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The Bladder Cancer Research Centre (University of Birmingham) and the Translational Oncology & Urology Research (TOUR) team (King’s College London and Guy’s Hospital) are organising their 6th Bladder Cancer Translational Research Meeting - a fully interactive bladder cancer clinical research meeting led by an international expert panel of clinicians and scientists in the U.K. The forum is designed to bridge the gap between science and clinical practice and will cover the spectrum of bladder cancer research in oncology, urology, nursing, epidemiology, immuno- and molecular biology.

Despite the substantial disease burden for patients and healthcare providers, bladder cancer only receives 0.6% of cancer research spending. This meeting will thus provide an opportunity to enhance collaborations across the UK and internationally and allow networking opportunities between clinicians and scientists allowing participants to anticipate crucial observations in the clinical practice to inform research activities and vice versa. Marrying these two diverse disciplines will enable healthcare systems to provide more efficient outcome-driven patient-centred interventions in the field of bladder cancer.

Abstract submission

In addition to engagement through interactive sessions with high impact speakers, we invite participants from their respective units to submit and present their research. Three high impact abstracts will be selected for an oral presentation and the best oral and poster presentations will be awarded with a prize.

Abstracts need to be submitted to by 1st March 2024. Abstracts should be structured (background, methods, results, conclusion) and be no longer than 300 words.  All authors should be listed, including their affiliation.








Prof Mieke Van Hemelrijck
King’s College London
Prof Rik Bryan
University of Birmingham


Overcoming Challenges

Chair: Dr Beth Russell
King’s College London
& Miss Alex Colquhoun
Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge


Boosting and broadening recruitment to UK Cancer Trials: towards a blueprint for action

Dr Vernonica Nanton
University of Warwick


Radical Management of MIBC: Patient Preferences

Dr Simon Hughes
Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust


Discussion session for all talks



Radiotherapy and Radiobiology

Chair: Professor Nick James
Institute of Cancer Research
& Dr Deborah Enting
Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust


Biological and clinical relevance of gender in bladder cancer

Prof Laure Marignol
Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin


Cancer associated fibroblast in bladder cancer (with a radiotherapy focus)

Dr Anna Wilkins
The Institute of Cancer Research



Broadening the indications for radiotherapy: is it time to tackle NMIBC?

Prof Ananya Choudhury
University of Manchester


Discussion session for all talks


Tea and coffee break




Chairs: Prof Param Mariappan
University of Edinburgh
& Dr Lydia Makaroff
CEO of Fight Bladder Cancer


Implementing guideline recommendations on single instillations for bladder cancer: intervention development, study design and early results

Dr Steven MacLennan
University of Aberdeen


SunRISe-1: Phase 2b study of TAR-200 plus cetrelimab, TAR-200 alone, or cetrelimab alone in participants with high-risk nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer unresponsive to Bacillus Calmette-Guérin who are ineligible for or decline radical cystectomy

Prof Evanguelos Xylinas
Université de Paris Cité


Discussion session for all talks


Lunch break, networking and poster viewing


Abstract presentations

Chairs: TBC


Abstract presentations (three best abstracts) plus questions


Tea and coffee break



Molecular approaches to identifying disease biology & biomarkers

Dr Doug Ward
University of Birmingham
& Dr Anna Wilkins
Institute of Cancer Research


Single cell sequencing in NMIBC

Dr Dan Woodcock
University of Oxford


Immune cell infiltration, exhaustion, T cell clonality and outcomes

Prof Lars Dyrskjøt
Aarhus University (Denmark)


Discussion session for all talks





Closure and prizes

Prof Mieke Van Hemelrijck
King’s College London



Organising Committee

Mieke Van Hemelrijck

Mieke Van Hemelrijck

Professor in Cancer Epidemiology, King's College London

Professsor Van Hemelrijck studied for an MSc in Biomedical Sciences (2001-2005) and an MSc in Statistical Analysis (2005-2006) at Ghent University, Belgium. While doing so, she became engaged in epidemiology research in the field of urology. She continued her epidemiological training by spending two years at the Harvard School of Public Health (2006-2008), where she obtained an MSc in Population & International Health, staying focused on urological research. From 2008-2010, she worked with Professor Holmberg at King’s College London and obtained a PhD in Cancer Epidemiology. In 2012, she was appointed as a Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology at King’s College London. She leads the Translational Oncology and Urology Research (TOUR) Team in the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences and became a Professor in late 2020.


