Mr Vincent Gnanapragasam

University of Cambridge

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

Position: Group Leader
Personal home page:

PubMed journal articles - click here

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

Research description

Vincent Gnanapragasam holds a Personal Readership in Urology in the University of Cambridge and is Honorary Consultant Urologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. He graduated from Newcastle University and following basic surgical training, was one of the first trainees to be funded through a Cancer Research UK PhD for Clinicians and one of the first recipients of a CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship given to a surgeon. 


Vincent’s research has covered the full spectrum of basic science, translational, clinical and epidemiological disciplines in prostate cancer. His early laboratory work as group leader led to novel discoveries into the role of endogenous signalling regulators (SEF/SPRED) in prostate cancer development and mechanistic insights into treatment resistance from growth factor inhibitors. More recently ee has developed novel, more accurate, prognostic prediction models for both group stratified cohorts Cambridge Prognostic Groups and for individualised prediction Predict prostate and pioneered risk stratified pathways for active surveillance follow up. These models have been shown to outperform current guideline endorsed risk models and have been adopted into local and regional guidelines Predict prostate is the only decision aid endorsed by the UK NICE National Guidelines on prostate cancer. He is Chief Investigator of the DIAMOND prostate cancer and urological biobank which hold over 3000 bio-samples, tissue and annotated clinical data. He is CI of the TAPS01 study, NIHRi4i funded CAMPROBE study (based on his invention of a new simple device for infection free prostate biopsies), national Predict Prostate patient RCT and multi-centre PRIM biomarker-imaging cancer detection study. His work has been cited in prostate cancer guidelines by NICE and 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 >50 peer reviewed papers with a combined grant income of >£3M. He has also established links with STEM scientists to develop biosensors for cancer detection across different platforms. 


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 £4M in personal research funding covering basic, translational and clinical trials research, over £5M as co-investigator and published over 140 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 and personalised risk – based management of prostate cancer. He has introduced practice changing innovations including risk-based stratification and tailored surveillance which has standardised patient care and significantly reduced 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 also clinical directorate lead for urology research. He holds patents and has won numerous prizes for research, including the CE Alken prize, Urological Research Society Medial, Hunterian Professorship and is the recipient of the 2019 University of Cambridge Vice Chancellors Award for Research Impact (Established Researcher). He is also 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. Lawson ARJ, Abascal F, Coorens THH, Hooks Y, O'Neill L, Latimer C, Raine K, Sanders MA, Warren AY, Mahbubani KTA, Bareham B, Butler TM, Harvey LMR, Cagan A, Menzies A, Moore L, Colquhoun AJ, Turner W, Thomas B, Gnanapragasam V, Williams N, Rassl DM, Vöhringer H, Zumalave S, Nangalia J, Tubío JMC, Gerstung M, Saeb-Parsy K, Stratton MR, Campbell PJ, Mitchell TJ, Martincorena I. Extensive heterogeneity in somatic mutation and selection in the human bladder. Science. 2020 Oct 2;370(6512):75-82. doi: 10.1126/science.aba8347.


2. Li CH, Prokopec SD, Sun RX, Yousif F, Schmitz N; PCAWG Tumour Subtypes and Clinical Translation, Boutros PC; PCAWG Consortium. Sex differences in oncogenic mutational processes. Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 28;11(1):4330. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17359-2. PMID: 32859912; PMCID: PMC7455744.


3. Darst BF, Dadaev T, Saunders E, Sheng X, Wan P, Pooler L, Xia LY, Chanock S, Berndt SI, Gapstur SM, Stevens V, Albanes D, Weinstein SJ, Gnanapragasam V, Giles GG, Nguyen-Dumont T, Milne RL, Pomerantz M, Schmidt JA, Mucci L, Catalona WJ, Hetrick KN, Doheny KF, MacInnis RJ, Southey MC, Eeles RA, Wiklund F, Kote-Jarai Z, Conti DV, Haiman CA. Germline sequencing DNA repair genes in 5,545 men with aggressive and non-aggressive prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2020 Aug 27:djaa132. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djaa132. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32853339.


4. 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. doi: 10.1177/2051415820932773


5. 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 Jun 16;18(1):139.


6. 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 May 28;18(1):114.


7. 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. 


8. 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.


9. 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. (Predict Prostate webtool: endorsed by NICE).

 10.Sequencing of prostate cancers identifies new cancer genes, routes of progression and drug targets. Nat Genet. 2018 May;50(5):682-692. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0086-z. Epub 2018 Apr 16. PubMed PMID: 29662167 Nat Genet. (2018) Mar 2. doi: 10.1038/ng.3221. Wedge DC et al. ICGC Prostate Group

Front page of the Predict:Prostate website endorsed by NICE. The tool has been accessed and used >27,000 times from >110 countries since its launch.