Professor Vincent Gnanapragasam

University of Cambridge
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University departments
Department of Surgery
NHS or other affiliations
Departments of Urology

Position: Professor
Personal home page:

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Professor Vincent Gnanapragasam is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.

Research description

Vincent J Gnanapragasam is Professor of Urology in the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Consultant Urologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. He graduated from Newcastle University and following basic surgical training, was a recipients 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 deicision making. 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 TAPS01Predict Prostate RCTPRIM biomarker study, and the NIHRi4i funded CAMPROBE study (based on his own 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).

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 170 peer reviewed papers. He is also joint applicant on research collaboratives that have secured over £70M in funding. 

His current clinical practice is in precision diagnostics, risk – based management of prostate cancer and personalised surveillance of early cancer.  He has introduced practice changing innovations which has standardised patient care and significantly reduced rates of over-treatment. More recently, with colleagues from the TPCG, he has established a platform for integrated genomics and clinical profiling to explore the potential for targeted adjuvant therapies to improve primary cure rates in poor prognosis prostate cancer. 

In the University of Cambridge, 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. He holds patents, editorial positions and has won 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). He is also a Visiting Professor at Anglia Ruskin University.

Research Programme
Urological Malignancies
Methods and technologies
Clinical practice
Clinical trials
Gene expression profiling
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Public health
Tumour type interests
Recent publications:
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Key publications

1. 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. 

2. 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. 

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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. 

6. 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. June In press. Validation of the Predict Prostate Model in and external cohort and demonstration that it outperforms all other current models is use for prognostic modelling. 

7. 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. Collaboration with the UK National Prostate Cancer Audit using the Cambridge developed CPG system. This work showed new insights into how prostate cancer is managed by sub-strata risk including bias in selection for treatments now visible using existing risk models. CPG system planned to be adopted for use by the NPCA after this work.

8. 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. 

9. 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. 

10. Thurtle DR, Greenberg DC, Lee LS, Huang HH, Pharoah PD, Gnanapragasam VJ. Individual prognosis at diagnosis in non-metastatic prostate cancer: Development and external validation of the PREDICT Prostate multivariable model. PLoS Med (2019) Mar 12;16(3):e1002758. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002758. 


Front page of the Predict:Prostate website endorsed by NICE. The tool has been accessed and used >40,000 times from >110 countries since its launch.