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Department of Urology

The Department of Urology, headed by Prof. Dr. med. Christian Thomas, is one of the largest academic centers for the diagnosis and treatment of urological cancers in Germany. In 2007, the department was certified by the German Cancer Society (DKG) as one of the first German prostate cancer centers and was expanded by the kidney module in 2021. Together, the two modules form the Uro-oncology Center. A team of 35 scientific staff offers patients with urogenital malignancies a wide range of modern diagnostic and therapeutic options. Whenever reasonably possible, the offer of participation in clinical trials takes place. The spectrum includes state-of-the-art diagnostics for complex cases, minimally invasive as well as radical surgical treatments and conservative drug-based tumor therapies, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy and hormone therapy.

Ongoing experimental research projects in the urology research laboratory affiliated with the hospital focus on the identification and validation of diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers that can be determined in tissue, blood or urine samples. A biobank with these clinical samples from cancer patients was established as early as 1995 and serves as the basis for numerous translational research projects. In addition, resistance mechanisms of urological tumors are investigated. Clinical and experimental research is focused on the most common urological tumor entities. These include prostate carcinoma, bladder carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, testicular tumor, and penile carcinoma. The focus is on the investigation of fundamental mechanisms of tumor biology as well as the evaluation of potential biomarkers and new therapeutic approaches. Clinical-scientific projects investigate innovative therapeutic concepts in advanced prostate cancer, the functional role of potential biomarkers (mRNAs, IncRNAs, miRNAs) in the regulation of factors involved in tumor progression and therapy resistance, the efficacy of new experimental therapeutic approaches in suitable tumor models, or the utility of nanoparticles as potential drug carriers for multimodal therapy of urological cancers.

Other projects focus on focal therapy and translational research in prostate cancer. In addition, several studies address the validation of biomarkers for the non-invasive detection of prostate and bladder cancer in urine, including analyses of RNA or protein markers as well as tumor-associated mutations. Both basic and applied research projects thrive to a great extent on the close connection between clinic and laboratory. In addition, the department maintains long-standing interdisciplinary collaborations with university and external partners and is an integral part of several national and international networks focusing on specific urological cancers.

Publications 2020

Baunacke, M.; Schmidt, M.L.; Groeben, C.; Borkowetz, A.; Thomas, C.; Koch, R.; Chun, F.K.H.; Ihrig, A.; Weissbach, L.; Huber, J.
Decision regret after radical Prostatectomy does not depend on Surgical Approach: 6-Year Followup of a large german Cohort undergoing Routine Care. J UROLOGIY 203, S. 554-561

Baunacke, M.; Schmidt, M.L.; Groeben, C.; Borkowetz, A.; Thomas, C.; Koch, R.; Chun, F.K.H.; Weissbach, L.; Huber, J.
Long-term functional outcomes after robotic vs. Retropubic radical prostatectomy in routine care: a 6-year follow-up of a large german health services research study.
WORLD J UROL 38, S. 1701-1709

Borkowetz, A.; Lohse-Fischer, A.; Scholze, J.; Lotzkat, U.; Thomas, C.; Wirth, M.P.; Fuessel, S.; Erdmann, K.
Evaluation of MicroRNAs as Non-Invasive Diagnostic Markers in Urinary Cells from Patients with suspected Prostate Cancer. Diagnostics (Basel) 10 (578), S. 1-18

Borkowetz, A.; Froehner, M.; Rauner, M.; Conrad, S.; Erdmann, K.; Mayr, T.; Datta, K.; Hofbauer, L.C.; Baretton, G.B.; Wirth, M.; Fuessel, S.; Toma, M.; Muders, M.H.
Neuropilin-2 is an independent prognostic factor for shorter cancer-specific survival in patients with acinar adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
INT J CANCER 146, S. 2619-2627

Erb, H.H.H.; Bodenbender, J.; Handle, F.; Diehl, T.; Donix, L.; Tsaur, I.; Gleave, M.; Haferkamp, A.; Huber, J.; Fuessel, S.; Juengel, E.; Culig, Z.; Thomas, C.
Assessment of  STAT5 as a potential therapy target in enzalutamide-resistant prostate Cancer. PLOS ONE 15(8) (e0237248), S. 1-21