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

MPDL3280A (Anti-PD-L1) treatment leads to clinical activity in metastatic bladder cancer. Nature (2014) 515(7528):558-62. PMID: 25428503

Conventional-dose versus high-dose chemotherapy as first salvage treatment in male patients with metastatic germ cell tumors: evidence from a large international database. J Clin Oncol (2011) 29(16):2178-84. PMID: 21444870

Sequential FDG-PET/CT as a biomarker of response to sunitinib in metastatic clear cell renal cancer. Clin Cancer Res (2011) 17(18):6021-8. PMID: 21742806

Highly active antiretroviral therapy and the incidence of non-AIDS-defining cancers in people with HIV infectionJ Clin Oncol (2009) 27(6):884-90. PMID: 19114688

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

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) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31150110

Updated European Association of Urology Guidelines on Renal Cell Carcinoma: Immune Checkpoint Inhibition Is the New Backbone in First-line Treatment of Metastatic Clear-cell Renal Cell Carcinoma. Albiges L, Powles T, Staehler M et al. Eur Urol (2019) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31151678

European Association of Urology Guidelines on Renal Cell Carcinoma: The 2019 Update. Ljungberg B, Albiges L, Abu-Ghanem Y et al. Eur Urol (2019) 75(2) 799-810
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30803729

CEA expression heterogeneity and plasticity confer resistance to the CEA-targeting bispecific immunotherapy antibody cibisatamab (CEA-TCB) in patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids. Gonzalez-Exposito R, Semiannikova M, Griffiths B et al. J Immunother Cancer (2019) 7(2) 101
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30982469

Single-centre Experience of Patients with Metastatic Urothelial Cancer Treated with Chemotherapy Following Immune Checkpoint Inhibition. Lam JM, Liu WK, Powles T et al. Eur Urol Oncol (2019) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31151926

Imaging in Suspected Renal-Cell Carcinoma: Systematic Review. Vogel C, Ziegelmüller B, Ljungberg B et al. Clin Genitourin Cancer (2019) 17(2) e345-e355
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30528378

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) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30936379

The adjuvant treatment of kidney cancer: a multidisciplinary outlook. Porta C, Cosmai L, Leibovich BC et al. Nat Rev Nephrol (2019) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30914797

Primary Results from SAUL, a Multinational Single-arm Safety Study of Atezolizumab Therapy for Locally Advanced or Metastatic Urothelial or Nonurothelial Carcinoma of the Urinary Tract. Sternberg CN, Loriot Y, James N et al. Eur Urol (2019) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30910346

Pembrolizumab plus Axitinib versus Sunitinib for Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma. Rini BI, Plimack ER, Stus V et al. N Engl J Med (2019) 380(2) 1116-1127
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30779529

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.