Prof Mark Emberton

Mr Mark EmbertonTel: 020 3447 9194
Fax: 0203 456 4205

University College Hospital

Urological Cancers, Prostate Cancer, Urology

Professional background

  • Professor of Interventional Oncology, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, UCL
  • Clinical Director, Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • National Institute of Clinical Excellence, Partners’ Council
  • MDT Chair – Urological Cancer
  • Chair Clinical Guidelines Committee

Mark Emberton’s principal interests lie in trying to improve diagnostic and therapeutic pathways for men with prostate cancer, principally through the use of novel imaging techniques and minimally-invasive treatments. He is the principal investigator in a number of studies in this area. Patients referred to UCLH will have the opportunity to take part in these studies. For instance, men with a clinical suspicion of prostate cancer can currently take part in the PROMIS trial. This involves evaluating whether MRI is able to diagnose prostate cancer better. Men taking part in these trials will all have a biopsy. Men who do not wish to part in the trial, can still have a standard care pathway biopsy of their prostate.

Mark Emberton and his team of researchers have initiated a clinical innovation programme exploring the role of focal therapy in men with prostate cancer. This involves treating only the areas of prostate cancer rather than the whole gland. Again, there are a number of trials up and running into which men can be recruited, provided that they fulfil the eligibility criteria. The trials are conducted as part of routine care and have as their aim the treatment of the prostate cancer with preservation of the surrounding tissue. It is damage to surrounding areas (from surgery or radiotherapy) that can give rise to erectile dysfunction, incontinence and back passage problems (diarrhoea, bleeding, pain). This, so far, has yielded very promising results with absence of erectile dysfunction and an avoidance of urinary incontinence. We use a number of technologies such as High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) which uses soundwaves to heat and destroy small areas of tissue. We also are running the early trials looking at the role of photodynamic therapy.

A discussion article published in Nature Oncology and written by the team is available free of charge on the journal website.

Information about the HIFU National Cancer Research Network trials can be found on:


PCM301 - A European randomized Phase 3 study to assess the efficacy and safety of TOOKAD® Soluble in PDT for low risk localized prostate cancer compared to active surveillance (Photo Dynamic Therapy trial). Link to follow. For more information please contact: Rebecca Scott: or

Research interests

Prostate cancer
  • Focal therapy
  • Non-invasive diagnosis
  • MRI scan
  • Active surveillance
  • Salvage therapy
  • High intesntivy focused ultrasound
  • Photo-dynamic therapy
  • Vascular targetted therapy
  • Photo therapy
  • Cyrosurgery


Multi-Parametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Rule-In and Rule-Out Clinically Important Prostate Cancer in Men at Risk: A Cohort Study.
Rouse P, Shaw G, Ahmed HU, Freeman A, Allen C, Emberton M.
Urol Int. 2011 Jun 22. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 21701136 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Usefulness of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) rise as a marker of prostate cancer in men treated with dutasteride: lessons from the REDUCE study.
Marberger M, Freedland SJ, Andriole GL, Emberton M, Pettaway C, Montorsi F, Teloken C, Rittmaster RS, Somerville MC, Castro R.
BJU Int. 2011 Jun 23. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10373.x. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 21699645 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Characterizing clinically significant prostate cancer using template prostate mapping biopsy.
Ahmed HU, Hu Y, Carter T, Arumainayagam N, Lecornet E, Freeman A, Hawkes D, Barratt DC, Emberton M.
J Urol. 2011 Aug;186(2):458-64. Epub 2011 Jun 15.
PMID: 21679984 [PubMed - in process]

Modelling Prostate Motion for Data Fusion during Image-guided Interventions.
Hu Y, Carter T, Ahmed H, Emberton M, Allen C, Hawkes D, Barratt D.
IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2011 May 31. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 21632296 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Time to rethink PSA screening.
Singh PB, Ahmed HU, Simmons L, Freeman A, Emberton M.
Arch Intern Med. 2011 Mar 28;171(6):595; author reply 595-6
PMID: 21444857 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Focal Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer: A Phase I/II Trial.
Ahmed HU, Freeman A, Kirkham A, Sahu M, Scott R, Allen C, Van der Meulen J, Emberton M.
J Urol. 2011 Apr;185(4):1246-55. Epub 2011 Feb 22.
PMID: 21334018 [PubMed - in process]
Related citations

