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.

Research Funding

  • August 10, 2016 - July 31, 2021 - Improving Prostate Cancer Outcome Prediction Through Noninvasive exRNA Assessment , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA198145
  • August 8, 2012 - May 31, 2017 - Prospective validation of a multi-marker prostate cancer prediction model , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA160816


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

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
  • 2017
    2016 physician award, Marin Prostate Cancer Information and Support Group

Selected Publications

  1. Washington SL, Lonergan PE, Cowan JE, Zhao S, Broering JM, Palmer NR, Hicks C, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR. Ten-year work burden after prostate cancer treatment. Cancer Med. 2023 Sep 19.  View on PubMed
  2. Sergeyev A, Gu L, De Hoedt AM, Amling CL, Aronson WJ, Cooperberg MR, Kane CJ, Klaassen Z, Terris MK, Guerrios-Rivera L, Freedland SJ, Csizmadi I. Diabetes and Prostate Cancer Outcomes in Men with Nonmetastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Results from the SEARCH Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2023 09 01; 32(9):1208-1216.  View on PubMed
  3. Javier-DesLoges J, Dall'Era MA, Brisbane W, Chamie K, Washington SL, Chandrasekar T, Marks LS, Nguyen H, Daneshvar M, Gin G, Kane CJ, Bagrodia A, Cooperberg MR. The state of focal therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer: the university of California collaborative (UC-Squared) consensus statement. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2023 Aug 08.  View on PubMed
  4. Huang FW, Song H, Weinstein HN, Xie J, Cooperberg MR, Hicks J, Mummert L, De Marzo AM, Sfanos KS. Club-like cells in proliferative inflammatory atrophy of the prostate. J Pathol. 2023 09; 261(1):85-95.  View on PubMed
  5. Sabbagh A, Tilki D, Feng J, Huland H, Graefen M, Wiegel T, Böhmer D, Hong JC, Valdes G, Cowan JE, Cooperberg M, Feng FY, Mohammad T, Shelan M, D'Amico AV, Carroll PR, Mohamad O. Multi-institutional Development and External Validation of a Machine Learning Model for the Prediction of Distant Metastasis in Patients Treated by Salvage Radiotherapy for Biochemical Failure After Radical Prostatectomy. Eur Urol Focus. 2023 Jul 26.  View on PubMed
  6. Djaïleb L, Armstrong WR, Thompson D, Gafita A, Farolfi A, Rajagopal A, Grogan TR, Nguyen K, Benz MR, Hotta M, Barbato F, Ceci F, Schwarzenböck SM, Unterrainer M, Zacho HD, Juarez R, Cooperberg M, Carroll P, Washington S, Reiter RE, Eiber M, Herrmann K, Fendler WP, Czernin J, Hope TA, Calais J. Presurgical 68Ga-PSMA-11 Positron Emission Tomography for Biochemical Recurrence Risk Assessment: A Follow-up Analysis of a Multicenter Prospective Phase 3 Imaging Trial. Eur Urol. 2023 Jul 21.  View on PubMed
  7. Chappidi MR, Sjöström M, Greenland NY, Cowan JE, Baskin AS, Shee K, Simko JP, Chan E, Stohr BA, Washington SL, Nguyen HG, Quigley DA, Davicioni E, Feng FY, Carroll PR, Cooperberg MR. Transcriptomic Heterogeneity of Expansile Cribriform and Other Gleason Pattern 4 Prostate Cancer Subtypes. Eur Urol Oncol. 2023 Jul 18.  View on PubMed
  8. Han JH, Lee S, Lee B, Baek OK, Washington SL, Herlemann A, Lonergan PE, Carroll PR, Jeong CW, Cooperberg MR. Explainable ML models for a deeper insight on treatment decision for localized prostate cancer. Sci Rep. 2023 07 17; 13(1):11532.  View on PubMed
