THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM AND KING'S COLLEGE LONDON PRESENT
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 4th Bladder Cancer Translational Research Meeting - a fully interactive bladder cancer clinical research meeting led by a wide 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.
UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
Roland is interested in developing and applying methods that help us to bridge the gap between genomic alterations, especially in cancer, and cellular phenotypes by novel data analysis methods and by data-integration. While having experience in a wide range of methods and different high-throughput data types, his special interest is in methods that allow us to look at gene expression data in sophisticated ways and to deduce biologically relevant information that otherwise would have been overlooked.
UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
Rik Bryan is a former clinical urologist, and now a full-time bladder cancer research academic. He is the Director of the Bladder Cancer Research Centre (BCRC) in the Institute of Cancer & Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham. The BCRC has particular interests in proteomics & biomarkers, genomics & bioinformatics, novel therapeutics, and clinical research & clinical trials. Rik is also the Chief Investigator of the Bladder Cancer Prognosis Programme (BCPP), the SELENIB clinical trial, and POUT-T.
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
Professor Choudhury is Chair and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology. She joined The Christie in 2008 specialising in urology and sarcoma and has a strong interest in translational research. In 2013, she decided to focus on radiotherapy-related research in prostate and bladder cancers. She is clinical lead for advanced radiotherapy including the MRLinac project and is co-Group Leader of The Translational Radiobiology Group within the Division of Cancer Sciences. Professor Choudhury currently undertakes research which aims to optimise and personalise radiotherapy using new techniques or imaging technology to deliver high doses of radiotherapy while minimising side effects and predictive biomarkers to determine which patients benefit from different treatments.
Melanie Costin is the Support Services Manager for Fight Bladder Cancer and a bladder cancer patient. Her role has many facets, including creating information and support resources; running support groups; raising awareness; running the Bladder Buddy service; advising on clinical trials; and being an administrator on a private forum. When she gets invited to medical meetings, she ensures that the patients' voice is heard.
THE INSTITUTE OF CANCER RESEARCH (ICR)
Professor James is a clinical academic who seeks to improve patient outcomes via large scale clinical trials. His work focuses on bladder and prostate cancer with a strong emphasis on novel trial design.
Professor James has degrees in medicine and immunology from the University of London and a PhD from Imperial College in cell cycle biology. He undertook postgraduate training in London, Brussels and Tokyo and is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Radiology and Physicians.
His work focuses on evaluating and improving clinical trials to achieve better patient outcomes. He evaluates new treatment approaches to both bladder and prostate cancers via large multi-centre clinical trials and actively collaborates with laboratory groups to explore the underlying mechanisms at play in trials.
LUND UNIVERSITY (SE)
Sylvia Jochems received her PhD in Cancer Epidemiology from the University of Birmingham and the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Her thesis focused on dietary intake and bladder cancer. Over the last 3 years, Sylvia worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lund in Sweden where she focused on lifestyle factors and risk and survival of prostate cancer.
UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
Nada is a third-year medical student, research enthusiast and an aspiring surgeon. She holds a number of leadership positions in her medical school societies and works on research projects and audits in her spare time. She is an active data collector for a number of studies including CASCADE (which aims to assess the cardiovascular outcomes after major abdominal surgery). Nada finds the pathogenesis, resection, and management of bladder cancer fascinating. In this research project, she has investigated the implementation of biomarkers in bladder cancer.
UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
Rob Jones is Professor of Clinical Cancer Research at the University of Glasgow and a Consultant at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. His background includes a molecular biology PhD at the CRUK Beatson Institute and time spent working in Pharmaceutical Research and Development. His clinical practice is the medical management of cancers of the prostate, bladder and kidney. His research commitments include the management of a large portfolio of phase I, II and III trials as well as collaborative translational research with scientists from the Beatson Institute and elsewhere. He is the Chief Investigator of the PLUTO and ATLANTIS trials in urothelial cancer and the SAPROCAN and MAdCaP trials in prostate. He is director of the CR-UK Clinical Trials Unit in Glasgow, and head of the Cancer Clinical Trials Unit for Scotland collaboration (CaCTUS). He is Vice Chair of the UK NCRI Bladder and Kidney Cancer Group, and recently demitted the chairs of the advanced disease subgroup of the Prostate Group.
ACTION BLADDER CANCER UK
He received his confirmed bladder cancer diagnosis in 2010. On recovery from surgery, he became something of a ‘Man on a Mission’ – determined to try to improve services, and outcomes, for bladder cancer patients, initially working with NICE and NHS England on a number of projects including as a patient rep helping to develop the first Bladder Cancer Guidelines. He joined Action Bladder Cancer UK and started to assist in their work, going on to become a Trustee of the charity and becoming involved in a wide range of activities including the development of patient information materials, providing a patient perspective at conferences and events, working with ‘pharmas’, involvement in research projects and clinical trials and, increasingly, acting as a source of direct 1:1 support for bladder cancer patients in my current capacity as Patient Advisor.
