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  • Bladder
  • Prostate
  • Testicular
  • Urological


Professor Alison Birtle is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Rutherford Cancer Centres North West and Honorary Clinical Professor at The University of Central Lancashire. Professor Birtle specialises in the treatment of urological cancers and her MD thesis was in PSA negative prostate cancers at the Institute of Urology. She is advisor to Macmillan Cancer Support on patient information for prostate, bladder and testicular tumours, Trustee and Medical Advisor to Fight Bladder Cancer, and Secretary to the British Uro-Oncology Group (BUG). She has published widely and lectures nationally and internationally.

Professor Birtle has been Clinical Research Lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Research Network, and more recently,  Speciality Group Lead for Cancer Research for North West Coast CRN. She is a former member of the NIHR Prostate CSG and stepped down as Chair of the Bladder/Renal NIHR Clinical Study Group in 2018 after two terms. She remains a member of the Advanced Bladder Cancer Subgroup and T2 and Below Subgroup.

Professor Birtle has been Principal Investigator and Chief Investigator on numerous urological clinical trials, and is the Chief Investigator on the POUT trial which has been incorporated into European Urology Guidelines. In 2018, she was awarded one of the national 70 stars of the NHS award by NHS England and the NHS Confederations part of the NHS 70 Anniversary. She was appointed as a member of the RCR Academic Committee for Clinical Oncology in 2021. She was also awarded NWCCRN Research Practitioner of the Year in 2018, and more locally runner up in Lancashire Doctor of the Year. Professor Birtle is on the Educational  Faculty for ESMO. She is passionate about patient access to clinical trials and believes in the mantra of a trial for every patient.

As a proud Lancastrian, she supports Preston North End and Lancashire Country Cricket Club. She also enjoys singing for a Hospice Choir in Lancaster and loves musical theatre, with recent roles at the Lancaster Grand Theatre include Sister Berthe in The Sound of Music, Violet in 9-5 and Mrs Darling in Peter Pan and was part of the NHS Voices of Care Choir performing on the No 1 single 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with Captain Sir Tom Moore and Michale Ball (performed at the Royal Variety Show).


  • BSc Physiology Kings' College London. 1987
  • MB BS Charing Cross & Westminster Medical School 1992 Distinctions in Pathology, Obstetrics, Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology
  • MRCP UK 1996
  • FRCR 2000
  • MD 2005 PSA Negative prostate cancer ( Institute of Urology University College London)


  • British Uro Oncology Group
  • European Society of Medical Oncology
  • Royal College of Physicians UK
  • Royal College of Radiologists
  • Australia & New Zealand GenitoUrinary Trials Group.
  • Upper Tract Subgroup ( International Rare Cancers Initiative)


  • Elected Fellow Royal College of Physicians 2020
  • Award Best Oncology Abstract European Urology Association Annual Congress 2018 (for POUT Trial)
  • Researcher of the Year 2018 Research & Innovation Awards North West Coast
  • Highlighted paper of the year ASCO GU 2021 for The Pout Trial publication in The Lancet 2020.
  • Plenary Abstract ASCO GU 2018
  • Practice Changing Trial NCRI meeting 2018
  • Best Poster British Association of Urological Surgeons 2018
  • Runner Up Lancashire Doctor of the Year 2018
  • One of 70 Stars for 70- for NHS 70th Anniversary year.

Research interests

Professor Alison Birtle's research interests include phase 2-4 trials in bladder/prostate and testicular cancer. Chemoradiation, systemic therapy, advanced radiotherapy, survivorship, patient-reported outcomes, qualitative research and upper tract cancer. Professor Birtle also sits on over twenty research governance committees internationally.


