Brian M. Shuch, MD, specializes in urologic oncology with a particular focus on open and robotic surgery, in addition to such cutting-edge treatments as cryoablation—the use of extreme cold to kill cancer cells. He decided to become an oncologist after watching a family member lose a battle with cancer. “I wanted to be a surgeon in a field where patients have excellent outcomes with surgery,” he explains.
Dr. Shuch is committed to limiting overtreatment of nonaggressive urologic cancers. When appropriate, he prefers a strategy of active surveillance and the integration of genetic testing in cancer care. “Our improved understanding of the genetics of kidney cancer will allow the integration of DNA sequences into treatment algorithms,” he says. Studies show that molecular markers can be useful in many ways, including measurement of the progress of disease and evaluation of the most effective therapy for a particular cancer type.
An assistant professor of urology, and of radiology and biomedical imaging at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Shuch also runs the urologic oncology cancer research bank, where tissue, urine and blood are stored for future Yale Medicine Cancer Center research. Additionally, Dr. Shuch is a member of the multidisciplinary Yale Kidney Cancer Tumor Board and part of the kidney cancer clinical trial team. Trials involve treatment of disease at all stages, from small localized tumors to advanced metastatic disease.
When meeting with patients, Dr. Shuch tries to simplify the situation and outline a clear and effective treatment plan based on evidence-based data. "I believe every patient offers an opportunity to learn and discover better ways to improve care," he says. "Having the ability to intervene and change a patient's life for the better is what I enjoy most about being a urologist."