James A. Eastham, MD, FACS -- Chief, Urology Service; Florence and Theodore Baumritter/Enid Ancell Chair of Urologic Oncology

James A. Eastham, MD, FACS

Urologic Surgeon

My Role at MSK

Areas of Expertise

My Specialties

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Nerve-Sparing Techniques
  • Salvage Radical Prostatectomy

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About Me

What I Do at MSK
  • Chief, Urology Service
  • Peter T. Scardino Chair in Oncology
Get To Know Me

I am a surgeon who specializes in nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy for the treatment of prostate cancer and salvage radical prostatectomy in patients with prostate cancer in whom radiation therapy has failed.

I completed my fellowship in urologic oncology in 1995 and have been in practice since then, devoting the past 15 years exclusively to the care of men with prostate cancer.

This provider is part of a team that was ranked #1 in the nation for Urology Cancer Care this year by U.S. News & World Report.
Read more

I see about 300 men with prostate cancer each year. Many of them have low-risk disease and are candidates for active surveillance, meaning that no immediate treatment is necessary. In this approach, we monitor the tumor closely for signs that it might be growing or becoming more aggressive and hold off on treatment. For those men with more high-risk cancer that requires treatment, I primarily perform robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy.

At MSK, our treatment recommendations are based on personal risk. Not all men have the same risk — one size does not fit all. Many prostate cancers are of such low risk that treatment would only result in possible side effects, without improving patients’ life expectancy. Such cancers are best managed with active surveillance. Other men will benefit from either surgery or radiation therapy.

While most men are candidates for robotic surgery, some may still do better with traditional open surgery, a procedure I also perform. An area of special interest to me is men with high-risk prostate cancer who might not have been considered candidates for traditional open surgery. This includes men who have previously been treated with radiation therapy but whose cancer has returned.

My clinical research focuses on improving outcomes following surgery for prostate cancer. This includes controlling the cancer and restoring normal urinary and sexual function. Together with my colleagues in medical oncology and radiation oncology, we tailor therapy as accurately as possible to each individual’s cancer to control or cure it while minimizing treatment-related side effects.

We’re also starting to investigate the role of local treatment — surgery or radiation — in selected men with low-volume metastatic prostate cancer, meaning that their cancer has spread to a limited number of other sites in the body. Such men have traditionally been treated only with hormonal therapy. We are now investigating using a therapy in which men receive systemic treatment, such as chemotherapy, plus local treatment. The goal is to prolong survival and, ultimately, cure the cancer.

In addition, certain carefully selected men may be candidates for focal therapy, in which just the area of the prostate with the cancer is treated rather than the entire gland. This approach reduces the risk of treatment side effects while still eradicating the cancer.

During the course of my career I’ve given more than 180 invited presentations at meetings and symposia in the United States and around the world. I have also published 300 peer-reviewed studies in prestigious national and international journals.

As a doctor, my focus is on the whole person, not just his disease. I want my patients to be alive, but also to be able to live full and enjoyable lives. 

My Role at MSK

A urologic surgeon is a doctor with special training in surgery on the genitourinary (jeh-nih-toh-YOOR-ih-nayr-ee) (GU) system. This includes the bladder, kidney, penis, prostate, and testicles.

Areas of Expertise

My Specialties

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Nerve-Sparing Techniques
  • Salvage Radical Prostatectomy
  • Robotic Prostatectomy
Education & Honors

Education

  • MD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Residencies

  • Urology - Los Angeles County - University of Southern California Medical Center

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: America’s Top Doctor (2024)
  • Top Doctors New York Metro Area, Castle Connolly (2023)
  • Castle Connolly: America's Top Doctors (2023)
  • Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2010-2020)
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Alpha Omega Alpha
  • National Kidney Foundation Research Fellowship Award
  • American Cancer Society Clinical Fellowship Award
  • Lamar Fleming Award-Gene Therapy in Prostate Cancer
  • Patients’ Choice: Rated & Awarded by Patients
  • Best Clinical Paper Published in European Urology in 2011: “Salvage Radical Prostatectomy for Radiation-Recurrent Prostate Cancer: A Multi-institutional Collaboration”

Fellowships

  • Urologic Oncology - Baylor College of Medicine

Board Certifications

  • Urology

Insurance Information

Understanding your insurance options is an important part of managing your cancer care. We have relationships with many common healthcare providers and plans.

