Professor Thomas Powles

MBBS, MRCP, MD
Professor of Genitourinary Oncology; Director, Barts Cancer Centre at St. Bartholomew's Hospital; Lead for Solid Tumour Research
Group Leader
Research Focus

My main research interests are in genital and urinary cancers, and I lead a spectrum of clinical studies from phase I to randomised phase III. The majority of the studies are translational phase II studies investigating novel targeted and immune therapies.

Key Publications

Pembrolizumab plus Axitinib versus Sunitinib for Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma. N Engl J Med (2019) 380(12):1116-1127. PMID: 30779529

Atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib in patients with previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma (IMmotion151): a multicentre, open-label, phase 3, randomised controlled trial. Lancet (2019) 393(10189):2404-2415. PMID: 31079938

TGFβ attenuates tumour response to PD-L1 blockade by contributing to exclusion of T cells. Nature (2018) 554(7693):544-548. PMID: 29443960

Clinical activity and molecular correlates of response to atezolizumab alone or in combination with bevacizumab versus sunitinib in renal cell carcinoma. Nat Med (2018) 24(6):749-757. PMID: 29867230

Major Funding
  • 2015-2020- Astrazeneca UK Limited, PDL-1 combination targeted therapy with AZ6094 in metastatic renal cancer (CALYPSO)
  • 2015-2020- F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Treatment of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder-ABACUS

Other Activities
  • NCRN bladder cancer CSG
  • NCRN renal cancer CSG
  • NCRN translational oncology group
  • NCRN CRPC studies group
Research

I am the lead for solid tumor research at Barts Cancer Institute. I also lead the genitourinary (GU) cancer group at BCI.

My work focuses on a spectrum of clinical studies from phase I to randomised phase III. The majority of the studies are translational phase II studies investigating novel targeted and immune therapies. They exploit functional imaging and tissue collection.

Alongside these trials, our research focuses on correlation of novel biomarkers and aims to define markers that are of prognostic value and can predict response or resistance to therapy.

I have written over 100 peer review papers in this area and have grant income from national and international funding bodies.

I am on the editorial board of a number of journals and am part of the faculty for the major global oncology meetings.

Other Activities
  • NCRN bladder cancer CSG
  • NCRN renal cancer CSG
  • NCRN translational oncology group
  • NCRN CRPC studies group
  • EORTC-GU executive committee
  • ESMO faculty for GU cancer
  • Editorial board of Clinical Genitourinary Cancer
  • Co chair of trans Atlantic bladder cancer consortium
  • International guidelines for testis cancer and renal cancer
Major Funding
  • 2015-2020- Astrazeneca UK Limited, PDL-1 combination targeted therapy with AZ6094 in metastatic renal cancer (CALYPSO)
  • 2015-2020- F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Treatment of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder-ABACUS
  • 2013-2018- Millenium Pharmaceuticals Inc, NEPTUNE study of neoadjuvant TAK-700 and leuprorelin acetate versus surgery alone in intermediate and high risk clinically localized
  • 2012-2017- AstraZeneca UK Limited, Comparing AZD2014 and EVEROLIMUS
  • 2010-2015- GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development, A phase II study investigating upfront pazopanib in metastatic clear cell renal cancer (PANTHER)
Recent Publications

CD8+ T cell-intrinsic IL-6 signaling promotes resistance to anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy Huseni MA, Wang L, Klementowicz JE et al. Cell Reports Medicine (2023) 4(7)

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Biomarker-Selected, Phase II Clinical Trial of Maintenance Poly ADP-Ribose Polymerase Inhibition with Rucaparib Following Chemotherapy for Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma Crabb SJ, Hussain S, Soulis E et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology (2023) 41(7) 54-64

A Renewal of the TNM Staging System for Patients with Renal Cancer To Comply with Current Decision-making: Proposal from the European Association of Urology Guidelines Panel Capitanio U, Bedke J, Albiges L et al. European Urology (2023) 83(7) 3-5

Clarification needed for pembrolizumab as adjuvant therapy in clear cell renal cell carcinoma – Authors' reply Powles T, Burgents JE, Xu L et al. The Lancet Oncology (2023) 24(7) e1-e2

Efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab in metastatic urothelial carcinoma: results from KEYNOTE-045 and KEYNOTE-052 after up to 5 years of follow-up Balar AV, Castellano DE, Grivas P et al. Annals of Oncology (2023) (7)

Role of Perioperative Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Chhaya S, Watts I, Ng K et al. Oncology and Therapy (2023) (7)

The 2022 Updated European Association of Urology Guidelines on the Use of Adjuvant Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy for Renal Cell Carcinoma Bedke J, Albiges L, Capitanio U et al. European Urology (2023) 83(7) 10-14

Long-Term outcomes with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus sunitinib in first-line treatment of patients with advanced sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma Rini BI, Signoretti S, Choueiri TK et al. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (2022) 10(7)

Randomized Phase II Trial of Sapanisertib ± TAK-117 vs. Everolimus in Patients With Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma After VEGF-Targeted Therapy Choueiri TK, Porta C, Suárez C et al. The oncologist (2022) 27(7) 1048-1057

Learning from Crisis: a Multicentre Study of Oncology Telemedicine Clinics Introduced During COVID-19 Grant M, Hockings H, Lapuente M et al. Journal of Cancer Education (2022) 37(7) 1861-1869

For additional publications, please click here
Biography

I qualified from St Bartholomew’s Medical School in 1996 and trained in medical oncology at Imperial College. I completed post-graduate training in oncology in 2005 and received an MD from the University of London in 2006. My thesis was in mechanisms of resistance to therapy in urology cancers.