Light penetration in the human prostate: a whole prostate clinical study at
763 nm.
Moore CM, Mosse CA, Allen C, Payne H, Emberton M, Bown SG.
J Biomed Opt. 2011 Jan-Feb;16(1):015003.
PMID: 21280905 [PubMed - in process]
Related citations

Risk stratification for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treatment.
Emberton M, Fitzpatrick JM, Rees J.
BJU Int. 2011 Mar;107(6):876-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.10041.x. Epub
2011 Jan 25.
PMID: 21265993 [PubMed - in process]
Related citations

MR to ultrasound registration for image-guided prostate interventions.
Hu Y, Ahmed HU, Taylor Z, Allen C, Emberton M, Hawkes D, Barratt D.
Med Image Anal. 2010 Dec 13. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 21216180 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Related citations

Surgical management after active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer:
pathological outcomes compared with men undergoing immediate treatment.
Simmons L, Ahmed HU, Moore C, Emberton M.
BJU Int. 2011 Jan;107(2):338. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.10068_3.x. No abstract available.
PMID: 21208369 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Related citations

Magnetic resonance imaging for the detection, localisation, and characterisation of prostate cancer: recommendations from a European consensus meeting.
Dickinson L, Ahmed HU, Allen C, Barentsz JO, Carey B, Futterer JJ, Heijmink SW, Hoskin PJ, Kirkham A, Padhani AR, Persad R, Puech P, Punwani S, Sohaib AS, Tombal B, Villers A, van der Meulen J, Emberton M.
Eur Urol. 2011 Apr;59(4):477-94. Epub 2010 Dec 21.
PMID: 21195536 [PubMed - in process]
Related citations

Focal therapy for prostate cancer: a potential strategy to address the problem of overtreatment.
Lecornet E, Ahmed HU, Moore C, Emberton M.
Arch Esp Urol. 2010 Dec;63(10):845-52.
PMID: 21187566 [PubMed - in process]
Related citations

The influence of family history on prostate cancer risk: implications for clinical management.
Madersbacher S, Alcaraz A, Emberton M, Hammerer P, Ponholzer A, Schröder FH, Tubaro A.
BJU Int. 2011 Mar;107(5):716-721. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.10024.x.
Epub 2010 Dec 16.
PMID: 21166744 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Related citations

Ahmed HU, Emberton M.  Is focal therapy the future for prostate cancer? Future Oncol. 2010 Feb;6(2):261-8. PMID: 20146585

Yap T, Emberton M. Behaviour modification and benign prostatic hyperplasia: replacement for medications.  Curr Opin Urol. 2010 Jan;20(1):20-7. PMID: 19887949

Ahmed HU, Moore C, Lecornet E, Emberton M.  Focal Therapy in Prostate Cancer: Determinants of Success and Failure.
J Endourol. 2010 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20380513

Andriole GL, Bostwick DG, Brawley OW, Gomella LG, Marberger M, Montorsi F, Pettaway CA, Tammela TL, Teloken C, Tindall DJ, Somerville MC, Wilson TH, Fowler IL, Rittmaster RS; REDUCE Study Group [Emberton M]. Effect of dutasteride on the risk of prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2010 Apr 1;362(13):1192-202. PMID: 20357281

Droz JP, Balducci L, Bolla M, Emberton M, Fitzpatrick JM, Joniau S, Kattan MW, Monfardini S, Moul JW, Naeim A, van Poppel H, Saad F, Sternberg CN.  Management of prostate cancer in older men: recommendations of a working group of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology.
BJU Int. 2010 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20346033

Armitage JN, van der Meulen JH; Royal College of Surgeons Co-morbidity Consensus Group [Emberton M]. Identifying co-morbidity in surgical patients using administrative data with the Royal College of Surgeons Charlson Score.
Br J Surg. 2010 May;97(5):772-81. PMID: 20306528

Arumainayagam N, Kumaar S, Ahmed HU, Moore CM, Payne H, Freeman A, Allen C, Kirkham A, Emberton M.  Accuracy of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging in detecting recurrent prostate cancer after radiotherapy.
BJU Int. 2010 Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20230392

Mark Emberton. Combination therapy – a strategy for BPH progression. Nature Reviews Urology 2010; 7 (May): 1-2

