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

Five-Factor Prognostic Model for Survival of Post-Platinum Patients with Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma Receiving PD-L1 Inhibitors Sonpavde G, Manitz J, Gao C et al. The Journal of urology (2020) 204(7) 1173-1179

Genomic landscape of platinum resistant and sensitive testicular cancers Loveday C, Litchfield K, Proszek PZ et al. Nature Communications (2020) 11(7)

Health-related quality of life in the randomized phase 3 study of ramucirumab plus docetaxel versus placebo plus docetaxel in platinum-refractory advanced urothelial carcinoma (RANGE) Necchi A, Nishiyama H, Matsubara N et al. BMC Urology (2020) 20(7)

Nivolumab + ipilimumab (N+I) vs sunitinib (S) dans le traitement de première ligne du carcinome rénal avancé (aRCC) dans l’étude CheckMate 214 : suivi à 4 ans et analyse en sous-groupe des patients (pts) non néphrectomisés Albiges L, Tannir N, Burotto M et al. Progres en urologie : journal de l'Association francaise d'urologie et de la Societe francaise d'urologie (2020) 30(7) 785-786

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Genitourinary Cancer Care: Re-envisioning the Future Wallis CJD, Catto JWF, Finelli A et al. European Urology (2020) 78(7) 731-742

COVID-19 prevalence and mortality in patients with cancer and the effect of primary tumour subtype and patient demographics: a prospective cohort study Lee LYW, Cazier JB, Starkey T et al. The Lancet Oncology (2020) 21(7) 1309-1316

Incidence, Patterns, and Outcomes with Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Residual Disease After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Muscle-invasive Urinary Tract Cancers Martinez Chanza N, Werner L, Plimack E et al. European urology oncology (2020) 3(7) 671-679

Avelumab maintenance therapy for advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma Powles T, Park SH, Voog E et al. New England Journal of Medicine (2020) 383(7) 1218-1230

Axitinib plus immune checkpoint inhibitor: evidence- and expert-based consensus recommendation for treatment optimisation and management of related adverse events Grünwald V, Voss MH, Rini BI et al. British Journal of Cancer (2020) 123(7) 898-904

Radiological Response Heterogeneity Is of Prognostic Significance in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Treated with Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-targeted Therapy Hall PE, Shepherd STC, Brown J et al. European Urology Focus (2020) 6(7) 999-1005

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.