Aetna

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO PPO, POS, Transplant

Aetna Medicare Advantage (MTA retirees only)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield New York

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Blue Cross Blue Shield states outside of NY/NJ

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO PPO, POS

Blue Cross Health Plus

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Carrum Health

In Network Coverage Type
Supplemental

Cigna

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

Connecticare

In Network Coverage Type
POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Offers a qualified health plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Call Emblem to learn more.

Emblem Essential

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Emblem Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

Empire Blue Cross Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO, DSN

Empire Essential

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Empire Plan / NYSHIP (Blue Cross/UnitedHealthcare split plan)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Fidelis

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO

Offers a qualified health plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Call Fidelis to learn more.

Fidelis Managed Medicaid & HARP

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Fidelis Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

First Health

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Healthfirst

In Network Coverage Type
EPO, HMO, PPO, POS

Offers a qualified health plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Call Healthfirst to learn more.

Healthfirst Managed Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Healthfirst Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, PPO

Healthsmart

In Network Coverage Type
PPO EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (HMO)

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (PPO)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier I (EPO)

In Network Coverage Type
EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier II (EPO)

In Network Coverage Type
EPO

Horizon Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

Husky CT Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Magnacare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO

Straight NJ Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Straight NY Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Medicare Part A&B (traditional Medicare)

In Network Coverage Type
Federal Government

Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS

In Network Coverage Type
Supplemental

MVP

In Network Coverage Type
PPO/OAP

Non-Participating Plans with Out of Network Benefits

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

NYC Medicare Advantage Plus for City Employees

In Network Coverage Type
TBD

Oscar

In Network Coverage Type
HMO/EPO

Oxford

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, EPO

World Trade Center Health Program (WTC)

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Qualcare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

Tricare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

UMR

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS

United Healthcare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

Don't see your carrier or plan? We can help you understand your coverage.

If you don't have health insurance or are worried that your care may not be fully covered, our financial assistance programs may be able to help.

If you have questions about insurance, call us at 646-497-9176.

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Current Patients

Request an appointment by logging on to MyMSK or calling your doctor’s office. If you aren’t registered for MyMSK, call 646-227-2593 for your Enrollment ID.

Contact and Location

Dr. Eastham sees patients at one location.

Office Phone
Location
New York, NY

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Colleagues

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

See all Urology Service doctors

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Clinical Trials

Smiling doctors in the lab
Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Search clinical trials

Research and Publications

Books and Book Chapters
“Salvage radical prostatectomy for recurrence of prostate cancer after radiation therapy.” Eastham JA, Scardino PT. In: Comprehensive Textbook of Genitourinary Oncology. 3rd ed. Vogelzang NJ, Scardino PT, Shipley WU, DF Coffey, eds. Baltimore:  Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2006: 306-314.

“Nerve-sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy.” Eastham JA, Jarrard DF. In: Atlas of the Prostate. 3rd ed. Scardino PT, Slawin KM, eds. Philadelphia: Current Medicine; 2006: 145-161.

“Preservation of sexual function after treatment for prostate cancer.” Eastham JA. In: Prostate Cancer: Principles and Practice. Kirby RS, Partin AW, Feneley M, Parsons JK, eds. Abington, UK: Taylor & Francis; 2006: 675-682.

“Expectant management of prostate cancer.” Eastham JA, Scardino PT. In: Campbell’s Urology. 9th ed. Kavoussi LR, Novick AC, Partin AW, Wein AJ, eds. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2007.

“Cancer of the prostate.” Zelefsky MJ, Eastham JA, Sartor AO. In: DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s: Cancer Principles & Practice of Oncology. DeVita VT Jr., Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011: 1220-1279.

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Eastham’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

See all on PubMed

Disclosures

Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.

James A. Eastham discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

  • 3D Biopsy
    Equity
  • Simulated Inanimate Models, LLC
    Equity

If you’re a patient at MSK and would like more information about your doctor’s external relationships, please talk with your doctor.

The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.


This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2022 through disclosure submission in spring 2023). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.

Learn more about MSK’s COI policies here. For questions regarding MSK’s COI-related policies and procedures, email MSK’s Compliance Office at [email protected].


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