Bladder Cancer 

UCLH is a specialist centre for the treatment of bladder cancer.

This means that patients will continue to receive some of their cancer care at their local hospital but may be seen at UCLH for some treatment; for example intravesical treatments (liquid treatments given into the bladder), surgery or specialist radiotherapy.

Most bladder cancers can be managed by removing the bladder tumour from the lining of the bladder using instruments passed along the urethra or water pipe under anaesthetic.

More advanced bladder cancer may require surgery to remove the bladder or radiotherapy. The surgery is called cystectomy and UCLH is one of the few hospitals in the UK that performs cystectomy using the da Vinci robotic surgical system. The majority of patients have robotic cystectomy and surgeons either reconstruct the bladder or create a stoma using the robotic or keyhole techniques which have been pioneered at UCLH.

We recognise that being diagnosed with cancer can be a difficult time for you and those close to you. These web pages give you an overview of the expert care you can expect to receive at UCLH. You will also be introduced to the different types of healthcare professional you may meet along the way.

As a designated centre for bladder cancer we provide expert medical and nursing care, and have a range of clinical trials available to our patients, pioneering new treatment approaches.

 Consultants

Prof John Kelly, Consultant Urological Surgeon and Clinical Lead for Urology

Prof John Kelly

Professor John Kelly is a consultant urological surgeon specialising in robotic surgery for bladder and prostate cancer. He is the lead for the London Cancer Urology Surgery Centre and the robotic surgery programme at UCLH. John is the Professor of Uro-Oncology at UCL and his research group explore how new therapies for bladder and prostate cancer can improve outcomes for patients. He is Chief Investigator for multicentre clinical trials including studies which identify genomic alterations in cancer for the early detection of disease.

John Kelly is the Clinical Lead for Urology at University College Hospital Westmoreland Street. The department is one the largest in Europe and delivers cutting edge surgery using the latest technologies The position, working with teams across the many different aspects of Urology and leaders in the field is highly rewarding.

John moved to UCLH in 2009 from Cambridge University having worked at Addenbrookes in complex cancer surgery and as a fellow at the Cornell University Hospital, New York. He is known Internationally for his pioneering work in robotic surgery and is the Director of the Chitra Sethia Minimal Access Centre at UCH which trains robotic surgeons from the UK and abroad. John has been the Chairman of the UK National Cancer Research Institute, Bladder Clinical Studies Group and is currently the Chairman of the Scientific Committee of The Urology Foundation. John holds the Orchid Chair of Male Genito-Urinary Oncology with the Orchid Charity.

“I work with great people in urology and they have a common goal, we strive to provide the best care in a safe and caring environment providing high quality surgery”

Full consultant profile

Mr Tim Briggs, Consultant Urological Surgeon

Mr Tim Briggs

Mr Briggs is a Consultant Urological Surgeon at UCLH and the Royal Free NHS Trust. He qualified from St Bartholomew's Medical School in 1984. After gaining his FRCS he embarked on a career in Urology at The Middlesex Hospital. Having completed his training, he then spent a year in the Concorde Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

As a Consultant he has developed an interest in prostate cancer and bladder cancer and developed the laparoscopic radical prostatectomy service at Barnet Hospital in 2004 and was one of the first surgeons performing this operation in the UK. From 2010 he has converted to the da Vinci Robotic System. In 2012 he joined the pelvic cancer team at UCLH where he routinely performs robotic radical prostatectomies for the treatment of prostate cancer and cystoprostatectomies (removal of prostate and bladder) for the treatment of bladder cancer. Formation of the ileal conduit or neobladder is also performed intracorporally.

Mr Briggs has performed over 200 Laparoscopic prostatectomies and 400 robotic radical prostatectomies.

“At UCLH we have developed the prostate planning meetings so that each patient’s procedure is planned individually from reviewing MRI and pathology. This has helped to increase the number of nerve sparing operations we perform and also alerts the surgeon to areas of possible capsular or extracapsular disease. We have also instigated and published the results of a Quality assurance program. As a teaching hospital we are also responsible for teaching the next generation of Robotic surgeons a role which I take very seriously.”

Full consultant profile

Dr Reena Davda, Consultant Oncologist

Dr Reena Davda

Dr Reena Davda is a Consultant in Clinical Oncology at UCLH. Dr Davda qualified from Edinburgh Medical School in 2002. She trained in Clinical Oncology in leading cancer centres across London including UCLH and the Royal Marsden. Reena has undertaken research at University College London investigating signalling pathways in prostate cancer stem like cells.

