The Western Section asked Dr. Brosman to write a short biography about himself for the newsletter. The award will be presented at the Member’s Business Meeting during the annual meeting on November 1, 2018.
When I was around 5 years old, I announced to my parents that I was going to become a doctor. In 1955, at age 21, I entered medical School at Indiana University. In the second year, I was provided with space for a research laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology. Not only was there space, but a large supply of compounds to test and research money. Evenings and weekends were spent in the lab studying ways to prevent the effects of nephrotoxic agents. Saturday evenings and Sunday’s were spent as an observer in the Emergency Department at the General Hospital. I learned to sew up lacerations, start IV’s, treat fractures and even got to tag along in the ambulance.
During the clerkships I discovered Urology. The doctors were happy and relaxed as compared to those in other surgical specialties. One year there was a visiting Professor, Willard Goodwin, who had just started the GU program at UCLA. He took a tour through the lab and we discussed GU research. When it came time to apply for a Residency, I sent him a letter and received a telegram notifying me of an acceptance.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon, declared war on cancer. Money was allocated to study the five most common cancers and there were two GU tumors on the list, bladder and prostate. We received a large grant to study the immunology of these two cancers. Immunology was a new field and was attached to the Department of Bacteriology. The research was focused on studying the immune status of the host and attempting to develop ways to enhance an anti-tumor response. This led to treatments for bladder cancer and some interesting observations for kidney, which we snuck in, and prostate cancer. Now the world of cancer revolves around immunotherapy and personalized medicine. Urologists were the first immunotherapists, there is still a lot more work to be done. I am glad I was able to take part of the initial research in this specialty. I am honored to be considered a Distinguished Member of the Western Section AUA. – SB