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.
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
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.
Genomic landscape of platinum resistant and sensitive testicular cancers Loveday C, Litchfield K, Proszek PZ et al. Nature Communications (2020) 11(7)
Patient-reported outcomes in a phase 2 study comparing atezolizumab alone or with bevacizumab vs sunitinib in previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma Pal SK, McDermott DF, Atkins MB et al. BJU International (2020) 126(7) 73-82
Polygenic risk for skin autoimmunity impacts immune checkpoint blockade in bladder cancer Khan Z, Di Nucci F, Kwan A et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2020) 117(7) 12288-12294
Advice Regarding Systemic Therapy in Patients with Urological Cancers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Gillessen S, Powles T European Urology (2020) 77(7) 667-668
Patient-Reported Outcomes from the Phase III Randomized IMmotion151 Trial: Atezolizumab þ Bevacizumab versus Sunitinib in Treatment-Naïve Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Atkins MB, Rini BI, Motzer RJ et al. Clinical Cancer Research (2020) 26(7) 2506-2514
Pembrolizumab as First-line Therapy in Cisplatin-ineligible Advanced Urothelial Cancer (KEYNOTE-052): Outcomes in Older Patients by Age and Performance Status Grivas P, Plimack ER, Balar AV et al. European urology oncology (2020) 3(7) 351-359
Publisher Correction: Clinical efficacy and biomarker analysis of neoadjuvant atezolizumab in operable urothelial carcinoma in the ABACUS trial (Nature Medicine, (2019), 25, 11, (1706-1714), 10.1038/s41591-019-0628-7) Powles T, Kockx M, Rodriguez-Vida A et al. Nature Medicine (2020) 26(7) 983
Immune checkpoint inhibition in urothelial carcinoma Szabados B, Powles T The Lancet (2020) 395(7) 1522-1523
High systemic and tumor-associated IL-8 correlates with reduced clinical benefit of PD-L1 blockade Yuen KC, Liu LF, Gupta V et al. Nature Medicine (2020) 26(7) 693-698
ATLANTIS: A randomised multi-arm phase II biomarker-directed umbrella screening trial of maintenance targeted therapy after chemotherapy in patients with advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer Fulton B, Jones R, Powles T et al. Trials (2020) 21(7)For additional publications, please click here
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.