Professor Thomas Powles

MBBS, MRCP, MD
Professor of Genitourinary Oncology,
Director, Barts Cancer Centre,
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), £3,199,998
  • 2015-2020- F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Treatment of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder-ABACUS, £2,644,429

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), £3,199,998
  • 2015-2020- F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Treatment of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder-ABACUS, £2,644,429
  • 2013-2018- Millenium Pharmaceuticals Inc, NEPTUNE study of neoadjuvant TAK-700 and leuprorelin acetate versus surgery alone in intermediate and high risk clinically localized, £979,682
  • 2012-2017- AstraZeneca UK Limited, Comparing AZD2014 and EVEROLIMUS, £906,000
  • 2010-2015- GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development, A phase II study investigating upfront pazopanib in metastatic clear cell renal cancer (PANTHER), £1,155,763
Recent Publications

Clinical efficacy and biomarker analysis of neoadjuvant atezolizumab in operable urothelial carcinoma in the ABACUS trial. Powles T, Kockx M, Rodriguez-Vida A et al. Nat Med (2019) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31686036

PD-L1 expression and clinical outcomes to cabozantinib, everolimus, and sunitinib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Analysis of the randomized clinical trials Meteor and Cabosun Flaifel A, Xie W, Braun DA et al. Clinical Cancer Research (2019) 25(7) 6080-6088

Bladder cancer, a unique model to understand cancer immunity and develop immunotherapy approaches Song D, Powles T, Shi L et al. Journal of Pathology (2019) 249(7) 151-165

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus sunitinib in first-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma: extended follow-up of efficacy and safety results from a randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial Motzer RJ, Rini BI, McDermott DF et al. The Lancet Oncology (2019) 20(7) 1370-1385

Surgical Safety of Cytoreductive Nephrectomy Following Sunitinib: Results from the Multicentre, Randomised Controlled Trial of Immediate Versus Deferred Nephrectomy (SURTIME)(Figure presented.) De Bruijn RE, Mulders P, Jewett MA et al. European Urology (2019) 76(7) 437-440

The Impact of Cisplatin- or Non-Cisplatin-Containing Chemotherapy on Long-Term and Conditional Survival of Patients with Advanced Urinary Tract Cancer Bamias A, Tzannis K, Bamia C et al. Oncologist (2019) 24(7) 1348-1355

Tumor downstaging as an intermediate endpoint to assess the activity of neoadjuvant systemic therapy in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer Martini A, Jia R, Ferket BS et al. Cancer (2019) 125(7) 3155-3163

A Phase Ib Study of Axitinib in Combination with Crizotinib in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Cancer or Other Advanced Solid Tumors Michaelson MD, Gupta S, Agarwal N et al. Oncologist (2019) 24(7) 1151-e817

Erratum to ‘Second-line targeted therapies after nivolumab-ipilimumab failure in metastatic renal cell carcinoma’ (European Journal of Cancer (2019) 108 (33–40), (S0959804918315399), (10.1016/j.ejca.2018.11.031)) Auvray M, Auclin E, Barthelemy P et al. European Journal of Cancer (2019) 119(7) 200-201

Long-term Outcomes of Follow-up for Initially Localised Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: RECUR Database Analysis Dabestani S, Beisland C, Stewart GD et al. European Urology Focus (2019) 5(7) 857-866

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.