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Uro-Oncology Programme


This film has been produced with support of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, as well as The Institute of Robotic Surgery, King’s College London, and the Vattikuti Foundation, MRC Centre for Transplantation.

About our research programme

King’s Health Partners’ Prostate Cancer Programme - now re-named KHP Uro-Onology Programme - is a multidisciplinary group of clinicians and scientists with expertise across the fields of epidemiology, bioinformatics and statistics, clinical medicine, cancer care, medical imaging and radionuclide therapy, cell and molecular biology and immunology working together towards a common goal: to make life-altering discoveries for men affected by prostate cancer. This Programme enables us to research all aspects of the disease, which will create new knowledge and underpin our development of new treatments, with an aim of individualised medicine.

Our Uro-Oncology Programme aims to significantly contribute to the understanding of this very complex disease process to transform patient care and outcomes. We will invest in the following research areas:

  1. Distinguish indolent from lethal prostate cancer 
  2. Improving management and survival of prostate cancer

Our Programme consists of wide range of transdisciplinary initiatives linking different research teams and clinical units.

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Upcoming Meetings

Next meeting October 2018 (TBC) - We are currently changing the format of our meetings to have one shorter meeting as part of the  series of monthly seminars of the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences (which we predict will be in October 2018) and one half day meeting with lunch and speakers in April. 

Please keep your calendars free on Friday 26 April 2019 from 12:30-17:00 for an exciting afternoon with clinical and translational speakers covering prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular cancer. 

Contact Details
For further information, please contact
Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck
Senior Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology and Uro-Oncology Programme Coordinator

Comprehensive Cancer Centre
Guy’s Hospital
3rd Floor Bermondsey Wing

Tel: +44 (0)20 7188 5594
Fax: +44 (0)20 7188 9986



King’s Health Partners’ Prostate Cancer Biobank (KHP PCaBB)

King’s Health Partners (KHP) sees nearly 20,000 suspected cancer patients each year and treats approximately 6,500 cancer patients. Our Prostate Cancer Service is amongst the busiest in the world with over 1,000 newly diagnosed cases a year, drawn from a referral base of over two million people across South East London and increasing referrals from other cancer networks. Our population has a wide ethnic and socio-economic diversity. Our studies involve significant numbers of African and Afro-Caribbean men, who are at high risk of prostate cancer. This gives us the opportunity to identify biomarkers and clinical outcomes in this important group of men.

Prostate Cancer Data and Tissue Repository
  • The KHP PCaBB data and tissue repository includes a both demographically and clinically diverse patient population. This makes it a valuable resource to research the aetiology and progression of prostate cancer.
  • The KHP PCaBB currently includes 2016 prostate cancer patients who have been treated at GSTT (South East London), with current ongoing recruitment.
  • Clinical and demographic data is routinely collected using the Electronic Patient Records and Cancer Information System and matched with pathological and sample data from the biobank.  
  • Clinical Data, blood and tissue samples (biopsy or whole prostate) are collected and stored.
  • The repository allows for powerful studies (cohort, case-control and prospective experimental studies) of relevant subgroups (e.g. low-risk, intermediate risk, high-risk, metastatic prostate cancer or prostate cancer in groups defined by ethnicity and socio-economic strata).
  • The KHP PCaBB supports national and international cancer researchers in their studies. Researchers who intend to acquire access to the KHP PCaBB need to submit a request to the KHP Biobank Access Committee.
Apply for data

Data or information requests can be sent to Aida Santaolalla who coordinates the clinical data and bio samples that constitute our repository.

Two different forms are available depending on your request:

  • If you are preparing a grant application or research project and would like to have an idea about the number of patients, please fill out the Informative & Additional Data Request Form.
  • If you have planned a study and need to get the tissue/clinical data, please fill out the Application Form for the Access Committee.  
  • If you already have approval and need extra information from the database, please also fill out the Informative & Additional Data Request Form.


The KHP PCaBB is funded in part by the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) based at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre at King’s College London. (ECMC)


Transdisciplinary initiatives linking different research teams and clinical units

Prostate Cancer Immuno biology and Therapy

The distinguished teams of Prof Adrian Hayday and Prof Prokar Dasgupta  are leading the molecular and cellular investigations of tumour immunology and immunotherapy in prostate cancer models. Both teams contain a mixture of basic scientists and clinical researchers ensuring a fast progression from bench to bedside.

In addition, Dr Maher's  and Dr Papa's  research groups focus on developing cell based immunotherapy for solid tumours. Their expertise and interests range from laboratory discovery science to first in man clinical research.

Institute for Mathematics and Molecular Biomedicine

The mathematical and statistical methods commonly used in medicine have not kept pace with experimental advances, and complex medical data are too often analysed with substandard statistical tools. This leads to inaccurate clinical predictions, poor patient stratification, unnecessary failures of medical trials, and missed clinical opportunities. There is ample scope for the development of more powerful statistical methodology that is tailored to the needs of modern medicine.

Prof Ton Coolen and his Institute of Mathematics and Molecular Biomedicine  work closely with our Programme to develop new statistical methods. Our first application recently got published in BMC Cancer  and we strongly belief that there is a significant score for successful innovation of the statistical tools that are designed and tailored to deal more effectively with the data types and questions of modern medicine.

Prostate Cancer Cell Biology

A number of basic science laboratories across the KCL campus have come together to focus on prostate cancer biology. The teams of Prof Anne Ridley, Dr Jonathan Morris, Dr Magali Williamson, Prof Phillip Gordon-Weeks, Dr Aamir Ahmed and Dr Claire Wells work closely together investigating the molecular drivers of prostate cancer cell division, cell motility and progression. All five laboratories are internationally recognised for their expertise in cancer cell biology. Significant results from the cancer cell biology work stream are translated to patient benefit through collaborations with patho-epidemiology and clinical partners.