Dr Davda specialises in the management of prostate and bladder cancer and practices at both University College London Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow. Alongside her clinical and academic practice, Reena is also involved in teaching, training and supervision of junior doctors and research fellows.

Full consultant profile

Mr Mark Feneley, Consultant Urological Surgeon

Mr Mark Feneley

Mr Feneley is a consultant urological surgeon at UCLH, and senior lecturer in urological oncological surgery at UCL. He has been a consultant urologist for 12 years, with broad urological experience and particular expertise in urological oncology. He is a core member of the urological oncology multidisciplinary team and leads for bladder cancer.

Full consultant profile

Dr Mark Linch, Consultant Oncologist

Dr Mark Linch

Dr Mark Linch is a Consultant Medical Oncologist specialising in the treatment of prostate and bladder cancer, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London (UCL) Cancer Institute where he leads the Uro-oncology Biology Group.

Dr Linch is currently Principal Investigator or Co-investigator in numerous clinical trials in prostate, bladder and penile cancer, both early and late phase, meaning that most patients at UCLH will have the opportunity to be involved in cutting edge therapeutic research. Dr Linch leads on a number of studies involving in depth profiling of patients’ cancers, looking for genetic, protein and immune cell changes that are associated with cancer. Through this work, Dr Linch hopes to be able to match individual patients with effective therapies, incorporate immunotherapy into routine clinical practice for urological malignancies and help develop novel therapies.

“Through an in depth understanding of my patients and the underlying biology of their cancer, I aim to give a personalised treatment and strive to be able to develop truly individualised anti-cancer therapies in the future. The skill and dedication of the uro-oncology team that I work with at UCLH, combined with the highest quality science at UCL, means that these aims can become a reality.”

Full consultant profile

Dr Ursula McGovern, Consultant Oncologist

Dr Ursula McGovern is a consultant medical oncologist, working at UCLH and the Royal Free NHS Trust. She was appointed a consultant in 2011, after completing her higher specialist oncology training in London and obtaining a PhD in molecular oncology from Imperial College, funded by Cancer Research UK. Her PhD research focused on the role of FOXO transcription factors in sensitivity to chemotherapy.

She specialises in the treatment of prostate and bladder cancer and is Principle or Co-Investigator on many national trials at both UCLH and Barnet Hospital for men with advanced prostate cancer and patients with bladder cancer, collaborating with a number of other centres in the UK and Internationally.

She has a keen interest in medical education, both postgraduate and undergraduate, and lectures for The Institute of Urology and is also the Undergraduate Lead for Oncology at UCL, responsible for overseeing the oncology teaching delivered to UCL medical students.

Full consultant profile

Dr Anita Mitra, Consultant Oncologist

Dr Anita Mitra

Dr Anita Mitra is a consultant in Clinical Oncology at University College London Hospitals. She has a busy practice managing prostate, bladder, andrology and gynaecological malignancies.

Dr Mitra qualified in London in 1995. She trained in Oncology in London teaching hospitals and the Royal Marsden, completing her research doctorate in prostate cancer from the Institute of Cancer Research. She has published widely and leads in the management of a portfolio of clinical trials.

Dr Mitra’s interest is in the innovation of technical radiotherapy. The aim of this research is to use novel techniques to minimise dose to normal tissues while maximising tumour control.

Full consultant profile

Dr Douglas Pendse, Consultant Radiologist

Dr Doug Pendse is a Consultant Radiologist at UCLH, specialising in diagnostic and interventional uroradiology.

Having completed surgical training in Oxford, Doug was awarded MRCS in 2005 and moved to UCL to embark upon a career in imaging research. After doctoral-level research in prostate cancer (Focal Therapy and PDT) he was awarded NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in radiology in 2007. Combining clinical training in radiology with translational MRI research, Doug was awarded FRCR and subsequently appointed as a post-doctoral NIHR Clinical Lecturer at UCL in 2012.

As a consultant uroradiologist Doug’s maintains an active research interest as well as his work in diagnostic and interventional radiology. His research focus includes functional MRI in abdominal and urological disease and the translation of preclinical imaging techniques into clinical practice.

Full consultant profile

Dr Navin Ramachandran, Consultant Radiologist

Dr. Ramachandran qualified from Guy’s & St. Thomas. Following a year lecturing at St. George’s Medical School (during with he attained a PGHCE), he trained in general radiology (FRCR), followed by fellowships in interventional and urological radiology. The latter steered him to the centre of excellence at UCLH where he undertook subspecialist training and was appointed as a substantive consultant.

