Brian Shuch, MD

Director of the Kidney Cancer Program and the Alvin & Carrie Meinhardt Endowed Chair in Kidney Cancer Research

University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Brian M. Shuch’s decision to study urologic oncology was a personal one: he wanted to help others defeat cancer after watching a member of his own family succumb to the disease. “I wanted to be a surgeon in a field where patients have excellent outcomes with surgery,” he explains. “I also wanted to be involved with systemic therapy and cutting-edge research.” At Yale, Dr. Shuch runs the urologic oncology cancer research bank, where all tissue, urine, and blood is stored for future research within the Yale Cancer Center.

Dr. Shuch completed his urology residency and surgery internship at the University of California, Los Angeles and played a key role in its Kidney Cancer Program. After his residency, he completed a three-year urologic oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), focusing on clinical trials, drug development, and the comprehensive management of patients with kidney cancer. He holds a joint appointment from the Yale School of Medicine in the Urology and Diagnostic Radiology departments.

In addition to his clinical interests, which include open and robotic surgery, systemic therapy, percutaneous kidney tumor biopsies and cryoablation—the use of extreme cold to kill cancer cells—Dr. Shuch is committed to limiting over-treatment of non-aggressive urologic cancers. When appropriate, he prefers a strategy of active surveillance and the integration of genetic testing in cancer care.

Dr. Shuch is a member of two oncology clinical trial groups, the Society of Urologic Oncology and SWOG, formerly the Southwest Oncology Group, which receives support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He helps run the multidisciplinary Yale Kidney Cancer Tumor Board and is part of the kidney cancer clinical trial team. These trials involve treatment of the disease at all stages, from small localized tumors to advanced metastatic disease. “Our improved understanding of the genetics of kidney cancer will allow the integration of molecular markers into treatment algorithms,” he explains. Studies show that molecular markers can be useful in many ways, including measuring the progress of disease and evaluating the most effective therapy for a particular cancer type.

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