Professor of Urology and Honorary Consultant Urologist
Vincent J Gnanapragasam is University Professor of Urology in Cambridge and an Honorary Consultant Urologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. He graduated from Newcastle University and following basic surgical training, was a recipient of a CRUK PhD studentship and subsequently the first surgeon to be awarded a CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship.
Vincent’s research has covered the full spectrum of basic science, translational, clinical and epidemiological disciplines in prostate cancer. His laboratory work as group leader led to novel discoveries into the pivotal role of endogenous signalling regulators (SEF/SPRED) in prostate cancer and mechanistic insights into growth factor signalling in disease progression and treatment resistance. In recent years his work has focused increasingly on the translational/clinical interface and the application of research findings into clinical practice. He has developed and implemented novel prognostic prediction models for both group stratified cohorts Cambridge Prognostic Groups and for individualised prediction Predict Prostate for personalised management of prostate cancer. In 2021 the Cambridge Prognostic Groups was officially adopted by the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence as the recommended risk stratification tool in the national prostate cancer guidelines (NG131). Predict Prostate is also the only decision aid endorsed by the UK NICE National Guidelines on prostate cancer for decision making and has bene translated into 4 other languages. He has also pioneered risk stratified pathways for active surveillance follow up and setup one of the first dedicated surveillance clinics for early disease monitoring. He has developed and led numerous investigator led multicentre clinical trials including; Predict Prostate RCT, PRIM biomarker study, and the NIHRi4i funded CamPROBE study (based on his invention of a new simple device for infection free prostate biopsies). His work has been cited in prostate cancer guidelines not only by NICE but also the European Association of Urology. To further interdisciplinary research in prostate cancer he established the Translational Prostate Cancer Group (TPCG) in Cambridge with colleagues from urology, oncology, radiology, pathology and basic science. The TPCG have so far collaborated on >60 peer reviewed papers with a combined grant income of >£6M. He has also established links with STEM scientists to develop biosensors for cancer detection across different platforms. He is also Chief Investigator of the DIAMOND study which hold over 3000 bio-samples, tissue and annotated clinical data for biomarker discovery in urological diseases (to date used in over 70 research studies). In recent years he has developed a clinical trials programme exploring the concept of therapeutic intervention to slow or abrogate early disease progression in prostate cancer. The first of these (TAPS01) has been published and a major national RCT is in development.
He is a member of the UK ICGC prostate group and on the clinical steering committee of the International Pan Prostate Cancer Collaborative. He is a founder member of the International GAP3 Active Surveillance consortium. To date he has raised over £7M in personal research funding covering basic, translational and clinical trials research, over £5M as co-investigator and published over 185 peer reviewed papers. He is also joint applicant on research collaboratives that have secured over £70M in funding.
His current clinical practice is based on the management of early prostate cancer including personalised risk and prognostic stratification and optimal strategies for surveillance. In this space he has introduced practice changing innovations which has standardised patient care and significantly reduced rates of over-treatment and over-investigation. More recently, with colleagues from the TPCG, he has established a platform for integrated genomics and clinical profiling as well as novel clinical trials to explore the potential for targeted adjuvant therapies to improve primary cure rates and open a new therapeutic space in abrogation of early disease progression.
He leads the Division of Urology in the Department of Surgery and established the Cambridge Urology Translational Research and Clinical Trials office which has to date recruited>1600 patients to various NIHR and portfolio urology trials. He is clinical directorate lead for urology research and a member of the University MD and MChir committees. He is also Visiting Professor at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) having developed a collaboration between Cambridge University Hospitals and ARU to establish a Masters in Urology programme for early stage clinicians aspiring to a career in Urology. He holds patents and 2 innovations have achieved CE mark (Predict Prostate and CamPROBE). He has also won numerous prizes for research, including the CE Alken prize, Urological Research Society Medal and a Hunterian Professorship. In the University of Cambridge, he is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellors Award for Research Impact (Established Researcher).
Selected publications as lead/senior author in the last 2 years
1. Gnanapragasam VJ, Greenberg D, Burnet N. Urinary symptoms and prostate cancer-the misconception that may be preventing earlier presentation and better survival outcomes. BMC Med. (2022) Aug 4;20(1):264. doi: 10.1186/s12916-022-02453-7.