Research H index 29. Example publications in 2020-21:
  • Real-World Safety and efficacy Outcomes with abiraterone acetate plus prednisone or prednisolone as the first or second-line treatment for metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer-data from the prostate cancer registry. Bjartell A, Lumen N, Maroto P, Palss T, Gomez-Velga F, Birtle A, Kramer G, Kalinka E, Spaeth D, Feyerabend S, Matveev V, Lefresne F, Lukac M, Wapenaar R, Costa L, Chowdhury S. Targeted Oncology 6 March 2021
  • Phase I trial of DNA Methyltransferase inhibitor guadecitabine combined with cisplatin and gemcitabine. Crabb S, Danson S, Catto J, Hussain S, Chan D,Dunkley D, Downs N, Marwood E, Day L, Saunders G, Light M, Whitehead A, Elis D, Sarwar N, Enting D, Birtle A, Johnson B, Huddart R, Griffiths G.  Accepted Clinical Cancer Research Jan 2021
  • Pan-AKT Inhibitor capivasertib with docextael and prednisolone in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer: a randomised, placebo-controlled Phase II Trial ( ProCAID).Crabb S, Griffiths G, Marwood E, Dunkley D, Downs N, Martin K, Light M, Northey J, Wilding S, Whitehead A, Shaw E, Birtle A, Bahl A, Elliott T, Westbury C, Sundar S, Robinson A, Jagdev S, Kumar S, Rooney C, Salinas-Souza C, Stephen C, Khoo V, Jones R. Published online Dev 16 2020 DOI:10.1200/JCO.20.01576 Journal of Clinical Oncology
  • Clinical Outcomes of a randomised trial of adaptive plan of the day treatment in patients receiving ultra-hypofractionated weekly radiotherapy for bladder cancer.Huddart R, Hafeez S, Lewis R, McNair H, Syndikus I, Henry A, Staffurth J, Dewan M, Vassalo-Bonner C, Moinuddin S, Birtle A, Horan G, Rimmer Y, Venkitaraman R, Khoo V, Mitra A, Hughes S, Gibbs S, Kapur G, Baker A, Hansen V, Patel R, Hall E. Int J Rad Oncology & Physics Dec 10 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.11.068
  • Olaprarib in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer with DNA repair gene aberrations (TOPARP-B): a multicentre, open label, randomised phase 2 trial. Mateo J, Porta N, Bianchini D, McGovern U, Jones R, Syndikus I, Ralph C, Jain S, Varighese M, Parikh O, Crabb S, Mclaren D, Birtle A, et al., Lancet Oncology  2020 Jan (1):162-174
  • EAU-ESMO Consensus Statements on the management of Advanced and variant Bladder cancer-An International Collaborative Multistakeholder Effort: Witjes JA, Babjuk M, Bellmunt J, Bruins H, De Reijke T, De Santis M, Gillesen S, James N, Maclennan S, Palou J, Powles T, Ribal M, Shariat S, Van Der Kwast T, Zylinas E, Agarwal N, Arends T, Bamias A, Birtle A et al European Urology 2020 Feb (2):223-250
  • Management of muscle-invasive bladder cancer during a pandemic:  Impact of treatment delay on survival outcomes for patients treated with definitive concurrent chemoradiation.  Fischer-Valuck , Michalski M, Harton J, Birtle A, Christodouleas J, Efstathiou J, Arora V, Kim E, Knocke E, Pchynski R, Picus J, Rao Y, Reimers M, Rith B, Stargos P, Smith Z, Zaghlous M, Gay H, Baumann B. Clinical Genitourinary Cancer 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2020.06.005
  • The implementation and utility of patient screening logs in a multicentre randomised controlled oncology trial. Lewis, R, Todd, R, newton M, Jones R, Wilson C, Donovan J, Bryan R, Birtle A ,Hall E & on behalf of the POUT Trial Management Group. Trials  2020 21 :629
  • Clinical Guidance for the management of patients with urothelisal cancers during the COVI-19 pandemic-Rapid review article. Patel, K, Choudhury A, Hoskin P, Huddart R, Birtle A. Clinical Oncology 2020 Jun;32(6):347-353
  • TOUCAN: A randomised phase II trial of carboplatin and gemcitabine +/- vandetanib in first line treatment of advanced urothelial cell cancer patients not suitable to receive cisplatin. Jones R Crabb S Chester J, Elliott E, Huddart R, Birtle A, Evans L, Lester J, Jagdev S, Casbard A, Huang C, Maddie T, Griffiths G. BJU International 2020 doi:10.111/bju.15096
  • Real World Outcomes in first line treatment of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer: the Prostate Cancer Registry Chowdhury S, Bjartell A, Lumen N, Maroto P, Paiss T, Gomez-Veiga F, Birtle A, et al. Target Oncol 2020 June;1593301-315)
  • ATLANTIS: a randomised multi-arm phase II biomarker-directed umbrella screening trial of maintenance targeted therapy after chemotherapy in patients with advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer. Fulton B, Jones R, Powles T, Crabb S, Birtle A, Choudhury S, Hussein S, Morris, A, Soulis E , Morrison P. Trials 2020 ;21:344
  • POUT Adjuvant chemotherapy in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (the POUT trial): a phase 3, open-label, randomised controlled trial. Birtle A, Johnson M, Chester J Jones R et al. The Lancet 395 (10232):18-24 April 2020:1268-1277


  1. Professor Alison Jane Birtle does not hold a share or financial interest in the Rutherford Cancer Centres or another Rutherford Health plc company.
  2. Professor Alison Jane Birtle does not have a share or financial interest in equipment used at the Rutherford Cancer Centres or another Rutherford Health plc company.
  3. Professor Alison Jane Birtle does not hold any paid advisory role(s) at the Rutherford Cancer Centres or on behalf of Rutherford Cancer Centres or Rutherford Health plc.

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