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. Prostate cancer: Why the prostate arm of the PLCO trial failed and what it has taught us. Nat Rev Urol. 2016 Aug; 13(8):439-40.
    View on PubMed
  2. Roth JA, Gulati R, Gore JL, Cooperberg MR, Etzioni R. Economic Analysis of Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening and Selective Treatment Strategies. JAMA Oncol. 2016 Jul 1; 2(7):890-8.
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  3. Leapman MS, Nguyen HG, Cooperberg MR. Clinical Utility of Biomarkers in Localized Prostate Cancer. Curr Oncol Rep. 2016 May; 18(5):30.
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  4. Akaza H, Hirao Y, Kim CS, Oya M, Ozono S, Ye D, Cooperberg M, Hinotsu S, Lee JY, Zhu G, Namiki M, Horie S, Chung BH, Chen CH, Fai NC, Hakim L, Chiong E, Letran J, Umbas R, Suzuki K, Nishimura K, Ong TA, Lojanapiwat B, Wu TL, Kim WJ, Murphy D, Ogawa O, Carroll P, Naito S, Tsukamoto T. Asia prostate cancer study (A-CaP Study) launch symposium. Prostate Int. 2016 Sep; 4(3):88-96.
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  5. Knudsen BS, Kim HL, Erho N, Shin H, Alshalalfa M, Lam LL, Tenggara I, Chadwich K, Van Der Kwast T, Fleshner N, Davicioni E, Carroll PR, Cooperberg MR, Chan JM, Simko JP. Application of a Clinical Whole-Transcriptome Assay for Staging and Prognosis of Prostate Cancer Diagnosed in Needle Core Biopsy Specimens. J Mol Diagn. 2016 May; 18(3):395-406.
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  6. Cooperberg M. When to Start Prostate Cancer Screening and When to Stop: Insights from Göteborg. J Urol. 2016 May; 195(5):1325-6.
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  7. Chen RC, Rumble RB, Loblaw DA, Finelli A, Ehdaie B, Cooperberg MR, Morgan SC, Tyldesley S, Haluschak JJ, Tan W, Justman S, Jain S. Active Surveillance for the Management of Localized Prostate Cancer (Cancer Care Ontario Guideline): American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Endorsement. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Jun 20; 34(18):2182-90.
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  8. Freedland SJ, Howard LE, Hanyok BT, Kadiyala VK, Kuang JY, Whitney CA, Wilks FR, Kane CJ, Terris MK, Amling CL, Cooperberg MR, Aronson WJ, Moreira DM. Validation of a bone scan positivity risk table in non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. BJU Int. 2016 Oct; 118(4):570-7.
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  9. Tasian GE, Cooperberg MR. Re: Use of Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors for Erectile Dysfunction and Risk of Malignant Melanoma. Eur Urol. 2016 Feb; 69(2):374-5.
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  10. Allott EH, Howard LE, Aronson WJ, Terris MK, Kane CJ, Amling CL, Cooperberg MR, Freedland SJ. Racial Differences in the Association Between Preoperative Serum Cholesterol and Prostate Cancer Recurrence: Results from the SEARCH Database. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Mar; 25(3):547-54.
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  11. Cary C, Odisho AY, Cooperberg MR. Variation in prostate cancer treatment associated with population density of the county of residence. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2016 Jun; 19(2):174-9.
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  12. Suskind AM, Walter LC, Jin C, Boscardin J, Sen S, Cooperberg MR, Finlayson E. Impact of frailty on complications in patients undergoing common urological procedures: a study from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement database. BJU Int. 2016 May; 117(5):836-42.
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  13. Brand TC, Zhang N, Crager MR, Maddala T, Dee A, Sesterhenn IA, Simko JP, Cooperberg MR, Srivastava S, Rosner IL, Chan JM, Febbo PG, Carroll PR, Cullen J, Lawrence HJ. Patient-specific Meta-analysis of 2 Clinical Validation Studies to Predict Pathologic Outcomes in Prostate Cancer Using the 17-Gene Genomic Prostate Score. Urology. 2016 Mar; 89:69-75.
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  14. McGinley KF, Sun X, Howard LE, Aronson WJ, Terris MK, Kane CJ, Amling CL, Cooperberg MR, Freedland SJ. Utilization and impact of surgical technique on the performance of pelvic lymph node dissection at radical prostatectomy: Results from the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital database. Int J Urol. 2016 Mar; 23(3):241-6.
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  15. Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR. Treatment Trends for Prostate Cancer--Reply. JAMA. 2015 Nov 10; 314(18):1977-8.
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  16. Hanyok BT, Howard LE, Amling CL, Aronson WJ, Cooperberg MR, Kane CJ, Terris MK, Posadas EM, Freedland SJ. Is computed tomography a necessary part of a metastatic evaluation for castration-resistant prostate cancer? Results from the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital Database. Cancer. 2016 Jan 15; 122(2):222-9.
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  17. Gandaglia G, Bray F, Cooperberg MR, Karnes RJ, Leveridge MJ, Moretti K, Murphy DG, Penson DF, Miller DC. Reply from Authors re: Julia Verne, Luke Hounsome, Roger Kockelbergh, Jem Rashbass. Improving Outcomes from Prostate Cancer: Unlocking the Treasure Trove of Information in Cancer Registries. Eur Urol 2016;69:1013-4. Eur Urol. 2016 Jun; 69(6):1015.
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  18. Fischer S, Lin D, Simon RM, Howard LE, Aronson WJ, Terris MK, Kane CJ, Amling CL, Cooperberg MR, Freedland SJ, Vidal AC. Do all men with pathological Gleason score 8-10 prostate cancer have poor outcomes? Results from the SEARCH database. BJU Int. 2016 Aug; 118(2):250-7.
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  19. Klaassen Z, Howard L, Terris MK, Aronson WJ, Cooperberg MR, Amling CL, Kane CJ, Freedland SJ. Does larger tumor volume explain the higher prostate specific antigen levels in black men with prostate cancer-Results from the SEARCH database. Cancer Epidemiol. 2015 Dec; 39(6):1066-70.
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  20. O'Neil B, Koyama T, Alvarez J, Conwill RM, Albertsen PC, Cooperberg MR, Goodman M, Greenfield S, Hamilton AS, Hoffman KE, Hoffman RM, Kaplan SH, Stanford JL, Stroup AM, Paddock LE, Wu XC, Stephenson RA, Resnick MJ, Barocas DA, Penson DF. The Comparative Harms of Open and Robotic Prostatectomy in Population Based Samples. J Urol. 2016 Feb; 195(2):321-9.
    View on PubMed

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