2. Lee C, Light A, Saveliev ES, van der Schaar M, Gnanapragasam VJ. Developing machine learning algorithms for dynamic estimation of progression during active surveillance for prostate cancer. NPJ Digit Med. (2022) Aug 6;5(1):110. doi: 10.1038/s41746-022-00659-w.
3. Barrett T, Pacey S, Leonard K, Wulff J, Funingana I, Gnanapragasam V. A Feasibility Study of the Therapeutic Response and Durability of Short-term Androgen-targeted Therapy in Early Prostate Cancer Managed with Surveillance: The Therapeutics in Active Prostate Surveillance (TAPS01) Study, European Urology Open Science 2022 Feb; 38, 17-24: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euros.2022.01.007.
4. Thurtle D, Jenkins V, Freeman A, Pearson M, Recchia G, Tamer P, Leonard K, Pharoah P, Aning J, Madaan S, Goh C, Hilman S, McCracken S, Ilie C, Lazarowicz H, Gnanapragasam VJ Clinical impact of the Predict Prostate risk communication tool in men newly diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial. European Urology. (2021) Sep 4:S0302-2838(21)01933-3.
5. Lee C, Light A, Alaa A, Thurtle D, van der Schaar M, Gnanapragasam VJ. Application of a novel machine learning framework for predicting non-metastatic prostate cancer-specific mortality in men using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Lancet Digital Health. (2021) Mar;3(3):e158-e165. doi: 10.1016/S2589-7500(20)30314-9.
6. Gnanapragasam VJ, Leonard K, Sut M, Ilie C, Ord J, Roux J, Hart Prieto MC, Warren A and Tamer P. Multicentre clinical evaluation of the safety and performance of a simple transperineal access system for prostate biopsies of suspected prostate cancer: The CAMbridge PROstate Biopsy DevicE (CamPROBE) study. J Clin Urol. (2020) Sep;13(5):364-370.
7. Wilson ECF, Wreford A, Tamer P, Leonard K, Brechka H, Gnanapragasam VJ. Economic Evaluation of Transperineal versus Transrectal Devices for Local Anaesthetic Prostate Biopsies. Pharmacoecon Open. 2021 Jul 9. doi: 10.1007/s41669-021-00277-4.
8. Liu S, Shen M, Hsu EC, Zhang CA, Garcia-Marques F, Nolley R, Koul K, Rice MA, Aslan M, Pitteri SJ, Massie C, George A, Brooks JD, Gnanapragasam VJ*, Stoyanova T*. Discovery of PTN as a serum-based biomarker of pro-metastatic prostate cancer. Br J Cancer. 2021 Mar;124(5):896-900.
9. Thurtle D, Bratt Ola, Stattin P, Pharoah P and Gnanapragasam VJ Comparative performance and external validation of the multivariable PREDICT Prostate tool for non-metastatic prostate cancer: A study in 69,206 men from Prostate Cancer data Base Sweden (PCBaSe). BMC Med. (2020) IF 8.8 Jun 16;18(1):139.
10. Parry MG, Cowling TE, Sujenthiran A, Nossiter J, Berry B, Cathcart P, Aggarwal A, Payne H, van der Meulen J, Clarke NW and Gnanapragasam VJ. Risk stratification for prostate cancer management: value of the Cambridge Prognostic Group classification for assessing treatment allocation. BMC Med. (2020) IF 8.8 May 28;18(1):114.
11. Kim L, Boxall N, George A, Burling K, Acher P, Aning J, McCracken S, Page T, Gnanapragasam VJ. Clinical utility and cost modelling of the phi test to triage referrals into image-based diagnostic services for suspected prostate cancer: the PRIM (Phi to RefIne Mri) study. BMC Med. (2020) Apr 17;18(1):95. doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01548-3.
12. E Wajs, G Rughoobur, K Burling, A George, A Flewitt and V Gnanapragasam. A novel split mode TFBAR devices for quantitative measurements of prostate specific antigen in a small sample of whole blood. Nanoscale (2020) May 7;12(17):9647-9652.