REAL WORLD EVIDENCE AT OPEN HEALTH
Nadia Lipunova is currently working as Head of Analytics in Real-World Evidence at OPEN Health. Her expertise includes over 10 years’ experience in Real-World Data and Evidence, spanning across areas of data curation, standardisation, and in-depth analysis, mainly in areas of chronic diseases and genetic epidemiology. Prior to joining Open Health, Nadia worked within government and industry
sectors, across a breadth of roles including international collaborations with IARC, WHO, and European Commission aiming to bring high-quality analytics applied to routinely collected Real-World Data. Most recently, Nadia was working for a biotech company where her role focused on developing and building a pipeline to access, quality control, and analyse NHS Electronic Patient Records in secondary care to answer clinical questions posed by pharmaceutical industry and academia.
FIGHT BLADDER CANCER
Dr Lydia Makaroff is the CEO of Fight Bladder Cancer and President of the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition. Previously she was the Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. 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. She has conducted medical research at the Australian National University, worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington, and for the International Diabetes Federation.
KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Peter Sasieni is Academic Director of King's Clinical Trials Unit and Professor of Cancer Prevention. He leads the cancer prevention group which takes a population perspective to research on cancer screening, early detection, and prevention. The group has sub-teams in behavioural sciences, clinical trials, experimental epidemiology, observational epidemiology and statistics.
Prof Sasieni read mathematics at Cambridge University and a PhD in biostatistics from the University of Washington. He did his post-doctoral training at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (later Cancer Research UK (CRUK)) in Jack Cuzick's group. The group moved to the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London where Sasieni became Professor of Cancer Epidemiology & Biostatistics. He joined KCL in 2017. Sasieni has a CRUK programme grant in cancer screening and statistics, is Director of the CRUK KCL Cancer Prevention Trials Unit, and Vice Director of the NIHR Policy Research Unit on Cancer, Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis.
UNIVERSITY OF YORK
Jennifer Southgate began her career at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) in London and obtained a PhD from the University of Leeds. She relocated to Leeds in 1989 where, from 1992, she led the Biology of Normal and Malignant Epithelial Cells group based at the ICRF Cancer Medicine Research Unit at St James's University Hospital. She moved to the University of York in 1999 to the Chair of Molecular Carcinogenesis as Director of the Jack Birch Unit, a small research unit which receives core support from York Against Cancer.
Professor Southgate's research interests centre on normal human urothelium, with a focus on the mechanisms that regulate the balance between differentiation and regeneration during normal tissue homeostasis as a way to identify pathways dysregulated in cancer. To achieve this, she used normal human urothelial (NHU) cells to develop experimentally-tractable cell and tissue culture systems that can be analysed using a multiplex of approaches, including transcriptomics. Outside of disease mechanisms, she is interested in regenerative medicine where techniques of tissue engineering, stem cells and biomaterials can be applied to restore urinary tract function following congenital abnormality, trauma or disease.
KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Mr Ramesh Thurairaja is a consultant urological surgeon in bladder cancer, reconstructive and robotic surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
During his specialist urological training, Mr Thurairaja undertook his first fellowship at the world-renowned Inselspital in Bern, Switzerland. During this period, he was mentored by Professor Urs Studer in prostate and bladder cancer and reconstructive surgery particularly in creating
'Studer' orthotopic bladder substitution.
On completion of his specialist training, Mr Thurairaja then undertook his second fellowship in robotic surgery and pelvic oncology at Southmead Hospital, Bristol. On completion, Mr Thurairaja was initially appointed as a consultant urological surgeon at Kent & Canterbury Hospital where he successfully started and led the robotic bladder
cancer service for East Kent for 20 months.
In April 2014, Mr Thurairaja was appointed and moved to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital as a consultant urological surgeon to join this tertiary unit Bladder Cancer Service. Mr Thurairaja performs both open and robotic surgery using the Da Vinci system for bladder cancer and reconstructive surgery.
Mieke Van Hemelrijck leads the Translational Oncology and Urology Research (TOUR) Team in the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences at King's. She became a Professor in Cancer Epidemiology in November 2020. She joined the Group in August 2008 from Harvard School of Public Health to study for her PhD on 'Metabolic Syndrome and Prostate Cancer: Biomarkers and Treatment Side-effects', which she completed in November 2010. At Harvard, her Master's thesis focused on bladder cancer and smoking patterns, building on her Master's in Statistical Data-Analysis received from Ghent University in her home country of Belgium in 2006.
Mieke has an interest in clinical epidemiology of urological cancers. Since 2012, she has coordinated the King’s Health Partners' Uro-Oncology Programme, which brings together all researchers and clinicians involved in urological cancer research at KHP. In 2013, she became a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, funded by a Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research Fellowship.
In the context of bladder cancer, Prof Van Hemelrijck is leading the update and validation of the Quality of Life Module for bladder cancer in collaboration with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer.
VIECURI MEDICAL CENTER (NL)
Frits van Osch received PhD training from both the University of Birmingham and Maastricht University, in which he researched the impact of lifelong smoking behaviour on bladder cancer risk and prognosis. He has worked with data from both the Bladder Cancer Prognosis Programme (BCPP) as well as pooled data from >20 observational studies on bladder cancer worldwide through the BLEND consortium. He is currently working as a clinical epidemiologist in a teaching hospital in the Netherlands and supports different clinicians in setting up their research and analysing the results. His own research mainly concerns re-using already registered real world data to learn from and improve health care.