Award Winner

The 2023 Award of the San Salvatore Foundation, Lugano, of 50'000.00 Swiss Francs has been granted on May 18, 2024, in Lugano to

Professor Thomas Powles

in recognition for his pioneering work in early bladder and kidney cancer research and his dedication to innovation, research and patient care.

We have the honor of celebrating a luminary in the field of urology cancer research, Professor Thomas Powles. Since 2012, Professor Powles has served with distinction as a Professor of Urology Cancer at the University of London, and from 2017, he has led the Barts Cancer Centre as its Director. Under his leadership, Barts has flourished into one of the UK's premier cancer centers, distinguishing itself with over 4,000 new cancer patient intakes per year and recognition as a CRUK Major Cancer Centre.

Professor Powles embarked on his remarkable journey in oncology at Imperial College, London, where he not only honed his expertise but also contributed groundbreaking research through his MD thesis on the mechanisms of resistance to systemic therapy in urology cancer. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and innovation has significantly advanced the field, particularly in the development of biomarkers and new therapeutic strategies for urology cancers. His work has been instrumental in securing multiple EMA and FDA approvals for pioneering treatments, including immune/targeted therapy combinations in Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC), immune checkpoint inhibitors in bladder cancer, and antibody-drug conjugates in urothelial cancer.

Professor Powles's contributions to the understanding of biomarkers have paved the way for more personalized and effective treatments, enhancing our grasp of resistance mechanisms to immune therapy, and fostering the development of circulating biomarkers. His scholarly output is nothing short of extraordinary, with 10 publications in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet, alongside over 40 peer-reviewed articles annually.

His leadership extends beyond academia into the clinical realm, where he has spearheaded numerous trials and projects that have been heralded in major journals. Professor Powles's work is characterized by a remarkable balance between university-led and pharmaceutical company-sponsored research, with his efforts attracting over £15 million in grant funding for university-sponsored studies over the last decade.

Beyond his professional achievements, Professor Powles has made significant strides in education and communication, engaging with the wider community through social media and as co-lead of the popular Uromigos podcast. His role as Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Oncology and his active participation in key oncology councils and guidelines committees underscore his commitment to advancing the field.

We recognize Professor Thomas Powles for his exceptional contributions to cancer research, we also celebrate his ongoing efforts to transform the lives of those affected by urology cancers through his pioneering work in early bladder and kidney cancer research. His dedication to the identification of patients at risk of relapse post-surgery continues to inspire and impact the global oncology community profoundly. Professor Powles's visionary work not only embodies the spirit of innovation but also reflects a deep commitment to patient care and the advancement of medical science.

The San Salvatore Foundation, with its base in Lugano, Switzerland, was created in 1979 by Carlo Pernsch, a well-known banker, and his wife Célestine with the purpose of promoting and rewarding medical and scientific research in the area of antitumor therapies.

For over 45 years the San Salvatore Foundation has recognized with its awards numerous scientists who have contributed in a substantial manner to the scientific research on new approaches to antitumor therapeutics and has provided grants for scientific projects for the cure of malignant diseases.