Matthew R. Cooperberg, MD, MPH

Matthew R. Cooperberg, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Department of Urology, UCSF
Helen Diller Family Chair in Urology, UCSF

Phone: (415) 353-7171 (appts)
Box 1711, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-1711

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Cancer Center Membership

Associate Member » Prostate Cancer

Research Summary

Health Services

Both clinician and patient decisions influence the choices about the type of treatment a patient will receive for localized prostate and kidney (renal) cancer. Matthew Cooperberg, MD, MPH is conducting an ongoing research program to study national prostate cancer management trends, based on data from CaPSURE and other sources. His analyses have looked at changes in cancer risk over time, testing and treatment for prostate cancer, local variation in treatment, and the impact of socio-demographic factors on type of treatment and outcomes. Through the creation of a San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) prostate cancer patient registry, preliminary analysis show that low socioeconomic status patients are treated for a higher percentage of high-risk disease than patients with a higher socioeconomic status. Using data from CaPSURE, the NCDB, SFGH and in collaboration with the Urologic Diseases in America project he continues to explore these topic in depth.

Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment and Comparative Effectiveness Research

Properly treating prostate cancer requires determining how likely is it that the cancer will progress. Cooperberg led the team that developed the UCSF-CAPRA score, a prostate cancer risk assessment tool that has been validated in several multi-institutional studies in the U.S. and Europe. CAPRA predicts biochemical recurrence-free survival (PSA level does not rise) after radical prostatectomy with an accuracy at least as good as more mathematically complex nomograms that require complex tables or computer software to calculate and other risk assessment instruments. The score is easy to calculate, and can be used to predict an individual's likelihood of metastasis, cancer-specific mortality, and overall mortality after treatment by surgery, radiation therapy, or androgen deprivation therapy.

Cooperberg is currently developing a post-operative extension of the CAPRA score (CAPRA-S). After surgery additional information is available from the pathologist's analysis of the removed prostate. This information can help identify men who will benefit from additional therapy such as radiation and/or hormonal therapy after surgery. CAPRA-S will help in that decision making process. Cooperberg is also collaborating with a group of Japanese scientist to develop a prediction instrument specifically applicable to high-risk patients and patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy (J-CAPRA). As new biomarkers, such as genomic and advanced imaging data, are proven valid by UCSF Urology and collaborating laboratory investigators, Cooperberg plans to integrate the information into the current standard measures of risk and outcomes to improve risk assessment. These findings will help men determine with greater confidence whether active surveillance, surgery, radiation, hormonal therapy, or some combination may be most appropriate for them.

Because accurate risk assessment is essential to compare the effectiveness of different prostate cancer treatments, Cooperberg is currently conducting such comparison studies using CaPSURE data. These data will provide a unique source of insight for future comparative effectiveness research.


Cooperberg is collaborating on a project that will lead to better clinical care for cancer survivors. His efforts have helped to develop UCSF’s Urologic Oncology Database (UODB) into a comprehensive data repository for clinical information about patients treated for prostate, bladder, and renal cancers. With the Urology Department’s information experts Cooperberg is developing an automated process to further augment UODB by automatically transferring data from the UCSF Medical Center’s information system into UODB. In collaboration with UCSF Breast Oncology and a health care web services company Cooperberg is developing an electronic survey for cancer patients. Patients will complete a health history and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) survey prior to their first visit to the clinic and at defined intervals after treatment. This effort is expected to help patients and clinicians track HRQOL outcomes, such as urinary and sexual function, after treatment. The survey will help physicians to identify those patients who may need to be seen in clinic more or less frequently.

Small Renal Masses

In collaboration with the laboratory of John Kurhanewicz, PhD, Cooperberg is conducting a study to see if magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can be used to non-invasively diagnosis small renal tumors. MRS is a specialized technique associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRS equipment can be used to pick up signals from different chemical nuclei within the body. A preliminary laboratory study is using tissue to identify the specific MRS signals associated with a variety of renal tumors. Once renal tumor signals have been identified, Cooperberg plans to test the ability of MRS to accurately analyze renal tumors in patients. This will be done by using MRS imaging technology on patients who are already scheduled for renal cancer surgery prior to their operation. The pre and post surgery information can be analyzed to determine if the information collected non-invasively by the MRS technology matches the histology and grade of the actual tumor.


Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, BA, 1991-95, English
Yale University, New Haven, CT, MD, MPH, 1995-00, Medicine, Health Policy

Professional Experience

  • 2000-01
    Internship in General Surgery (preliminary to Urology), Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • 2001-03
    Research Fellowship in Genitourinary Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 2004-08
    Residency in Urology, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 2008-09
    Clinical Fellow, Genitourinary Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 2009-2013
    Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 2013-present
    Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco, CA

Honors & Awards

  • 1995
    College honors: summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, high honors in major, Presidential Scholar, Rufus Choate Scholar, B. William Hochman Prize in American Literature
  • 1996
    American Cancer Society Research Fellowship
  • 1999
    AMA John Conley Ethics Essay Contest, honorable mention
  • 2003
    UCSF Prostate Cancer Research Symposium, 2nd place, Clinical Research
  • 2004
    UCSF Prostate, Breast, Prostate SPORE Scientific Retreat, honorable mention, Clinical Research
  • 2005
    Northern California Urology Resident Research Symposium, 1st place, Clinical Research
  • 2006
    Northern California Urology Resident Research Symposium, 3rd place, Clinical Research
  • 2007
    AUA Gerald P. Murphy Prostate Scholar
  • 2007
    Northern California Urology Resident Research Symposium, 2nd place, Clinical Research
  • 2007
    Western Section AUA Miley B. Wesson Resident Essay Contest, 3rd place
  • 2008
    Society of Urologic Oncology Poster Session, 3rd place overall
  • 2008
    Western Section AUA Miley B. Wesson Resident Essay Contest, 3rd place
  • 2008
    Western Section AUA Poster Session I, 1st place

