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Jim C. Hu, MD, MPH
Associate Surgeon, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Surgery
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

Research Narrative:

Jim is a urologist whose research and clinical interests focus on prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy with a lifetime prevalence of 1 out of 6 in the United States. Jim did his urologic surgerical residency at UCLA and also trained in a health services research fellowship at the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center with Mark Litwin, MD, MPH. He published a paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which also received press in the Boston Globe, assessing the impact of radical prostatectomy surgeon volume on outcomes. This paper is cited as empirical evidence by the state of Massachusetts in an initiative to make healthcare more transparent, control costs, and improve quality of care. It is referenced online at, where statewide hospital and surgeon radical prostatectomy volumes are posted in an effort to drive patients to the lowest-cost, highest-quality providers. More recently, he published another paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology illustrating the consequences of rapid adoption of laparoscopic radical prostatectomy with or without robotic assistance and the increased risk of suboptimal cancer control and postoperative strictures for men undergoing laparoscopic radical prostatectomy with low volume surgeons. This was cited in both the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Jim’s scholarly activity has been recognized and funded by both private foundations and federal sources. He was awarded a Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center prostate cancer SPORE career development award, and he is the recipient of the Lance Armstrong Young Investigator award to assess the efficacy and complications of treatments for localized prostate cancer. Moreover, he was awarded a Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Physician Training Award. The body of these research efforts will focus on improving the quality of care for men with prostate cancer and correlate the sensitivity of RAND prostate cancer quality indicators with good outcomes. The ideal research population for assessing this hypothesis will be community based. The data must be collected prospectively, which is very costly and time intensive. Thus, Jim is reaching out to philanthropy to support this important and timely research endeavor.

In addition to research interests, Jim is also one of the highest volume radical prostatectomy surgeons in New England. He has performed more than 475 radical prostatectomies over the last 3 years. He recently published a clinical paper describing landmarks for consistent nerve-sparing to improve sexual function postoperatively. Another research front for Jim encompasses improving radical prostatectomy surgical technique and outcomes. He is presently working with the Department of Radiology and Pathology to map the course of the neurovascular bundles in relation to the prostate and areas of cancer. The goal is to compare imaging from 3 Tesla MRI’s with the radical prostatectomy specimen; however, the specimen must be whole mounted, a very costly and time-consuming process which presently is not being done at the Brigham. Therefore, philanthropic support is sought to support this project, which may ultimately improve cancer control and quality of life following surgery.