Medical oncologist Walter Stadler, MD, meeting with a patient in clinic
Medical oncologist Walter Stadler, MD, is director of the genitourinary oncology program and dean for clinical research. He is actively conducting research of new treatments for prostate cancer.

In most cases, prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated when the cancer is confined to the gland. But prostate cancer can metastasize, or spread, to the bones and other parts of the body. Today, men facing metastatic prostate cancer have many treatment options. The goal of these therapies is to halt cancer growth, control pain, alleviate symptoms and prolong survival.

The prostate cancer team at the University of Chicago Medicine specializes in the latest techniques for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. We were among the first hospitals in Illinois to offer PSMA PET imaging, a powerful new technology that is the best available method for detecting prostate cancer anywhere in the body. In addition, we were the first in the state to provide Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy (Pluvicto), an advanced theranostics treatment that targets prostate cancer cells with fewer side effects than alternate treatment options.

A key feature of our program is the UChicago Medicine High Risk & Advanced Prostate Cancer Clinic (UCHAP), a clinic that provides focused care for men with aggressive and high-risk prostate cancer.

Systemic Therapies

Medical oncologists with expertise in prostate cancer manage the treatment of men with metastatic disease. As members in the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC), our specialists collaborate with experts at a dozen other academic institutions in the U.S. to design, implement and complete clinical trials of novel drugs for advanced prostate cancer. As a result, our medical oncologists have access to therapeutics not widely available. We continually research and develop new therapies for metastatic prostate cancer.

Systemic therapies — medications used to treat cancer by attacking it throughout the body — for metastatic prostate cancer include:

A treatment that removes or blocks the action of testosterone and male hormones, which can cause prostate cancer to grow. When testosterone production is blocked, prostate cancer goes into remission. Hormone therapy is the standard of care for metastatic prostate cancer. Although long remissions can be achieved with hormone therapy, cancer cells can eventually resist the treatment and learn to grow. This is called castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). There are newer, highly potent hormonal therapies to combat CRPC. Our expert medical oncologists are pioneering the use of these novel hormonal therapies and are at the leading edge of clinical research focused on improving these therapies.

Chemotherapy, alone and in combination with other medications, is sometimes recommended for hormone-resistant prostate cancer. Most commonly given intravenously, chemotherapy for metastatic prostate cancer can reduce bone pain and lengthen survival. Highly experienced oncology nurses administer chemotherapy in our patient-centered IV therapy suite located in the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM) on our main campus and at off-site locations in New Lenox and Orland Park.

Also called biologic therapy, immunotherapy uses the patient’s own immune system to boost and direct the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. Some immunotherapies have FDA-approval, while others are available through clinical trials. Sipuleucel-T is an FDA-approved immunotherapy for the treatment of metastatic CRPC. It involves extracting immune cells — which are primed to fight prostate cancer — from the patient, and then returning them to the patient as white blood cell transfusions. UChicago Medicine's prostate cancer program is the only one in the Midwest providing the entire process of this intricate therapy from start to finish within one location — the IV therapy apheresis suite.

Lutetium-177 vipivotide tetraxetan PSMA therapy (also known as Lu-177 or Pluvicto) is a new theranostic medicine for advanced metastatic prostate cancer. It’s a type of radiation that specifically targets a molecule on the surface of prostate cancer cells called PSMA. This therapy is used with the companion diagnostic gallium-68 gozetotide (Locametz), which is more commonly known as a PSMA PET scan. Learn more about lutetium-177 PSMA therapy for metastatic prostate cancer.


[MUSIC PLAYING] Theranostics is a growing field that's showing significant improvement for many cancer types, including thyroid, neuroendocrine, prostate, and neuroblastoma. A combination of therapeutics and diagnostics, Theranostics works very differently from chemotherapy or traditional radiation treatments. Theranostics uses special compounds called radiotracers, which are injected into the bloodstream.

Like using a GPS, the radio tracers travel through the body to target and bind to specific cancer cells, which are then visible on a PET scan. The first step is to use these radio tracers to simply identify the tumor cells in the body and determine if the patient is a good candidate for treatment. The second step is to add a more powerful radioactive component to the radiotracers that can kill the cancer.

By navigating a path which reduces the risk of harming nearby healthy tissues, the radiotracers can deliver targeted radiation to kill the cancer cells with lower side effects than many alternative treatments. For many patients, Theranostics offers new hope, helping them live longer, and with a better quality of life. At the only hospital in Illinois to have a medical cyclotron, physicians at University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, are leaders in research and development in this emerging field, and those same physicians are treating our patients. UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, at the forefront of Theranostics.

UChicago Medicine is one of just a few hospitals in the Chicago area that offers a special version of radiation called radium-223 dichloride. It is prescribed by our prostate cancer medical oncologists and administered by our nuclear medicine physicians. Given intravenously every month for six months, the radiation spreads throughout the bloodstream to selectively target the bones. The radium-223 then attacks the tumor with radiation, destroying cancer cells in proximity. This FDA-approved intravenous therapy is known to prolong life, reduce pain and improve the quality of life for patients with metastatic prostate cancer within the bones.

Radiation Therapy

Our radiation oncology team routinely administers radiation therapy to sites of metastatic prostate cancer for local control or to alleviate symptoms, such as pain. Our radiation oncologists work with the medical oncology team to coordinate external beam radiation therapy with any systemic therapy.

metastatic cancer illustration

Treating Metastatic Cancer with Optimism and Hope

If you have been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, more therapies may be available to you than you think. Our cancer specialists are eager to help you understand all of your options.

Limited Metastatic Cancer Program

Convenient Locations for Cancer Care

Request an Appointment for Prostate Cancer Care

The information you provide on this secure form to request an appointment with a UChicago Medicine prostate cancer expert will enable us to assist you as efficiently as possible. A representative will contact you within one to two business days to help you schedule an appointment.

You can also make an appointment with our providers by:

Scheduling a virtual video visit to see a provider from the comfort of your home

Requesting an online second opinion from our specialists

To speak to someone directly, please call 1-855-702-8222. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.


For Referring Physicians

To refer a patient for prostate cancer care, please call UCM Physician Connect at 1-800-824-2282

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