Selected Publications

  1. Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR. Treatment Trends for Prostate Cancer-Reply. JAMA. 2015 Nov 10; 314(18):1977-8.
    View on PubMed
  2. Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR. Trends in Management for Patients With Localized Prostate Cancer, 1990-2013. JAMA. 2015 Jul 7; 314(1):80-2.
    View on PubMed
  3. Cooperberg MR. Editorial Comment. Urology. 2015 Jun; 85(6):1223.
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  4. Hsu CC, Paciorek AT, Cooperberg MR, Roach M, Hsu IC, Carroll PR. Postoperative radiation therapy for patients at high-risk of recurrence after radical prostatectomy: does timing matter? BJU Int. 2015 Nov; 116(5):713-20.
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  5. Moreira DM, Howard LE, Sourbeer KN, Amarasekara HS, Chow LC, Cockrell DC, Hanyok BT, Pratson CL, Aronson WJ, Kane CJ, Terris MK, Amling CL, Cooperberg MR, Liede A, Freedland SJ. Predicting bone scan positivity in non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2015 Dec; 18(4):333-7.
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  6. Ovadia AE, Terris MK, Aronson WJ, Kane CJ, Amling CL, Cooperberg MR, Freedland SJ, Abern MR. Agent Orange and long-term outcomes after radical prostatectomy. Urol Oncol. 2015 Jul; 33(7):329.e1-6.
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  7. Boström PJ, Bjartell AS, Catto JW, Eggener SE, Lilja H, Loeb S, Schalken J, Schlomm T, Cooperberg MR. Genomic Predictors of Outcome in Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol. 2015 Dec; 68(6):1033-44.
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  8. Zapata DF, Howard LE, Aronson WJ, Kane CJ, Terris MK, Amling CL, Cooperberg MR, Freedland SJ. Smoking is a predictor of adverse pathological features at radical prostatectomy: Results from the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital database. Int J Urol. 2015 Jul; 22(7):658-62.
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  9. Garcia-Albeniz X, Chan JM, Paciorek A, Logan RW, Kenfield SA, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR, Hernán MA. Immediate versus deferred initiation of androgen deprivation therapy in prostate cancer patients with PSA-only relapse. An observational follow-up study. Eur J Cancer. 2015 May; 51(7):817-24.
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  10. Mithal P, Howard LE, Aronson WJ, Kane CJ, Cooperberg MR, Terris MK, Amling CL, Freedland SJ. Prostate-specific antigen level, stage or Gleason score: Which is best for predicting outcomes after radical prostatectomy, and does it vary by the outcome being measured? Results from Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital database. Int J Urol. 2015 Apr; 22(4):362-6.
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  11. Cary KC, Punnen S, Odisho AY, Litwin MS, Saigal CS, Cooperberg MR. Nationally representative trends and geographic variation in treatment of localized prostate cancer: the Urologic Diseases in America project. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2015 Jun; 18(2):149-54.
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  12. Hampson LA, Cowan JE, Zhao S, Carroll PR, Cooperberg MR. Impact of Age on Quality-of-life Outcomes After Treatment for Localized Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol. 2015 Sep; 68(3):480-6.
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  13. Basto M, Cooperberg MR, Murphy DG. Proton therapy Websites: information anarchy creates confusion. BJU Int. 2015 Feb; 115(2):183-5.
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  14. Mahal BA, Cooperberg MR, Aizer AA, Ziehr DR, Hyatt AS, Choueiri TK, Hu JC, Sweeney CJ, Beard CJ, D'Amico AV, Martin NE, Orio PF, Trinh QD, Nguyen PL. Who bears the greatest burden of aggressive treatment of indolent prostate cancer? Am J Med. 2015 Jun; 128(6):609-16.
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  15. Hussein AA, Punnen S, Zhao S, Cowan JE, Leapman M, Tran TC, Washington SL, Truesdale MD, Carroll PR, Cooperberg MR. Current Use of Imaging after Primary Treatment of Prostate Cancer. J Urol. 2015 Jul; 194(1):98-104.
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  16. Nguyen HG, Welty CJ, Cooperberg MR. Diagnostic associations of gene expression signatures in prostate cancer tissue. Curr Opin Urol. 2015 Jan; 25(1):65-70.
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  17. Cooperberg MR. Long-term active surveillance for prostate cancer: answers and questions. J Clin Oncol. 2015 Jan 20; 33(3):238-40.
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  18. Klaassen Z, Singh AA, Howard LE, Feng Z, Trock B, Terris MK, Aronson WJ, Cooperberg MR, Amling CL, Kane CJ, Partin A, Han M, Freedland SJ. Is clinical stage T2c prostate cancer an intermediate- or high-risk disease? Cancer. 2015 May 1; 121(9):1414-21.
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  19. Sourbeer KN, Howard LE, Moreira DM, Amarasekara HS, Chow LD, Cockrell DC, Hanyok BT, Pratson CL, Kane CJ, Terris MK, Aronson WJ, Cooperberg MR, Amling CL, Hernandez RK, Freedland SJ. Practice Patterns and Predictors of Followup Imaging after a Negative Bone Scan in Men with Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer: Results from the SEARCH Database. J Urol. 2015 Apr; 193(4):1232-8.
    View on PubMed
  20. Xia J, Trock BJ, Gulati R, Mallinger L, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR, Carter HB, Etzioni R. Overdetection of recurrence after radical prostatectomy: estimates based on patient and tumor characteristics. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Oct 15; 20(20):5302-10.
    View on PubMed

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