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

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

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)

Adjuvant chemotherapy in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (the POUT trial): a phase 3, open-label, randomised controlled trial Birtle A, Johnson M, Chester J et al. The Lancet (2020) 395(7) 1268-1277

A Consensus Molecular Classification of Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer[Formula presented] Kamoun A, de Reyniès A, Allory Y et al. European Urology (2020) 77(7) 420-433

Deferred Cytoreductive Nephrectomy Following Presurgical Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-targeted Therapy in Patients with Primary Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Pooled Analysis of Prospective Trial Data de Bruijn R, Wimalasingham A, Szabados B et al. European urology oncology (2020) 3(7) 168-173

Efficacy of chemotherapy and atezolizumab in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer receiving antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors: pooled post hoc analyses of the OAK and POPLAR trials Chalabi M, Cardona A, Nagarkar DR et al. Annals of Oncology (2020) 31(7) 525-531

Reply To Kenneth B. Yatai, Mark J. Dunning, Dennis Wang. Consensus Genomic Subtypes of Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer: A Step in the Right Direction but Still a Long Way To Go. Eur Urol 2020;77:434–5 Kamoun A, de Reyniès A, Allory Y et al. European Urology (2020) 77(7) 436-438

The efficacy of sunitinib treatment of renal cancer cells is associated with the Protein PHAX in vitro Al-Lamki RS, Hudson NJ, Bradley JR et al. Biology (2020) 9(7)

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.