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Professor Kesavan Esuvaranathan

Senior Consultant 
Division of Surgical Oncology (Urology), National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) 

Clinical Director
Department of Urology, University Surgical Cluster, National University Hospital (NUH)

NUS & Director of Research, Department of Surgery, National University of Singapore (NUS)


Prof Kesavan's principal research activities are in the field of bladder cancer, a disease that is the 8th most common cancer in men in Singapore. Intravesical therapies for superficial bladder cancer represent one of the most successful achievements in the treatment of cancer and are at the forefront of research in immunotherapy for solid organ cancers. The group he founded in 1995, the Bladder Cancer Workgroup, is studying the mechanisms of action of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy in order to apply this knowledge to other immunotherapies cancer. Prof Kesavan has published several important papers in this field about the direct effects of BCG on cancer cell production of immunogenic molecules and cytokines and in gene therapy and in the genetic basis for response to BCG therapy. The Bladder Cancer workgroup has collectively won more than 20 research awards.

Prof Kesavan also runs an active gene therapy programme for urological malignancies. He has developed and patented a novel means of obtaining high transfection rates in vivo, using a liposome-based mixture. Using this method in in vivo murine experiments he is able to cure established small tumors – something that could not be achieved with BCG and interferon alpha in this model. Prof Kesavan expects this therapy will be even more successful than the combination of BCG and interferon alpha and will be starting a Phase I trial soon.


Education and Fellowships

MBBS (S'pore 1983), FRCSEd (1988), FRCSG (1988), FAMS (Urol 1994), MD (S'pore 2006)



Updated as of 1 October 2014