American University of Beirut Medical Center
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Division of Urology

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Specialties: Urologic Oncology

Cancer can develop in any organ of the urinary system and the male reproductive system. The earlier it is detected, the easier it is to treat, ensuring a greater chance of recovery. Cancerous growths of cells may be limited to one place (benign tumors), or may spread (metastasize) to other organs. These are malignant tumors. The longer treatment is put off, the more likely the tumor may become aggressive and spread. Not all cell growths are cancerous, however, and a biopsy (removing a sample of tissue to be examined) will determine whether the tumor is benign or malignant.

Examples of common urological cancers include:

  • adrenal cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • bladder cancer
Methods of treatment range from observation to surgical removal, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. An appropriate treatment plan is chosen according to tumor stage, medical condition, and patient preferences.

The American University of Beirut Medical Center is a major tertiary referral center for urologic oncology. The division has established its name and reputation as the major center treating neoplasms of the kidney, prostate, bladder and adrenal and has managed patients from the Middle East and Europe.

In prostate cancer, we have been a pioneer in the introduction of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) as a modality for screening males over 40. We have also performed randomized trials evaluating the role of PSA and PSA parameters in the early diagnosis of prostate cancer. Currently, the division performs the greatest number of radical prostatectomies for organ-confined disease in the Arab world. All members of the division have been involved in national and international committees evaluating prostate diseases. Furthermore, scientific work has concentrated on nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy for preservation of sexual function in patients with early prostate cancer, as well as predictability of cure and PSA recurrence following surgery or radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Other multi-disciplinary trials are underway in collaboration with the Department of Radiation Oncology and the Division of Medical Oncology/Hematology. We have recently introduced a prospective trial of taxotere-based chemotherapy in the management of hormone-refractory and androgen independent prostate cancer.

In bladder cancer, the division has had its reputation in the management of superficial and muscle-invasive disease. A particular interest has been the introduction of reconstructive urology using bowel in the formation of orthotopic neobladders for patients undergoing cystectomy.

In kidney cancer as well as adrenal neoplasms, the American University of Beirut Medical Center Division of Urology has been considered the leader in the Middle East by introducing minimally invasive surgery as a modality of therapy. At present, almost all kidney tumors and adrenal cancers are removed laparoscopically. This heralded the introduction of laparoscopic urologic oncology to the Middle East and the Arab world.

Division of Urology American University of Beirut Medical Center Department of Surgery