  9. Liu IT, Gu L, De Hoedt AM, Cooperberg MR, Amling CL, Kane CJ, Klaassen Z, Terris MK, Guerrios-Rivera L, Vidal AC, Aronson WJ, Freedland SJ, Csizmadi I. Are associations between obesity and prostate cancer outcomes following radical prostatectomy the same in smokers and non-smokers? Results from the SEARCH Cohort. Cancer Causes Control. 2023 Jul 05.  View on PubMed
  10. Baskin A, Cowan JE, Braun A, Lonergan PE, Mohamad O, Washington SL, Zhao S, Broering JM, Cooperberg MR, Breyer BN, Carroll PR. Long-term complications and health-related quality of life outcomes after radical prostatectomy with or without subsequent radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Urol Oncol. 2023 Jul 03.  View on PubMed
  11. Patel P, Harmon S, Iseman R, Ludkowski O, Auman H, Hawley S, Newcomb LF, Lin DW, Nelson PS, Feng Z, Boyer HD, Tretiakova MS, True LD, Vakar-Lopez F, Carroll PR, Cooperberg MR, Chan E, Simko J, Fazli L, Gleave M, Hurtado-Coll A, Thompson IM, Troyer D, McKenney JK, Wei W, Choyke PL, Bratslavsky G, Turkbey B, Siemens DR, Squire J, Peng YP, Brooks JD, Jamaspishvili T. Artificial Intelligence-Based PTEN Loss Assessment as an Early Predictor of Prostate Cancer Metastasis After Surgery: A Multicenter Retrospective Study. Mod Pathol. 2023 Jun 19; 36(10):100241.  View on PubMed
  12. Berlin A, Ramotar M, Santiago AT, Liu Z, Li J, Wolinsky H, Wallis CJD, Chua MLK, Paner GP, van der Kwast T, Cooperberg MR, Vickers AJ, Urbach DR, Eggener SE. The influence of the "cancer" label on perceptions and management decisions for low-grade prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2023 Jun 07.  View on PubMed
  13. Nik-Ahd F, De Hoedt A, Butler C, Anger JT, Carroll PR, Cooperberg MR, Freedland SJ. Prostate Cancer in Transgender Women in the Veterans Affairs Health System, 2000-2022. JAMA. 2023 06 06; 329(21):1877-1879.  View on PubMed
  14. Nik-Ahd F, Anger JT, Cooperberg MR, Freedland SJ. Prostate cancer is not just a man's concern - the use of PSA screening in transgender women. Nat Rev Urol. 2023 06; 20(6):323-324.  View on PubMed
  15. Lonergan PE, Baskin A, Greenberg SA, Mohamad O, Washington SL, Zhao S, Cowan JE, Broering JM, Nguyen HG, Cooperberg MR, Breyer BN, Carroll PR. The Long-term Incidence and Quality of Life Outcomes Associated With Treatment-Related Toxicities of External Beam Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer. Urology. 2023 Aug; 178:114-119.  View on PubMed
  16. Cooperberg MR. Re: Fifteen-year Outcomes After Monitoring, Surgery, or Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol. 2023 10; 84(4):435-436.  View on PubMed
  17. Fallara G, Robesti D, Raggi D, Montorsi F, Necchi A, Cooperberg MR, Malavaud B, Ploussard G, Martini A. Contextualizing Olaparib and Abiraterone in the Current Treatment Landscape for Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol Open Sci. 2023 Jun; 52:40-43.  View on PubMed
  18. Saoud R, Woranisarakul V, Paner GP, Ramotar M, Berlin A, Cooperberg M, Eggener SE. Physician Perception of Grade Group 1 Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol Focus. 2023 Apr 26.  View on PubMed
  19. Chang K, Greenberg SA, Cowan JE, Parker R, Shee K, Washington SL, Nguyen HG, Shinohara K, Carroll PR, Cooperberg MR. Stability of Prognostic Estimation Using the CAPRA Score Incorporating Imaging-based vs Physical Exam-based Staging. J Urol. 2023 Aug; 210(2):281-289.  View on PubMed
  20. Pereira V, Oyekunle T, Janes J, Amling CJ, Aronson WJ, Cooperberg MR, Kane CJ, Terris MK, Klaassen Z, Freedland SJ, Vidal AC, Csizmadi I. Time from biopsy to radical prostatectomy by race in an equal-access healthcare system: Results from the SEARCH cohort. Prostate. 2023 Aug; 83(11):1011-1019.  View on PubMed

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