Society of Urologic Oncology Fellowship

Fellowship in Urologic Oncology and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Virginia Mason's Urologic Oncology Fellowship Program provides the fellow with extraordinary resources, available at both Virginia Mason and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), to become a surgeon scientist and a leader in the field of urologic oncology. 

About the Urology Fellowship Program
The urology fellowship at Virginia Mason was created by Robert Gibbons, MD, and Roy Correa, MD, to provide training to individuals who have completed their urology residency in complex urologic oncology and transplant procedures. The original fellowship, started in 1989, preceded the 2002 fellowship which combined minimally invasive techniques with urologic oncology.

This two year, SUO approved fellowship program has one year dedicated to research through Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the second year on clinical experience at Virginia Mason.

The first year is based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), in Seattle, two miles from Virginia Mason. It is based in the laboratory of Peter Nelson, MD. Dr. Nelson's laboratory has focused basic science research in prostate cancer tumor genesis. The clinical year includes a firm foundation in genitourinary oncology patient care, open complex oncologic procedures, laparoscopic and robotic surgery.

The fellowship has a rich resource of clinical databases, including formal databases in prostate cancer treatment, prostate cancer diagnosis, testicular cancer treatment, testicular cancer diagnosis and renal malignancies. These databases provide a valuable tool for the fellow to conduct clinically-based, research-based projects. Fellows will be expected to participate in the writing and coordination of clinical trials and primary research manuscripts.

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Meet the Faculty Team  
Christopher Porter, MD Ksenija Stefanovic, MD
Paul Kozlowski, MD Kasra Badiozamani, MD
John Corman, MD Semra Olgac, MD
Thomas Pritchett, MD David Coy, MD
Christian Kuhr, MD

The Clinical Program at Virginia Mason
The clinical program in urologic oncology provides the fellow the necessary resources to learn and to experience a hands-on educational approach to the care of the urologic oncology patient. Fundamental to the program is the team modality approach. Throughout the clinical year the fellow has formal time set aside to work directly with the medical oncology team, the pathology team (Semra Olgac, MD, principally) and the radiation oncology team (Kasra Badiozamani, MD, principally). Beyond the time that has been set aside for one-on-one work with members of the multi-modality team, there is a multi-modality prostate cancer clinic (Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Clinic) in which the fellow is expected to be involved with on a weekly basis.

The fellow has the opportunity to work with six genitourinary oncologic surgeons, two of which have considerable expertise in renal surgery, including transplantation. The extremely high volume of cases at Virginia Mason, which encompass the entire spectrum of urologic oncology, provides the fellow with the required exposure to complex oncologic cases that will serve as the keystone to their development as a genitourinary oncologic surgeon.

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Research Program at Virginia Mason
 

Translational Research
The translational research program at Virginia Mason is based in the laboratory of Peter Nelson, MD, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC). The program provides the fellow with the platform to pursue a career in academic medicine. Dr. Nelson's laboratory has focused, as one of its main targets of research, on the biology of cancer metastasis as well as the biology of prostate carcinogenesis. His laboratory has described the practical applications for the discovery of novel prostate specific genes and the identification of gene expression changes in the progression of prostate cancer. Current projects for the fellow include the development of a urine-based assay for accurately and noninvasively staging prostate tumors and creating prostate cancer tissue microarrays for predicting clinical outcome.

Clinical Research
Beyond the translational research opportunities at FHCRC, our clinical databases offer the fellow the opportunity to be involved in a number of clinical research projects in bladder, kidney, testicular and prostate cancer. The faculty at Virginia Mason has research-related interests in urologic oncology and minimally invasive surgery and extensive experience developing and utilizing long-term patient outcome datasets. Virginia Mason currently maintains numerous databases for research purposes, such as quality of life in bladder cancer patients and their partners following cystectomy and urinary diversion, partial nephrectomy surgical outcomes, testicular cancer surgical outcomes, prostate needle biopsy outcomes, and long-term radical prostatectomy outcomes. In addition, Virginia Mason is the only civilian site for the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) multi-center national database of longitudinal demographic, clinical, treatment, and quality of life outcomes and current projects for the fellow include assessing quality of life of men screened for prostate cancer, on active surveillance, or treated for prostate cancer. Also, Virginia Mason has obtained access to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) Participant User File for testicular cancer. Current projects for the fellow include epidemiologic and therapeutic trends for testicular cancer in the U.S. from 1998 to 2011. Finally, the fellow has access to the resources of our department. These resources include a database manager, grant/medical writer, statistician, and clinical research coordinator. With all of these resources the fellow is able to recruit patients and collect data, analyze data, and publish findings.

Research Didactic Program
In addition to the hands-on educational approach to urologic oncology research, the program provides the fellow with structured research training. The Urologic Oncology clinical research group meets weekly to provide guidance and support to the fellow. There is also an intensive research didactic program that covers topics including developing a research project, critically reviewing the literature, designing a study, presenting data, publishing manuscripts, and an in-depth review of statistical methods and their applications.

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How To Apply

  • Applications are currently being accepted for 2018-2020 fellowship years.
  • Applicants should apply with letter of intent, curriculum vitae and three letters of recommendation.
  • Applications should be received by February 15th for June match. Late applications will be accepted until April 15th.
  • For more information about the match and application process, please visit the Society of Urologic Oncology.

Interview Dates

  • Monday, February 27th
  • Friday, March 31st

Eligibility

  • All applicants must have completed a US residency in urology (or equivalent) and be able to obtain a Washington State Medical License.

Applications or requests for additional information should be directed to:

Christopher Porter, MD                            
Director of the Fellowship Program
Christopher.Porter@vmmc.org
(206) 223-6772

Joy Mala, BSHA
Program Coordinator
Joytika.Mala@virginiamason.org
(206) 583-6430

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