Prostate Cancer Care

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Seattle Cancer Care AllianceWith urologists and radiation oncologists who specialize in urologic cancers, as well as the most experienced robotic surgeon in Seattle, the UW Medicine prostate cancer team consists of nationally recognized healthcare professionals with extensive clinical knowledge and the surgical expertise to treat all stages of prostate cancer. Our multidisciplinary team, led by UW Physicians, collaborates closely to offer personalized treatment plans based on the type and stage of your cancer, as well as your genetics, life circumstances, and other factors unique to you.

Deciding on where to receive treatment is the most important decision a patient with cancer will make. Studies have shown that patients who begin their treatment at a top regional cancer center have better outcomes than those who start their treatment elsewhere.

UW Medicine has recently been recognized as one of the top five cancer centers in the United States. In addition, UW Medical Center (UWMC)—in collaboration with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center—is the only National Comprehensive Cancer Network in the Pacific Northwest.

Comprehensive Team

Many of our patients have cancers requiring coordination by multiple healthcare professionals. We focus on integrated, patient-centered care to maximize your quality of life and the opportunity for a cure.

Our multidisciplinary group has access to the expertise of many prostate cancer specialists ​working together as a team. Our medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology services are all offered in one location, enabling our specialists to collaborate to determine the best course of care for each individual patient. By sharing their broad expertise, our physicians can​ deliver comprehensive leading-edge treatment informed by the latest research and knowledge. In addition, we have a well-coordinated support team, including nurse practitioners, nutritionists and hormonal therapists for some patients with metastatic cancers.

As an academic health system, UW Medicine is also able to offer its patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials that aren't available elsewhere in the region. Participation is optional, but patients who participate in these studies have the first chance to benefit from the latest and most innovative therapies. At UW Medicine, we offer a wide variety of clinical trials, including trials in immunotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted agents and radium-223. Having this breadth of options allows patients who don't qualify for one particular trial to apply for another, and thus increase their chances of receiving an innovative therapy that could help them get better faster.  

Also, our physicians and scientists are constantly performing research to remain abreast of new treatment options and better understand why certain cancers respond the way they do to specific medications.

Standard Treatment

Everyone's cancer is different. That's why our treatment plans always begin with a comprehensive diagnosis. Researchers at UW Medicine developed UW-OncoPlex, a diagnostic test that identifies mutations in a set of about 200 genes. Many of the mutations found by this approach can determine how to choose an FDA-approved drug or a therapy already in clinical trials. The results from UW-OncoPlex testing may enable your doctor to choose the most effective treatment for your individual tumor. By attacking it with one or perhaps more of the effective agent(s) right away, there's a better chance to contain the cancer and force it into remission.

Your doctor will recommend treatment based on the stage of your prostate cancer and other factors, such as your overall health, any potential side effects of treatment, and the probability of curing your disease, extending your life, and relieving your symptoms.

If your cancer is in the early stages and localized to the prostate, surgery is often the primary form of treatment. Our surgeons have expertise in both traditional open surgical methods and laparascopic and robotic options. Other treatments include brachytherapy, which involves implanting radioactive seeds directly into the prostate, external beam radiation therapy and highly targeted proton therapy. One of our physicians was instrumental in developing what is now known as GPS for the Body®, which allows your physician to better target the radiation therapy to your prostate.

If your cancer has spread to other parts of your body, your physician may recommend some form of hormonal therapy in conjunction with immunotherapy, radiation therapy, or investigational drugs from clinical studies.

Our patient-centered team also provides supportive care and pain management at every stage of the treatment process. Patients, families and caregivers can attend educational classes and group activities designed to instruct, enrich and support, as well as provide opportunities to connect with others. Patients also have access to a survivorship program that provides a long-term care plan once treatment is complete.

​​Where You Will Be Seen

Our physicians perform surgical procedures and brachytherapy at UWMC. If you are participating in a clinical trial or your treatment plan calls for immunotherapy, you will be seen at SCCA, while radiation therapy can be administered at SCCA or UWMC. For proton therapy, you would visit the Proton Therapy Center at Northwest Hospital & Medical Center.

If you have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may also self-refer by calling the SCCA's Patient Intake Office at 206.288.SCCA (7222).