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)
  • 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

First-line immune-checkpoint inhibitor combination therapy for chemotherapy-eligible patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis Mori K, Pradere B, Moschini M et al. European Journal of Cancer (2021) 151(7) 35-48

Toxicity and Surgical Complication Rates of Neoadjuvant Atezolizumab in Patients with Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer Undergoing Radical Cystectomy: Updated Safety Results from the ABACUS Trial. Szabados B, Rodriguez-Vida A, Durán I et al. Eur Urol Oncol (2021) 4(2) 456-463
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33612455

Atezolizumab plus Bevacizumab Versus Sunitinib for Patients with Untreated Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma and Sarcomatoid Features: A Prespecified Subgroup Analysis of the IMmotion151 Clinical Trial Rini BI, Motzer RJ, Powles T et al. European Urology (2021) 79(7) 659-662

Efficacy and Safety of Atezolizumab Plus Bevacizumab Following Disease Progression on Atezolizumab or Sunitinib Monotherapy in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma in IMmotion150: A Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Trial Powles T, Atkins MB, Escudier B et al. European Urology (2021) 79(7) 665-673

Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma: A 2020 Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, and Future Perspectives on Systemic Therapy Leow JJ, Chong YL, Chang SL et al. European Urology (2021) 79(7) 635-654

Perioperative therapy in renal cancer in the era of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy Kuusk T, Abu-Ghanem Y, Mumtaz F et al. Current opinion in urology (2021) 31(7) 262-269

Reply to Alexander Andreev-Drakhlin, Jianjun Gao, Arlene Siefker-Radtke. Levelling the Evidence: A Comparison of Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant Treatment for Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma. Eur Urol 2021;79:655–6 Leow JJ, Chong YL, Chang SL et al. European Urology (2021) 79(7) 657-658

Lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab or everolimus for advanced renal cell carcinoma Motzer R, Alekseev B, Rha SY et al. New England Journal of Medicine (2021) 384(7) 1289-1300

Intratumoral CD103+ CD8+ T cells predict response to PD-L1 blockade Banchereau R, Chitre AS, Scherl A et al. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (2021) 9(7)

Adjuvant atezolizumab versus observation in muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma (IMvigor010): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial Bellmunt J, Hussain M, Gschwend JE et al. The Lancet Oncology (2021) 22(7) 525-537

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.