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Herbert Ballentine Carter, MD

Professor of Urology

See Research on Pubmed

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Main Location

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center

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  • Urology
  • Professor
  • Director of Adult Urology
  • Professor of Urology
  • Professor of Oncology

Centers & Institutes

  • James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute
  • Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center


Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostate Cancer, Urologic Oncology - Carcinoma of the Prostate, Urology, Urology / Urologic Surgery, Urology, Adult

Research Interests

Benign prostatic hyperplasia; Prostate cancer; Active surveillance of prostate cancer; Benign prostatic hyperplasia; Urologic oncology; Carcinoma of the prostate; Urology; Urologic surgery


Dr. Herbert Ballantine Carter is a professor of urology and oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate disease, both cancerous and non-cancerous. Dr. Carter also serves as the director of adult urology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Carter earned his M.D. from Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine. He completed his residency in urology and surgery at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and performed a fellowship in urology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Carter is the only surgeon at Johns Hopkins to have collected four years of quality of life information on consecutive patients undergoing radical prostatectomy using validated questionnaires. As a surgeon, this data allows him to know how he is doing and also allows patients to know what to expect. After performing more than 3,500 radical prostatectomies, he can help men and their partners navigate through a difficult time in their lives, and, in most cases, return to a life that was present before the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Dr. Carter led a panel of experts that wrote the American Urological Association guidelines in 2013 for prostate cancer detection. His book–The Whole Life Prostate Book–is the only comprehensive prostate book for laypeople that offers patients not only up to date information on management options for prostate disease (including cancer), but also approaches to prevention of male health disorders including prostate disease.

Dr. Carter, in collaboration with investigators at the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, introduced the concept of PSA rate of change (PSA velocity) as a marker of prostate cancer presence and aggressiveness. He also first described the use of free PSA to predict the behavior of prostate cancer. Dr. Carter was first to publish data demonstrating that an individual’s personal prostate cancer screening program should be tailored to baseline PSA levels instead of using a “one size fits all” approach.

Dr. Carter was nominated in 2012 to be a Trustee of the American Board of Urology by the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons. His election as a Trustee to the American Board of Urology is a recognition of his exemplary patient care and innovative research in the field of prostate cancer.


  • English


Alpha Omega Alpha

American Medical Association

American Urological Association

American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons

Society of Urological Oncologists

Mid-Atlantic Section, American Urological Association

Maryland Urological Association

Clinical Trial Keywords

  • National Institute of Aging (BLSA)
Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine (Charleston SC ) (1981)


    • The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center / Urology (New York NY ) (1987)
    • The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center / Surgery (New York NY ) (1983)


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Urology (Baltimore MD ) (1989)


    • Urology, American Board of Urology (2010)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Carter runs the Expectant Management Program for prostate cancer at Johns Hopkins. This program is designed to select men who are thought to have small volume cancers for whom no immediate treatment is a rational management option. In this program, Dr. Carter, together with colleagues at the Brady Urological Institute, is seeking to define the biomarker changes, nuclear structural parameters, genetic profile, and diet/lifestyle factors that may help identify which men with prostate cancer can safely forgo treatment for prostate cancer.

    In 1995, Dr. Carter began a large prospective study to evaluate what is now referred to as "active surveillance" for prostate cancer—a program designed to select men who are thought to have small volume cancers that may never need treatment. These men have the option to be carefully monitored as an alternative to immediate surgery. In counseling patients regarding the decision to treat or not, Dr. Carter emphasizes the importance of a man’s unique needs and preferences when deciding on treatment.

    Selected Publications View all on PubMed

    1. Loeb S, Bjurlin MA, Nicholson J, Tammela TL, Penson DF, Carter HB, Carroll P, Etzioni R. "Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment of Prostate Cancer." Eur Urol. 2014 Jan 9. pii: S0302-2838(13)01490-5. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2013.12.062.
    2. Wang CC, Carter HB, Epstein JI. "Value of Transition Zone Biopsy in Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer." J Urol. 2013 Dec 5. pii: S0022-5347(13)06016-3. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.11.058.
    3. Bonekamp D, Bonekamp S, Mullins JK, Epstein JI, Carter HB, Macura KJ. "Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging characterization of prostate lesions in the active surveillance population: incremental value of magnetic resonance imaging for prediction of disease reclassification." J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2013 Nov-Dec;37(6):948-56. doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e31829ae20a.
    4. Inoue LY, Trock BJ, Partin AW, Carter HB, Etzioni R. "Modeling grade progression in an active surveillance study." Stat Med. 2014 Mar 15;33(6):930-9. doi: 10.1002/sim.6003. Epub 2013 Oct 9.
    5. Patel HD, Feng Z, Landis P, Trock BJ, Epstein JI, Carter HB. "Prostate specific antigen velocity risk count predicts biopsy reclassification for men with very low risk prostate cancer." J Urol. 2014 Mar;191(3):629-37. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.09.029. Epub 2013 Sep 20.
  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    Distinguished Alumni Award, Furman University, Greenville, S.C., 2005

    Alumni Hall of Fame, Florence County School District, South Carolina, 2001

    First prize, Ferdinand C. Valentine Urology Residents Essay Contest, The New York Academy of Medicine and The New York Section of the American Urological Association, 1985 and 1986

    Alpha Omega Alpha, 1980-

  • Videos & Media +
  • Events +
  • Contact & Locations +


    Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
    601 N. Caroline Street
    Baltimore, MD 21287
    Phone: 410-955-0351
    Appointment Phone: 410-955-6100
    Fax: 410-955-0833
    Location Map
    The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street
    Sheikh Zayed Tower
    Baltimore, MD 21287
    Phone: 410-955-0351
    Appointment Phone: 410-955-6100
    Fax: 410-955-0833
    Location Map


    • Urology

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