Hu Y, van den Boom R, Carter T, Taylor Z, Hawkes D, Ahmed HU, Emberton M, Allen C, Barratt D. A comparison of the accuracy of statistical models of prostate motion trained using data from biomechanical simulations.  Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2010 Sep 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20869389

Ahmed HU, Emberton M. Benchmarks for success in focal therapy of prostate cancer: cure or control?   World J Urol. 2010 Oct;28(5):577-82. Epub 2010 Sep 10. PMID: 20830476

Lecornet E, Moore C, Ahmed HU, Emberton M.  Focal therapy for prostate cancer: fact or fiction?  Urol Oncol. 2010 Sep-Oct;28(5):550-6.  PMID: 20816615

Singh PB, Ahmed HU, Emberton M. Active surveillance: is there a need for better risk stratification at the outset?
J Clin Oncol. 2010 Oct 1;28(28):e513. Epub 2010 Aug 9. No abstract available.
PMID: 20697073

Emberton M. Medical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: physician and patient preferences and satisfaction.
Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Sep;64(10):1425-35. Epub 2010 Jun 22.
PMID: 20579137

Cathcart PJ, van der Meulen J, Emberton M, Kelly J. Volume-mortality for cystectomy. Centralisation of cancer services vindicated. BMJ. 2010 Jun 22;340:c3336. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3336. PMID: 20570878

Dickinson L, Ahmed HU, Moore C, Freeman A, Kirkham A, Allen C, Emberton M.  The effects of the time period between biopsy and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging on cancer staging in localized prostate cancer. BJU Int. 2010 Jul;106(1):131-2; author reply 132. PMID: 20553478

Bott SR, Ahmed HU, Hindley RG, Abdul-Rahman A, Freeman A, Emberton M.  The index lesion and focal therapy: an analysis of the pathological characteristics of prostate cancer.
BJU Int. 2010 Jun 14. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 20553262

de la Rosette J, Ahmed H, Barentsz J, Johansen TB, Brausi M, Emberton M, Frauscher F, Greene D, Harisinghani M, Haustermans K, Heidenreich A, Kovacs G, Mason M, Montironi R, Mouraviev V, de Reijke T, Taneja S, Thuroff S, Tombal B, Trachtenberg J, Wijkstra H, Polascik T. Focal therapy in prostate cancer-report from a consensus panel. J Endourol. 2010 May;24(5):775-80.PMID: 20477543

Arumainayagam N, Moore CM, Ahmed HU, Emberton M.
Photodynamic therapy for focal ablation of the prostate.
World J Urol. 2010 Oct;28(5):571-6. Epub 2010 May 9.
PMID: 20454966

Lecornet E, Ahmed HU, Moore CM, Emberton M.
Conceptual basis for focal therapy in prostate cancer.
J Endourol. 2010 May;24(5):811-8.  PMID: 20443699

Hu Y, van den Boom R, Carter T, Taylor Z, Hawkes D, Ahmed HU, Emberton M, Allen C, Barratt D.  A comparison of the accuracy of statistical models of prostate motion trained using data from biomechanical simulations. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2010 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 20869389

Ahmed HU, Emberton M.  Benchmarks for success in focal therapy of prostate cancer: cure or control? World J Urol. 2010 Oct;28(5):577-82. Epub 2010 Sep 10.
PMID: 20830476

Lecornet E, Moore C, Ahmed HU, Emberton M.  Focal therapy for prostate cancer: fact or fiction?  Urol Oncol. 2010 Sep-Oct;28(5):550-6. PMID: 20816615

 Iremashvili VV, Chepurov AK, Emberton M, Vladimirov VG, Zarinskaia SA, Kobaladze KM.  Significance of the number of biopsy specimens from the prostate gland for adequate clinical appraisal of neoplasia.  Vopr Onkol. 2010;56(4):482-6. Russian. No abstract available.  PMID: 20968031

20 peer reviewed articles published per year.

Professor Emberton has been invited as a Visiting Professor to The Mayo Clinic, UCLA, USA - 2010, Jikkei University, Tokyo, Japan - November 2010, Cornell University, New York, USA - January 2011 and The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA - January 2011.  He also gives approximately 20 invited lectures per year in the UK and abroad.

GMC/GDC number: 3098619 

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