appointment with a genitourinary cancer specialist, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.