Professor Rik Bryan 

Director of the Bladder Cancer Research Centre, University of Birmingham and Professor of Urothelial Research

Professor Rik Bryan is a former clinical urologist, and now a full-time bladder cancer research academic. He is the Chief Investigator of the Bladder Cancer Prognosis Programme (BCPP), the SELENIB clinical trial, and POUT-T. He is the Director of the Bladder Cancer Research Centre (BCRC) in the Institute of Cancer & Genomic Sciences at the University of Brimingham, leading a multi-disciplinary translational research team. The BCRC has a particular interest in the proteomics, genomics and epigenomics of bladder cancer and related biomarkers, and novel agents, technologies and pathways.


Anna Wilkins

Dr Anna Wilkins

Clinician Scientist at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and an Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at the Royal Marsden

Dr Anna Wilkins is a Clinician Scientist at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and an Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at the Royal Marsden, where she treats prostate and bladder cancers. Anna’s leads the Stromal Radiobiology Group where research combines human translational science with pre-clinical models to investigate how different features of the tumour microenvironment, including non-cancerous cells, might help prostate and bladder tumours survive after radiotherapy.

Anna completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate medical studies at the University of Cambridge in 2001, before travelling to Myanmar to work on a large scale HIV/AIDS project.

On her return to London in 2008, she underwent specialist clinical oncology training and in 2013 was awarded a Cancer Research UK Clinical Research Training Fellowship at the ICR. While studying for her PhD, Anna led a number of projects, based on the CHHiP trial in prostate cancer, to develop predictive models for the efficacy and toxicity of hypofractionated radiotherapy. In 2019, Anna was awarded a Crick Postdoctoral Clinical Fellowship to pursue her research in Dr Erik Sahai’s laboratory, and she continues to study the impact of radiotherapy on different aspects of the tumour microenvironment.

Nick James

Professor Nicholas David James BSc (First Class Honours) MBBS PhD FRCP FRCR

Professor James is Professor of Prostate and Bladder Cancer Research at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London. He was previously Professor of Clinical Oncology in Birmingham until 2019. He is also an NIHR Senior Investigator and Deputy Dean of The Institute of Cancer Research.

His research is focussed on advanced prostate cancer and on bladder preservation in locally advanced disease. Prof. James is Chief Investigator on the ground-breaking STAMPEDE trial, which has been used to evaluate, to date, 10 different therapies for advanced prostate cancer in more than 11,000 men. The trial has shown that big survival gains can be made by using existing treatments in novel settings.

In the bladder cancer field, Prof James has led a series of trials of chemoradiotherapy that demonstrated that low dose synchronous chemotherapy reduced invasive bladder cancer relapse rates by 43%, defining chemoradiotherapy as the standard of care for bladder preservation.

Outside the clinical and research spheres, Prof James is a closely engaged with patient education initiatives. This is best exemplified by a series of music concerts, in collaboration with the world-famous saxophonist Courtney Pine, entitled “It's a Man Thing”. He also co-founded the leading website CancerHelp UK in 1994. In 2002 it became the main patient resource on the Cancer Research UK website.

Deborah Enting

Deborah Enting

Consultant Medical Oncologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust 

Deborah Enting is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and specialises in urological malignancies and has a particular interest in bladder cancer. She completed her undergraduate training at The University of Groningen in The Netherlands before moving to the UK for specialist training in Oncology at Guy’s Hospital. As an academic trainee she completed a PhD with Prof Adrian Hayday at King’s College London in tumour immune surveillance. She is a principal investigator on a number bladder cancer clinical trials and has been instrumental in the setup of the King’s Health Partners Bladder Cancer Biobank. Her academic interest focuses on lymphoid stress-surveillance by gamma delta T cell and NK cells in the context of bladder cancer.

Twitter: @DebEnting

Lars Dyrskjøt2

Lars Dyrskjøt

Professor of molecular medicine at Aarhus University

Lars Dyrskjøt is professor of molecular medicine at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University. He holds a PhD in medicine and an MSc in Chemistry and Molecular Biology from Aarhus University. His research group is primarily dedicated to advancing translational research in bladder cancer, focusing on the following key areas:

Biomarker Discovery and Validation: The work involves identifying and validating biomarker models for predicting outcomes and treatment responses across the entire spectrum of bladder cancer, from early to late stages. This work includes evaluating various therapies, such as BCG, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.

Liquid Biopsy Analysis: A significant portion of his research efforts is dedicated to developing and refining liquid biopsy analysis methods and exploring the use of ctDNA for clinical decision making. The goal is to create novel approaches for monitoring early relapse and assessing treatment responses. In addition to investigating liquid biopsies in prospective clinical trials, the team is actively involved in clinical trials evaluating the clinical benefits of guiding treatment based on ctDNA detection (TOMBOLA).

