Matulewicz Lab Research
Our lab addresses questions related to recognizing and evaluating microhematuria, improving evidence-based smoking cessation treatment, and exploring disparities in the care of people who have urologic cancers.
Microhematuria, or the presence of non-visible blood in the urine, is very common in healthy people but may also be the only clinical sign of an occult kidney or bladder cancer. Despite guideline recommendations in favor of urologic evaluation in people who have microhematuria, patients are not typically evaluated in accordance with their risk of having an underlying urologic cancer. The clinical pathway from recognizing microhematuria to completing an evaluation is complex and fragmented, requiring multiple referrals and specialist care.
Our goal is to explore several concepts surrounding microhematuria, including identifying those who are at highest risk for harboring an underlying genitourinary malignancy, and analyzing the reasons that some patients, even those at high-risk, never complete a work up.
Smoking is the leading risk factor for bladder cancer and is estimated to account for half of the 80,000 new cases each year in the United States. Smoking cessation after a diagnosis of bladder cancer can profoundly improve patient and treatment outcomes. People who have bladder cancer rely principally on their urologist for medical information and guidance and are highly motivated to quit smoking. However, urologists do not frequently provide the necessary support by offering evidence-based smoking cessation treatment, for unclear reasons.
Our work will investigate and optimize how urologists deliver smoking cessation treatment to patients with bladder cancer and represents a significant step towards understanding and improving how urologists deliver smoking cessation. Ultimately, we aim to generate a pilot intervention that will be widely disseminated, implemented, and studied during future independent investigations.
Urologic Oncology Quality of Care and Improvement
There are significant disparities in the care of people who have urologic cancers. In order to effectively address these issues, determining the areas of greatest concern and need are paramount. Our lab explores how factors such as race, insurance, and patient demographics relate to surgical outcomes and the delivery of cancer care for prostate and bladder cancer. Additionally, we have also developed techniques and interventions to drive improvement based on our findings.