Urology research

About our research

Urology is a surgical speciality, covering the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate and reproductive organs.

Guy's and St Thomas' has pioneered the use of robotic technology for prostate cancer surgery in the UK. We are now an advanced training centre and are internationally renowned for our robotic-assisted urological surgery. Surgeons at Guy’s and St Thomas’ have also pioneered the NHS’s first use of 3D printing to enhance the precision and accuracy of robotic prostate cancer surgery.

A lot of our research focuses on prostate cancer but some also focuses on urinary stones and surgical intervention.

If attending one of the outpatient clinics, please be aware that you may be invited to take part in one of our current studies.

The Biomedical Research Centre patient and public involvement advisory group (PPIAG) develops methods of engagement with the local population. They also provide a patient/public perspective on a variety of research practices and approaches.

Current research studies

We are currently looking for volunteers to take part in the following studies.

Click on the headings below to find out more about each study and see if you might be eligible to take part and help us with our research.

  • DETECT II

    This study aims to assess the sensitivity of the UroMark assay to detect bladder cancer in participants with new or recurrent disease. The study will recruit patients with newly detected or recurrent bladder cancer. Patients with a diagnosis of bladder cancer following cystoscopy will be approached and asked to consent for this study. Consenting participants will be provided with a urine sample collection kit and asked to provide a urine sample. Patients who require surveillance will be asked to provide a urine sample at three-monthly intervals for up to two years.

    For more information, please contact the principal investigator of this study Sachin Malde at sachin.malde@gstt.nhs.uk.

    We will approach eligible patients to take part in this study.

  • TRoMbone

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the second most frequent cause of cancer death in Western men. Hormone therapy is the usual treatment for prostate cancer that has spread to the bones.

    Researchers think that having surgery to remove the prostate gland completely (radical prostatectomy) and hormone therapy might be better than hormone therapy only, but they aren’t sure.

    To find this out, they need to do a large randomised clinical trial comparing men who:

    • have standard care only – current standard-of-care consists of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) followed by chemotherapy
    • have standard care and surgery to remove their prostate (radical prostatectomy).

    In this study, we need to compare people who have radical prostatectomy plus standard care to those having standard care alone. Patients will also be asked to give their consent for their visits to be tape recorded for analysis. This is to inform the design of a possible larger study. There will be three study sites and we aim to recruit 50 men.

    For more information, please visit the Cancer Research UK website.

    We will approach eligible patients to take part in this study.

  • True NTH

    Prostate cancer is a common cancer in UK men. Radical prostatectomy (an operation to remove the prostate gland and some of the tissue around it) is a common operation to treat prostate cancer. However, men who choose surgery can experience side effects, including urine leakage and problems with erections.

    A monitoring instrument developed in the US has been adapted for web-based use. It collects patient-reported-outcome-measures (PROMs) before and after radical prostatectomy in order to monitor recovery.

    The True NTH UK post surgical follow up programme will focus on using PROMs to assess the extent and timeline for recovery of urinary and sexual function after radical surgery for prostate cancer. A new instrument will be developed for radical prostatectomy that can be used with men in the UK to monitor their recovery in the first 12 months after surgery. It is envisaged that the PROMs data will be used in clinical practice to monitor progress in outcomes for individual patients. The programme will also allow a comparison of results of surgeons and hospitals against appropriate benchmarks for urinary and sexual outcomes after radical prostatectomy.

    For more information, please visit the BioMed Central website.

    We will approach eligible patients to take part in this study.

  • iROC

    Radical cystectomy represents the gold standard treatment for invasive bladder cancer.

    For most abdominal surgery, it is recognised that minimally invasive surgery is less intense than open surgery, and leads to better outcomes in post-operative recovery. However, to date, there is little evidence of any benefit from minimally invasive surgery compared with open surgery for radical cystectomy.

    This study compares minimally-invasive robotic surgery (RARC), to the traditional open surgical approach (ORP). ORC and RARC to determine as to which approach. The study will compare functional recovery and the return to normal activities in both groups.

    We will approach eligible patients to take part in this study.
  • FUTURE

    Female urgency, trial of urodynamics as routine evaluation (FUTURE study) is a randomised clinical trial to look at the effectiveness of invasive urodynamic investigations in management of women with refractory overactive bladder symptoms.

    The study will assess:

    • if routine urodynamics and standard assessment significantly improves patient-reported success rates following treatment, compared to standard assessment only
    • assess the cost-effectiveness of urodynamics and standard assessment, compared to standard assessment only.

    We will approach eligible patients to take part in this study.

Ongoing studies

Read about ongoing studies. Please note we are no longer recruiting volunteers for these trials. Links to any overall study findings will be published here as soon as they are made available.

  • Therapeutic interventions for stones of the ureter

    Urinary stones are a major health problem in NHS England. Almost a third of cases require an active intervention (stone removal). The two standard options are extracorporeal shockwave lithotropsy (ESWL) or ureteroscopic stone removal.

    This multicentre randomised controlled trial will compare ESWL to ureteroscopic treatment, with respect to:

    • stone clearance
    • incremental cost per quality adjusted life years
    • patient reported outcomes
    • complications up to six months.

    The trial results will guide clinical practice and appropriate provision of NHS services.

    For more information, please visit the therapeutic interventions for stones of the ureter (TISU) study website.

  • MASTER

    Around one in five men who undergo prostate surgery for cancer or benign disease have the side effect of leaking urine as they walk around, cough or do physical activity. This can impact the quality of these men’s lives, lower their self-esteem, stop them working and damage their personal relationships.

    The established therapy is a surgical intervention in which an artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) device is inserted to control their incontinence. A newer and less invasive surgery, the male sling, has also been developed and is available. However, the sling has not been properly evaluated to modern standards. The MASTER trial (male synthetic sling versus artificial urinary sphincter trial for men with urodynamic stress incontinence after prostate surgery: evaluation by randomised controlled trial) compared the advantages and disadvantages of the AUS and male sling operations.

    For more information, please email master@abdn.ac.uk.

  • LRP vs RALP

    Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) versus robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP): a comparative study of outcomes and costs between two high volume UK centres.

    This study aims to compare data from robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy at two busy UK centres. The study will examine continence and health related quality of life in patients that have undergone either of these procedures. This study will provide high quality comparisons of outcomes and costs between these two minimal access techniques.

Patient services

Take part in a clinical trial

Find out how you can take part in a clinical trial at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and what is involved.