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

Molecular and histopathology directed therapy for advanced bladder cancer. Alifrangis C, McGovern U, Freeman A et al. Nat Rev Urol (2019) 16(2) 465-483
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31289379

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) 76(2) 151-156
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31151678

Erratum to 'Second-line targeted therapies after nivolumab-ipilimumab failure in metastatic renal cell carcinoma' [Eur J Cancer 108 (February 2019) 33-40]. Auvray M, Auclin E, Barthelemy P et al. Eur J Cancer (2019) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31301937

Genomic and Transcriptomic Determinants of Therapy Resistance and Immune Landscape Evolution during Anti-EGFR Treatment in Colorectal Cancer. Woolston A, Khan K, Spain G et al. Cancer Cell (2019) 36(2) 35-50.e9
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31287991

Performance and cost of a renal cancer specialist multidisciplinary team meeting: Results from 1500 discussions Neves JB, Shepherd S, Cullen D et al. Journal of Clinical Urology (2019) 12(7) 314-319

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) 76(2) 73-81
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30910346

The adjuvant treatment of kidney cancer: a multidisciplinary outlook. Porta C, Cosmai L, Leibovich BC et al. Nat Rev Nephrol (2019) 15(2) 423-433
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30914797

Immune Checkpoint Blockade plus Axitinib for Renal-Cell Carcinoma. Reply. Rini BI, Powles T N Engl J Med (2019) 380(2) 2582
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31242371

Safe Use of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in the Multidisciplinary Management of Urological Cancer: The European Association of Urology Position in 2019. Grimm M-O, Bex A, De Santis M et al. Eur Urol (2019) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31235192

Surgical Safety of Cytoreductive Nephrectomy Following Sunitinib: Results from the Multicentre, Randomised Controlled Trial of Immediate Versus Deferred Nephrectomy (SURTIME). De Bruijn RE, Mulders P, Jewett MA et al. Eur Urol (2019) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31227307

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.