Supportive Cancer Care

Dr Jo Armes leads the Supportive Cancer Care Group in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s Health Partners. Their research focusses on assessing unmet care needs and developing supportive interventions for individuals experiencing symptoms across the cancer pathway. They have undertaken research aimed at developing support services for people with prostate cancer affected by fatigue that can be delivered in a variety of formats (e.g. face to face, online). A recent collaboration with Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK) led to the development, evaluation and implementation of a telephone intervention for fatigue (Get Back on Track) which is delivered by PCUK Helpline nurses. In addition, they are collaborating with the Cancer Epidemiology Group to test the physical and psychosocial impact of a walking intervention for people with advanced prostate cancer.

Translational Urology & Oncology Research

Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck of the Translational Urology & Oncology Research (TOUR) Team leads our trial team: two research nurses, two clinical trial coordinators, a database manager, a  research administrator, a translational scientist, and a Consultant Urologist.

The team meets once a month and coordinates over 20 different studies on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Programme. They are responsible for patient consenting, data collection, and collaboration with both the Biobank and research teams to ensure tissue collection and processing if required.

They are for instance working with Movember on some of their Global Action Plans and are coordinating METAL (METformin And Longevity), an investigator-led placebo-controlled window-of-opportunity study to investigate the effect of metformin, an anti-diabetic drug, on prostate cancer. Moreover, it is the overall aim of the trial team to optimise recruitment for all our studies by liaising with all stakeholders involved. Recently, Cancer Research UK published information on the  ExPeCT Trial (Exercise, Prostate cancer and Circulating Tumour cells), a trial looking at circulating tumour cells and exercise in prostate cancer.

If you would like to conduct a study involving prostate cancer patients, please contact our research administrator:

Cancer Bioinformatics

Research in the Cancer Bioinformatics group centres around the application of computational methods to two areas of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) biology: genomic instability, and the interplay between tumour cells and the immune system. By elucidating the biology of TNBCs, we aim to identify potential therapeutic targets and develop biomarkers for patient stratification.

In the area of prostate cancer, our team is currently trying to find DNA markers that can identify men whose prostate cancer does not need treatment and can be managed by surveillance alone.

Imaging and Radionuclide Therapy

At the Department of Imaging Chemistry and Biology at King’s College London, Prof Philip Blower leads a team who have successfully synthesised a new compound that can specifically target prostate cancer cells by PSMA for PET imaging and radionuclide therapy (Dr Mullen, Dr Ma, and Dr Terry). This technology has been commercialised and Theragnostics Ltd has just started a diagnostic Phase 1 clinical PET/CT imaging trial with Ga-68-THP-PSMAi at Peter Mac in Australia. A Phase 2 is to start at UCH in the summer of 2016 with Ga-68 THP-PSMAi (Dr Mullen).

The Cancer Imaging Department in the Division of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at KCL also has an active interest in prostate cancer (Dr Weeks, Prof Goh, Prof Cook, Prof Blower). Research spans preclinical evaluation of novel tracers for response assessment and novel PET/MRI methodology for assessment of staging and treatment response. There is a major interest in developing multiparametric imaging methods for detecting and assessing response in skeletal metastases (whole body MRI, 18F-fluoride, 11C-choline PET) and FAB-IE study (SPECT/CT v3 integrin imaging of osteoclast activity). Future plans include evaluation of machine learning of prostate MRI and PET/MRI assessment of intra-prostatic tumour detection and characterisation.

The Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre (CCIC) was established in December 2008 between 9 departments across KCL and UCL and was renewed in 2013 for an additional 5 years. This multi-institutional consortium is comprised of radiologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers and mathematicians. The aim of the CCIC is to facilitate the development of new imaging agents and technologies and their application for the benefit of cancer patients. Cancer imaging-derived information, in combination with genomic and proteomic parameters, are being used for directing therapy, prediction of treatment-outcome and assessment of response to therapy.

Cancer Clinical Trials Phase I

A range of phase I trials are open at this centre. The agents under investigation vary with time but include:
•    small molecules
•    monoclonal antibodies
•    biological therapies

Oncology and Urology

oncology clinicThe Urology Centre is one of the busiest prostate cancer services in the UK with a large team of expertly trained surgeons, oncologists and nurses who look after thousands of prostate cancer patients every year. The Oncology Department runs a large number of renowned phase II and III clinical trials also have ongoing research collaborations to identify how metabolic changes affect prostate cancer outcomes.

In 2013, Prostate Cancer UK named our ‘Integrated Cancer Centre Survivorship Programme Urology’ at King’s Health Partners as a model of excellence in England in their “Overview of the UK Prostate Cancer Survivorship Landscape”.  This is run across Guy’s & St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and the South East London Cancer Network. The team have taken a holistic approach to patient care, and in addition to implementing group sessions where patients meet all the clinicians and nurses involved in their care, they also get the opportunity at these sessions to meet other patients undergoing treatment at the same time, and are encouraged to join the hospital support group.

King’s Health Partners is currently pioneering the use of robotic surgery in the UK. Robots cannot replace surgeons, but robot tools that are used to operate inside a patient, without invasive surgery, can greatly improve accuracy and effectiveness. The team has a specialist interest in minimally invasive surgery, with expert laparoscopic surgeons and Prof Prokar Dasgupta  as the Chair of Robotic Surgery and Urological Innovation.


The team is on the forefront of pioneering developments in robot-assisted surgery. Guy’s was one of the first British hospitals to acquire a da Vinci robot, which is used with particular success on prostate and bladder cancers, where the greater accuracy has helped reduce complications and recovery times.


 Members of the Programme























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