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In This Video

  • Douglas Middleton Dahl, MD, is chief of the Division of Urologic Oncology and director of Robotic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • His translational research focuses on prostate cancer cells
  • Through his work, he has helped discover exciting information showing that higher-grade cancers elicit a higher immune response and have a lot more immune infiltration around the tumors

Douglas Middleton Dahl, MD, is a urologic surgeon in the Department of Urology, chief of the Division of Urologic Oncology at the Mass General Cancer Center, and director of Robotic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. In this video, he discusses his translational research on prostate cancer cells and explains how this work will advance patient care.

Transcript

One of the most difficult areas in prostate cancer is deciding, first of all, who should be treated—because lots of men get diagnosed with prostate cancer, and many of them could live their whole life comfortably, a long life, without needing to be treated. Yet again, it's the second leading cause of cancer death in men. So we need to figure out how best to try to sort those patients out. We have some ways of doing it, but we can do a lot better.

The translational research that I've been very involved in is looking very closely at individual fresh prostate cancer cells that we're getting at the time of surgery and looking at new ways of assessing this with single-cell RNA sequencing, looking at the immune modulation.

We have some exciting information that shows that the higher-grade cancers seem to elicit a higher immune response and have a lot more immune infiltration around the tumors. These are preliminary data, but it's the kind of thing that we hope gives us insight into figuring out who should be treated and who shouldn't be treated. Those who are treated with aggressive disease, some of them do well without additional treatment; others are going to fail and need additional treatment. And we really would like to get as clearly specific in the right treatment for each individual patient. These are the exciting areas that we're able work in the translational field.

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Douglas Middleton Dahl, MD, is chief of the Division of Urologic Oncology and clinical co-director of the Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers at Mass General Cancer Center, as well as director of Robotic Surgery and a urologic surgeon in the Department of Urology at Massachusetts General Hospital. In this video, he explores the evolution of urologic surgery and highlights opportunities made available through advances in minimally invasive techniques.