He is currently regional lead for renal cancer radiology and a core member of the prostate, bladder, penile and testicular MDTs. He also helped to establish the radical prostatectomy surgical planning meeting which been shown to improve surgical outcomes.

He is a core member of the urological interventional radiology team, undertaking a wide range of procedures including nephrostomies, ureteric stenting, biopsy and PCNL.

His main research interests are in the novel use of imaging in urological disease and the use of medical informatics to support patient care. He is currently joint national lead for the NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative in prostate cancer. Current imaging projects include the development of 3D renal models for nephrectomy / ablation planning and the use of touch-free interfaces in surgery.

“UCLH is renowned as a world leader in urological imaging. I feel very privileged to be part of this team, and indeed of the outstanding and inclusive, urological surgery and oncology teams.”

Full consultant profile

 Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)

Hilary Baker, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist for Urological Cancer

Hilary trained as a RGN at UCH in 1983, and went on to have varied surgical experience, mainly in urology as a ward sister, and also a nurse manager in both the NHS and the private sector. In 1995 she was appointed a urology CNS at Central Middlesex Hospital when there was an increasing demand for nurses in specialist areas with knowledge and skills to support urology patients. In 2001, with funding from the NHS Plan, she was employed as uro-oncology CNS and team leader at Buckinghamshire NHS Trust.

In September 2014, Hilary was appointed as lead CNS for uro-oncology. She has a BSc (Hons) in Cancer and Palliative Care and is registered as a Specialist Practitioner in Adult Nursing with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. She has recently completed her MSc in Cancer Studies at Oxford Brookes University.

Hilary’s responsibilities within the Trust and London Cancer are to provide managerial and professional nursing leadership across the uro-oncology service. She oversees planning and delivery of cancer services to help personalise the cancer pathway for individual patients and to meet the complex information and holistic needs of patients and their families.

‘I am dedicated to providing safe evidence-based cancer care, and to continually assess the patient experience to improve our service’.

Mobile: 0796 110 9197

Richard Weston, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Bladder Cancer

Richard works with people who have different types of urological cancers. His focus over the last few years has been on the holistic care and treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. He is building upon his expertise by studying for his Masters degree in advanced nursing practice.

“I endeavour to ensure that our patients receive the quality of care that I would wish for myself, my family and my friends”

Tel: 020 3447 5134

Email: richard.weston@uclh.nhs.uk

Janet Forgenie, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Prostate, Bladder and Penile Cancer

Janet Forgenie

Janet has been a clinical nurse specialist since 2008 caring for patients undergoing treatment for a urological cancer. She has a background in diagnostic urology and has completed her Masters in cancer care. Janet plans to complete the non-medical prescriber’s course in the future.

“I have experience in setting up nurse led clinics which have proven a great success in reducing the clinic load for consultants, while providing a great service for the patients.”

Hazel McBain, Research Nurse and Team Lead for Uro-Surgery Trials

Hazel McBain Research Nurse

I am a senior research nurse working with patients diagnosed with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. I identify patients who may be eligible for clinical studies and then co-ordinate their treatment and investigations in line with the protocol. Follow up varies from short to long term giving me the opportunity to develop good relationships with patients and their relatives.

This is an autonomous role which requires strict organisation and pro-activity in pushing projects forward, liaising with many different groups and departments both inside the healthcare system (R&D, pharmacy, radiology) and outside (pharmaceutical, inspectors, trials units).

“I enjoy the patient contact that this role demands.”

Anna Mohammed, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Robotics

Anna Mohammed CNS

Anna is the newest member of the team, having joined in 2014 to this unique role. Anna’s experience stems from having been a theatre sister in urology and she is currently completing her Master’s degree in Surgical Care Practice (Urology).

“I am passionate about empowering patients through education and delivering a high standard of care to our patients.”

Tel: 0798 439 1126

Email: Anna.Mohammed@uclh.nhs.uk

Sue Fell, Jo Parker, Cristina Luchetta, Urinary Diversion CNS Team

The Urinary diversion nurse specialists provide support to bladder cancer patients who require surgical intervention and urinary diversion for their bladder cancer. They provide pre, post-operative and on-going care of individuals undergoing: ileal conduit, orthotopic neobladder, and mitrofanoff continent diversion.

“The most satisfying aspect of our role is being able to deliver patient care from start to finish and empowering patients to become independent and in control their specific urinary diversion.”

Tel: 0203 447 7966

Email: urinarydiversioncns@uclh.nhs.uk