Unravelling Disease Biology: In addition to clinical applications, his research also focuses on the fundamental aspects of bladder cancer. This includes gaining a comprehensive understanding of the underlying disease biology, investigating tumour subtypes, and exploring the complexities of tumour evolution.

In summary, his research program combines a profound understanding of molecular biology with a translational approach to address critical aspects of bladder cancer research. This encompasses biomarker discovery, liquid biopsy development, and a fundamental exploration of disease biology.

Ananya Choudhury

Professor Ananya Choudhury

Chair and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology
Group Leader Translational Radiobiology

Ananya is Professor and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at The University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Trust, UK. As clinical lead for advanced radiotherapy and Group Leader of Translational Radiobiology, she oversees a programme of research in personalised radiotherapy focusing on bladder and prostate cancer. She holds national leadership roles within the Royal College of Radiologists, the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research Working Group (CTRad), the NCRI Bladder Clinical Studies Group and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Professor Choudhury is currently the Editor in Chief of BMJ Oncology.

Douglas Ward

Dr Douglas G Ward PhD

Theme Lead - Biomarkers & Proteomics

Doug Ward is a Senior Research Fellow leading the laboratory research into biomarkers at the BCRC. His group’s research spans all aspects of tissue and liquid biopsy biomarkers - from initial candidate discovery though to validation and translation into clinical use.

Doug spent the early part of his career using biophysical techniques to investigate protein structure and function. This led to an interest in mass spectrometry-based proteomics which evolved into utilising proteomic technologies to study bladder cancer, and the resultant identification of prognostic protein biomarkers. Next generation sequencing has now become a key technology for DNA and RNA-based biomarker research and his group have recently developed and validated a test based on targeted sequencing of urine DNA for the non-invasive detection of bladder cancer.

Param Mariappan 2024

Professor Param Mariappan FRCS(Urol), PhD

Consultant Urological Surgeon,
Edinburgh Bladder Cancer Surgery (EBCS),
The University of Edinburgh

Param has been a Consultant Urological Surgeon in Edinburgh for over 18 years, with a practice that is almost exclusively Bladder Cancer and holds an honorary professorship with The University of Edinburgh.

Having performed over 800 cystectomies and several thousand TURBTs, he has one of the UKs largest contemporary series and leads the Bladder Cancer surgical service in Edinburgh with a focus on effectiveness and efficiency in patient-centred care.

Param plays a leading role in the development and continuation of the Scottish QPI programme for Bladder Cancer and designed the Scot BC Quality OPS project.

He is very research active and has published widely, featuring in some seminal work.

Param sits on the EAU guideline panels for Bladder Cancer and the core committee of The International Bladder Cancer Group (IBCG).

Outside work, Param is a keen 6 handicap golfer.

Veronica Nanton

Dr Veronica (Ronni) Nanton

Assistant Professor, Warwick Medical School

Veronica (Ronni) Nanton is a researcher in Health Sciences in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Warwick Medical School. Over the last 18 years, her research has focussed on biopsychosocial aspects of cancer and palliative care. With funding from the NIHR, Prostate Cancer UK and Action on Bladder Cancer she has led the development and evaluation of digital health resources aiming to enable personalised care in urological cancers. She and her team are currently working to extend their scope, functionality and importantly, reach. With a PhD in Public Health and Epidemiology following her MSc in Psychology, Ronni has a strong focus on social determinants of health and a commitment to inclusivity. Her Cancer Research UK funded study of prostate cancer in African Caribbean men, was the first UK study to investigate the perceptions and experience of care of Black men within their historical and social context.

As an advisor for the NIHR Research Design Service, Ronni has been able to encourage other researchers to consider the importance of inclusive recruitment and to adopt strategies to broaden participation.

