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News Article | May 25, 2017

Currently a practitioner at Houston Methodist, Dr. Woods was formerly in solo private practice for 16 years. Prior to that she served as full-time faculty at Baylor College of Medicine and Director of Therapeutic Endoscopy at Ben Taub Hospital, both in the Houston area. During her 10 years as faculty, she trained many fellows in the art of endoscopy. She received the ASGE Endoscopic Research Award in 1991, and the ASGE Distinguished Service Award in 2015. She was selected to serve on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Gastrointestinal and Urologic Devices Panel in 1993. Since then, she has served continuously in various capacities for the panel. Throughout her multiple practices as academician, private practitioner and employed physician, Dr. Woods has maintained a passion for national service, with a focus on bringing the voice of the practicing clinician to the Society. As ASGE President, she will host the 2017 EndoVators Summit on the topic of "Simulators and the Future of Endoscopic Training," to explore current training models and methods of assessing endoscopic competence, identify the inherent deficiencies in the current model and define skills that would benefit from simulation training for new trainees and practitioners wishing to learn a new skill.  Additionally, she will focus on advocacy in areas of practice management and reimbursement that will benefit both patients and providers. Dr. Woods shares with her fellow GI endoscopists a love of the technology that allows them not only to identify disease but also to use the scope as a tool for treatment and healing. Above all, she is passionate about developing relationships with patients and teaching them about disease management. She received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1983. Her internship and residency were in Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. She was Chief Medical Resident at the Houston VA Medical Center and then went on to a Gastroenterology fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. She returned to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston for an Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship and then joined the Baylor faculty. Her primary clinical areas of interest are general gastroenterology with a focus on EMR (endoscopic mucosal resection) of esophageal and colonic lesions, advanced polypectomy and ablation of Barrett's esophagus. Dr. Woods has authored or co-authored numerous publications and has been an invited speaker at many local and national conferences. She has been consistently named as a Best Doctor in various national and local publications. About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 15,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit and for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area. About Endoscopy Endoscopy is performed by specially-trained physicians called endoscopists using the most current technology to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Using flexible, thin tubes called endoscopes, endoscopists can access the human digestive tract without incisions via natural orifices. Endoscopes are designed with high-intensity lighting and fitted with precision devices that allow viewing and treatment of the gastrointestinal system. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

News Article | June 22, 2017

Valley Urologic Associates today announced that Dr. Jonathan Agins has been designated as a UroLift® Center of Excellence. The designation recognizes that Dr. Agins has achieved a high level of training and experience with the UroLift System and demonstrated a commitment to exemplary care for men suffering from symptoms associated with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. Dr. Agins is the first physician in the state of Arizona to be designated a UroLift Center of Excellence. “The UroLift System is a breakthrough, minimally invasive treatment for enlarged prostate,” said Agins. “Patients experience rapid results, are able to discontinue use of medications, and retain their sexual function. We are proud to be among the first to utilize the UroLift System and to be providing our patients with the quality of life they deserve.” Nearly 40 million men in the United States are affected by BPH. Not to be confused with prostate cancer, BPH occurs when the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra becomes enlarged with advancing age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. Symptoms of BPH often include interrupted sleep and urinary problems, and can cause loss of productivity, depression and decreased quality of life. Five-year data from a randomized study shows the UroLift System offers not only rapid improvement, but also durable relief for patients with BPH. After five years, patients treated with the UroLift System continue to experience symptom relief with minimal side effects, with few patients requiring an additional procedure for relief. A second randomized clinical trial called BPH6 demonstrated that the minimally invasive UroLift System compares very well to the reference standard surgery, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), with regard to efficacy, and is superior to TURP at preserving sexual function and offering a more rapid recovery. Medication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Side effects of medication treatment can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting many patients to quit using the drugs. For these patients, the classic alternative is surgery that cuts, heats or removes prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. While current surgical options can be very effective in relieving symptoms, they can also leave patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Agins, please call 623-935-5522. About the UroLift System NeoTract’s FDA-cleared UroLift System is a novel, minimally invasive technology for treating lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The UroLift permanent implants, delivered during a minimally invasive transurethral outpatient procedure, relieve prostate obstruction and open the urethra directly without cutting, heating, or removing prostate tissue. Clinical data from a pivotal 206-patient randomized controlled study showed that patients with enlarged prostate receiving UroLift implants reported rapid and durable symptomatic and urinary flow rate improvement without compromising sexual function. Patients also experienced a significant improvement in quality of life. Most common adverse events reported include hematuria, dysuria, micturition urgency, pelvic pain, and urge incontinence. Most symptoms were mild to moderate in severity and resolved within two to four weeks after the procedure. The UroLift System is available in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. Learn more at About Valley Urologic Associates Valley Urologic Associates, with urologists in Glendale at Arrowhead, Goodyear at West Valley, Phoenix at Paradise Valley, and in Buckeye, is the iconic urology practice of Shawn D. Blick MD, Jonathan Agins MD, Vi N. Hua MD, Rahul Thaly MD, Lynn W. Blunt, Jr. MD, Lipika McCauley MD, urologic oncologist Torre H. Rhoades MD and pediatric urologist Ben O. Donovan MD. Our urologists combine extensive experience and the latest technological advances in addressing urological concerns. Our urologists and staff partner with patients in the treatment of adult and pediatric urologic disease. We strive to offer treatment that is state of the art with compassion and sensitivity. Our urologists are trained at the World's foremost institutions and are adept in all areas of urology, including Fellowship Trained specialization to address specific areas of urology such as da Vinci robotic surgery, urologic oncology, and pediatric urology.

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Peloton Therapeutics, Inc., a drug discovery and development company focused on advancing novel small molecule cancer therapies, announced today initiation of patient dosing in a Phase 2 study of PT2385, the Company’s investigational first-in-class small molecule drug targeting hypoxia-inducible factor 2α (HIF-2α), for patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease-associated kidney cancer. The primary objective of the study is to assess the overall response rate (ORR) of VHL disease-associated clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) tumors in untreated VHL patients who received PT2385. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI). “There is a significant need for new treatment options for VHL disease, a rare disease with serious and life-long consequences for patients, and for which there are no approved systemic therapies,” said John A. Josey, Ph.D., Peloton’s Chief Executive Officer. “The current standard of care for patients with VHL disease-associated kidney cancer is surgery, which commonly does not result in a cure for these patients.” At the recent ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, W. Marston Linehan, M.D., Chief of the Urologic Oncology Branch of the NCI, had noted “We are getting ready to start a trial of a drug targeting the HIF-2 pathway with the Peloton PT2385 drug, which we are very encouraged about.” PT2385 is a selective, orally active agent that blocks HIF-2α with potent anti-cancer activity in preclinical models of ccRCC. This open-label Phase 2 study will evaluate the efficacy, safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of PT2385 in patients with VHL disease who have at least one measurable VHL disease-associated ccRCC tumor (as defined by RECIST 1.1). PT2385 will be administered orally and treatment will be continuous unless there is disease progression. Changes in VHL disease-associated non-ccRCC lesions will also be evaluated. “Patients with VHL disease-associated kidney cancer look forward to having the opportunity to participate in this first-ever study of a drug in patients with VHL disease that targets the immediate downstream effect of the VHL mutation,” said Ilene Sussman of the VHL Alliance, a patient advocacy group for individuals with VHL disease. “If the drug is shown to be effective, it may reduce the number or frequency of surgeries needed. Overall, having an oral medication that could halt or reverse the progression of this disease would greatly benefit patients.” Further information on the clinical trial of PT2385 in VHL disease-associated kidney cancer can be found on (Study identifier: NCT03108066). Von Hippel-Lindau disease is a hereditary cancer syndrome caused by a germline mutation in or deletion of the VHL gene, and patients are at risk for developing tumors and fluid-filled sacs (cysts) in a number of organs. Renal cell carcinoma occurs in about 70 percent of individuals with VHL disease and is the leading cause of mortality. Approximately 6,000 people have VHL disease in the U.S. Peloton Therapeutics, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that discovers and develops novel small molecule cancer therapies targeting unexploited molecular vulnerabilities. Peloton Therapeutics’ lead programs are small molecule inhibitors targeting hypoxia inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α), a transcription factor implicated in the development and progression of kidney and other cancers. To learn more about Peloton Therapeutics, visit

HOUSTON, May 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Laser Prostate Centers of America (LPCA) announces that Francisco Gelpi, M.D., M.P.H. of Houston Metro Urology has joined forces with LPCA to bring comprehensive care to patients suffering from prostate cancer. Dr. Gelpi received his Master's in Public Health from Harvard University in Boston where he also did his fellowship in Urologic Oncology. Prior to this, he completed his internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he was Chief Urology Resident. Dr. Gelpi is actively involved in numerous organizations in the field including the American Urological Association and his work on new treatment options for prostate cancer has been published in medical journals. Dr. Gelpi's dedication to the field along with his expertise, make him a great asset to the LPCA team. "I am very excited to collaborate with LPCA and further educate patients on prostate cancer treatment while providing the best possible individualized care to each patient," commented Dr. Gelpi. Laser Prostate Centers of America has a multidisciplinary team of urologists and radiologists who evaluate each patient and discuss potential treatment options including focal laser ablation (FLA). The multidisciplinary approach allows patients to fully understand their diagnosis and treatment options to make more educated and informed decisions regarding their care.

News Article | September 15, 2017

Waltham, MA: A new study shows that the development of prostate cancer metastasis was associated with a five-fold increase in medical costs at the time of diagnosis, and substantially higher costs thereafter. Published in the May issue of Cancer, the scientific journal of the American Cancer Society, the study, titled “Impact of Subsequent Metastases on Costs and Medical Resource Use for Prostate Cancer Patients Initially Diagnosed with Localized Disease,” was conducted by BHE, the Carolina Urologic Research Center (CURC), and Janssen ( ). Cancer also published an editorial by Drs. Daniel Frendl and Aria Olumi that discusses the value of this study’s data in the same issue of the journal ( ). The study, led by Drs. Tracy T. Li, PhD (Janssen), Neal D. Shore, MD, FACS (CURC), and Robert I. Griffiths, MS, ScD (BHE & Oxford University), utilized US national cancer registry data linked to Medicare insurance claims to evaluate a large population of men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. “In this study we were able to show that as the prostate cancer progresses, there are detrimental events not only clinically but also economically associated with metastatic disease.” stated Dr. Tracy Li, lead author of the study and Director of Health Economics and Market Access at Janssen. Li et al found that almost half of the patients (48.6%) in the metastatic group required at least one inpatient admission around the time of diagnosis. In addition, utilization of outpatient resources also increased from 19% to 54% among patients in the metastatic group. According to Dr. Neal Shore, Medical Director for the CURC, who has conducted over 250 clinical trials in genitourinary oncology, this study represents “the largest analysis of this population, and clearly demonstrates there is an unmet clinical need for intervention before metastatic disease diagnosis, as well as a significant economic impact for healthcare systems.” About the Study: Investigators at BHE, the CURC, and Janssen collaborated on the study, “Impact of Subsequent Metastases on Costs and Medical Resource Use for Prostate Cancer Patients Initially Diagnosed with Localized Disease.” Key investigators and their roles are listed below: About BHE: With over 20 years of impactful real world evidence (RWE) results, Boston Health Economics (BHE) continues to advance and innovate healthcare analytics research through technology-enabled, analytic solutions. BHE leverages cutting-edge data sources, expert methodological and clinical staff, and its proprietary technology solution, Instant Health Data, to quickly deliver actionable results to stakeholders across the healthcare industry. For more information, please follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter (@BHEanalytics). About Carolina Urologic Research Center: Carolina Urologic Research Center (CURC), is a separate and independent research arm of Grand Strand Urology, a division of Atlantic Urology Clinics in Myrtle Beach, SC. Under the direction of Dr. Neal Shore, CURC conducts phase I – IV drug, biotechnology and device trials focusing on urological diseases. CURC has been recognized both nationally & internationally as one of the most progressive, well-organized, and respected clinical research sites in the United States. If you would like more information about this topic, please call Patricia Dickerson at 781-290-0808 or email pdickerson(at)

Neckers L.,Urologic | Workman P.,Institute of Cancer Research
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Heat shock protein (Hsp) 90 is an ATP-dependent molecular chaperone that is exploited by malignant cells to support activated oncoproteins, including many cancer-associated kinases and transcription factors, and it is essential for oncogenic transformation. Originally viewed with skepticism, Hsp90 inhibitors are now being actively pursued by the pharmaceutical industry, with 17 agents having entered clinical trials. Investigators established Hsp90's druggability using the natural products geldanamycin and radicicol, which mimic the unusual ATP structure adopted in the chaperone's N-terminal nucleotide-binding pocket and cause potent and selective blockade of ATP binding/hydrolysis, inhibit chaperone function, deplete oncogenic clients, and show antitumor activity. Preclinical data obtained with these natural products have heightened interest in Hsp90 as a drug target, and 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG, tanespimycin) has shown clinical activity (as defined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) in HER2+ breast cancer. Many optimized synthetic, small-molecule Hsp90 inhibitors from diverse chemotypes are now in clinical trials. Here, we review the discovery and development of Hsp90 inhibitors and assess their potential. There has been significant learning from studies of the basic biology of Hsp90, as well as translational drug development involving this chaperone, enhanced by the use of Hsp90 inhibitors as chemical probes. Success will likely lie in treating cancers that are addicted to particular driver oncogene products (e.g., HER2, ALK, EGFR, and BRAF) that are sensitive Hsp90 clients, as well as malignancies (especially multiple myeloma) in which buffering of proteotoxic stress is critical for survival. We discuss approaches for enhancing the effectiveness of Hsp90 inhibitors and highlight new chaperone and stress-response pathway targets, including HSF1 and Hsp70. ©2012 AACR.

Kidney cancer is not a single disease; it is made up of a number of different types of cancer, including clear cell, type 1 papillary, type 2 papillary, chromophobe, TFE3, TFEB, and oncocytoma. Sporadic, nonfamilial kidney cancer includes clear cell kidney cancer (75%), type 1 papillary kidney cancer (10%), papillary type 2 kidney cancer (including collecting duct and medullary RCC) (5%), the microphalmia-associated transcription (MiT) family translocation kidney cancers (TFE3, TFEB, and MITF), chromophobe kidney cancer (5%), and oncocytoma (5%). Each has a distinct histology, a different clinical course, responds differently to therapy, and is caused by mutation in a different gene. Genomic studies identifying the genes for kidney cancer, including the VHL, MET, FLCN, fumarate hydratase, succinate dehydrogenase, TSC1, TSC2, and TFE3 genes, have significantly altered the ways in which patients with kidney cancer are managed. While seven FDA-approved agents that target the VHL pathway have been approved for the treatment of patients with advanced kidney cancer, further genomic studies, such as whole genome sequencing, gene expression patterns, and gene copy number, will be required to gain a complete understanding of the genetic basis of kidney cancer and of the kidney cancer gene pathways and, most importantly, to provide the foundation for the development of effective forms of therapy for patients with this disease. © 2012, Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Finley D.S.,Urologic
The oncologist | Year: 2011

In the past 15 years, there has been an increased understanding of the tumor biology of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The identification of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), its related receptor (VEGFR), and the mammalian target of rapamycin as dysregulated signaling pathways in the development and progression of RCC has resulted in the rational development of pharmaceutical agents capable of specifically targeting key steps in these pathways. Clinical trials have demonstrated survival benefit with these agents, particularly in clear cell RCC patients. However, metastatic RCC will progress in all patients, resulting in a critical need to determine patient risk and optimize treatment. The goal of this article is to highlight the significant breakthroughs made in understanding the critical genetic alterations and signaling pathways underlying the pathogenesis of RCC. The discovery of prognostic factors and development of comprehensive nomograms to stratify patient risk and predictive biomarkers to facilitate individualized treatment selection and predict patient response to therapy also are reviewed.

TMPRSS2:ERG gene fusions, the most common molecular subtype of ETS family gene fusions occur in ∼50% of prostate carcinomas (PCas) and ∼20% of high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) intermingled with adjacent PCa demonstrating identical gene fusions. ERG gene fusions have not yet been demonstrated in isolated benign prostate tissue, isolated high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, or benign cancer mimics. Taken together, ERG gene fusions are the most prostate cancer-specific biomarker yet identified and define a specific molecular subtype of PCa with important clinical and biological implications. ERG gene fusions result in the overexpression of a chimeric fusion transcript that encodes a truncated ERG protein product. Recently, N-terminal epitope-targeted mouse (9FY) and C-terminal-targeted rabbit monoclonal (EPR 3864) ERG antibodies are commercially available and are increasingly utilized as a surrogate for TMPRSS2:ERG gene fusions. Until recently, because of lack of availability of reliable ERG antibody, the most commonly utilized methods for studying ERG aberrations in PCa specimens included fluorescence in situ hybridization or reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The knowledge gleaned from these studies has significantly improved our understanding of molecular biology of ERG gene fusions. With availability of highly specific anti-ERG monoclonal antibodies, there are now unprecedented opportunities to explore and validate clinical applications of ERG antibody in routine pathology practice, which has just started. This review provides a brief background of molecular biology of ERG gene fusions in PCa and focuses on characterizing the current state of ERG oncoprotein and determining the role of ERG immunohistochemistry in the diagnosis and biological stratification of prostate cancer. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Urologic | Date: 2015-11-12

Device and method for correcting urinary incontinence and urinary retention, by implanting a urinary flow control device for elective user control of urinary function in male and female patients. The device is a mechanical valve to a natural or artificial bladder, and includes a to reach the abdominal wall of the patient. Preferably a bladder anti-prolapse skirt is attached between the bladder and control valve. The device provides a urine flow channel that passes through the valve from one side to the other of a valve seat where an actuator with a mating stopper is controlled to open and close the valve at the election of the user with an external controller. The valve is an occlusion type (seat with stopper), or a pinch type. The flow channel may be an artificial urethra passing through a pinch valve.

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