Steven MacLennan

Steven MacLennan

Senior Research Fellow, Academic Urology Unit at the University of Aberdeen

I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Academic Urology Unit at the University of Aberdeen. I lead the implementation research theme which focusses on how we get the most effective clinical practices for urological cancers and benign conditions delivered in routine care. I also sit on the methodology committee of the European Association of Urology, overseeing the quality standards in their clinical practice guidelines, ensuring that patients are meaningfully involved, and leading efforts to implement the EAU’s guidelines.

lydia_Makaroff 2

Dr Lydia Makaroff

Chief Executive, Fight Bladder Cancer
President, World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition

Dr Lydia Makaroff is the Chief Executive of Fight Bladder Cancer and President of the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition. Previously she was the Director of a European federation of cancer patient organisations. She has a PhD in immunology and a Masters' degree in Public Health. She has worked in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and the non-profit sector. Follow her on Mastodon, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Miss Alex Colquhoun

Miss Alexandra Colquhoun

Clinical Director for Cancer, Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge

I studied medicine at the University of Leicester before subsequently training in Urology in the East Midlands region.  During my Speciality training I completed a Masters Degree assessing the radiosensitising effect of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in bladder cancer.  I then headed to Toronto for two years to undertake further specialist training in urological oncology obtaining membership of the American Society of Urologic Oncology.  I was appointed as a Consultant Urologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in 2011 with a specialist interest in the treatment of bladder cancer.  This includes the use of a number of non-surgical approaches (eg intravesical immunotherapies) as well as both minimally invasive (robotic) and open radical surgery to remove the bladder, with a full range of reconstructive urinary diversion techniques, including neobladder formation.  I am the current Clinical Director for Cancer at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

Laure Marignol

Laure Marignol

Professor in Radiation Biology

Laure Marignol is Professor in Radiation Biology and the Head of Discipline of Radiation Therapy at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She leads an internationally recognised radiobiology laboratory. She has published over 120 research works aimed at addressing the international challenge of growing solutions for the optimal destruction of cancer cells Her lab aims to generate new prognostic algorithms that detect patients at high risk of failure following radiation therapy, and design new therapeutic options that prevent tumour regrowth after radiotherapy.

Laure is an active member within the radiobiology international community. She holds a leadership position within the Irish Radiation Research Society and is a former member of the Radiobiology Committee of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO). She holds several editorial positions and serves as specialist examiner for Royal College of Radiologists in the UK.

Beth Russell

Beth Russell

Research Fellow, KCL

Dr Beth Russell is a cancer epidemiologist at King’s College London and is also part of the Guy’s Cancer Real World Evidence Programme, a joint venture of academic and clinical colleagues across KCL and GSTT. Beth works on a variety of clinical epidemiology projects across tumour types utilising data from various sources including clinical data from Guy’s and National bladder cancer data from Sweden.

Beth is currently working alongside colleagues at South East London Cancer Alliance on an evaluation of the Rapid Diagnostic Clinic.

Simon Hughes

Dr Simon Hughes

Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Simon Hughes is a Clinical Oncology Consultant at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Trust, and an honorary reader at KCL school of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He specialises in the management of urological malignancies and is a trustee of the British Uro-oncology Group.

His research interests include tumour motion, radiotherapy dose escalation, the integration of functional imaging into radiotherapy planning, and the combination of novel agents with radiotherapy. Simon’s other passion is medical education. He is Director of Guy’s Cancer Academy, Education and Training Lead for King’s Health Partners Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and a member of the ASCO Education Council.

He’s also an international TukTuk racer and won the Indian Dumball Rally in 2018.

Evanguelos Xylinas

Evanguelos Xylinas, MD, PhD

Professor of Urology, Department of Urology, Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital, Paris Cité University, Paris, France

Evanguelos Xylinas obtained his medical degree at the University Paris Descartes, France. He received his urologic training at the Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris. He held a 2-year fellowship in urologic oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital, in New York, under supervision of Prs Shahrokh Shariat and Douglas Scherr. He is currently a Professor of Urology at the Department of Urology at Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital, Paris Cité University, Paris, France, where he leads the Onco-Urology Unit.

His main areas of scientific interest include outcomes and translational research in urothelial carcinoma of the upper and lower tract. He has been the chairman of the Young Academic Urologists of European Association of Urology (EAU) Urothelial Carcinoma group, a board member of the EAU section of Onco-Urology (ESOU), a member of the French and European Guidelines in Bladder Cancer. He is currently the leader of Onco-Urology in the Education Office of EAU.

He is also an active reviewer for several urologic and oncologic journals and active investigator in several clinical trials dealing with urothelial carcinoma.

James Catto

Jim Catto

Professor of Urological Surgery at the University of Sheffield

Jim is currently NIHR Research Professor, Professor of Urological Surgery at the University of Sheffield, holds honorary posts at the University of Oxford and UCLH and is Editor in Chief of European Urology (2020 Impact factor: 18.7).

He has authored over 350 articles, has over 18,000 Scopus citations, an H-index of 72 and has raised over £26M in funding (including NIHR, MRC, The Wellcome Trust, CRUK and The European Union).

Twitter (X):  @jimcatto

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Event details

The Great Hall
King's Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS