Research Summary

Dr. Sima Porten is a specialist in cancers of the genital and urinary organs. She is a member of the urologic oncology team at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of genitourinary cancer, particularly bladder cancer, upper tract urothelial cancer, kidney cancer and high-risk prostate cancer.

Porten's research focuses mainly on the diagnosis and management of urothelial carcinoma, a cancer involving parts of the kidney, bladder and ureter (the tube connecting each kidney to the bladder). In studying the biologic or genetic basis of urothelial carcinoma, she hopes to develop new tests and treatments to bring personalized medicine to patients with bladder cancer.

Porten received her undergraduate, medical and master of public health degrees from Northwestern University. During medical school, she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and also completed a fellowship through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute–National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program. She then completed her urology residency training at UCSF, where she received the Julius R. Krevans Award for Clinical Excellence. During her training in urologic oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, she was awarded a John Quale Travel Fellowship for her research in bladder cancer.

Porten is an active member of the American Urological Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Society of Women in Urology and Society of Urologic Oncology.


  • Northwestern University, College of Arts and Sciences, B.A., 2001, Classics
  • Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, M.D., 2006, Medicine
  • Northwestern University, School of Public Health, M.P.H., 2006, Public Health
  • University of California, San Francisco, Intern, 2007, General Surgery
  • University of California, San Francisco, Resident, 2008, General Surgery
  • University of California, San Francisco, Resident, 2011, Urology
  • University of California, San Francisco, Chief Resident, 2012, Urology
  • U.T. MD Anderson Cancer Center, Fellow, 2014, Urol. Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • 2003
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar, National Institute of Health
  • 2005
    Julius Conn Award for Outstanding Performance in the Surgery Clerkship
  • 2005
    George Dennis Award (Phi Rho Sigma) for Achievement in Clinical Years
  • 2006
    Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, Gamma Chapter
  • 2007
    Julius R. Krevans Award for Clinical Excellence, San Francisco General Hospital
  • 2012
    The John Quale Travel Fellowship Award, Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
  • 2015
    The Joseph McCarthy Essay Contest Award, American Urological Association, Western Section
  • 2016
    William R. Smart Distinguished Teaching Award, UCSF Department of Urology
  • 2017
    Best Reviewer Award, Journal of Urology
  • 2017
    Faculty Learning and Development Fund Award Recipient, UCSF, School of Medicine
  • 2018
    New Investigator Scholarship-Leadership Award, ALLIANCE Foundation
  • 2019
    Muriel Steele Society Honor- Influential and Inspiring Women in Surgery, Murielle Steel Society UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. Tariq A, McCart Reed AE, Morton A, Porten S, Vela I, Williams ED, Yaxley JW, Black PC, Roberts MJ. Urothelial Carcinoma and Prostate-specific Membrane Antigen: Cellular, Imaging, and Prognostic Implications. Eur Urol Focus. 2021 Aug 21.  View on PubMed
  2. Raman JD, Kavalieris L, Konety B, Porten S, Daneshmand S, Lotan Y, Loo R. The Diagnostic Performance of Cxbladder Resolve, Alone and in Combination with Other Cxbladder Tests, in the Identification and Priority Evaluation of Patients at Risk for Urothelial Carcinoma. J Urol. 2021 Aug 05; 101097JU0000000000002135.  View on PubMed
  3. Gore JL, Porten SP, Montgomery JS, Hamilton RJ, Meng MV, Sexton WJ, Psutka SP. Applicant perceptions of virtual interviews for society of urologic oncology fellowships during the COVID-19 pandemic. Urol Oncol. 2021 Jul 08.  View on PubMed
  4. Chappidi MR, Welty C, Choi W, Meng MV, Porten SP. Evaluation of the Cancer of Bladder Risk Assessment (COBRA) Score in the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Bladder Cancer Cohort. Urology. 2021 Jun 10.  View on PubMed
  5. Chu CE, Sjöström M, Egusa EA, Gibb EA, Badura ML, Zhu J, Koshkin VS, Stohr BA, Meng MV, Pruthi RS, Friedlander TW, Lotan Y, Black PC, Porten SP, Feng FY, Chou J. Heterogeneity in NECTIN4 Expression Across Molecular Subtypes of Urothelial Cancer Mediates Sensitivity to Enfortumab Vedotin. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Sep 15; 27(18):5123-5130.  View on PubMed
  6. Matulewicz RS, Ravvaz K, Weissert JA, Porten S, Steinberg GD, Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview Registry Group . Association of smoking status and recurrence of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer among patients managed with blue light cystoscopy. Urol Oncol. 2021 May 27.  View on PubMed
  7. de Kouchkovsky I, Zhang L, Philip EJ, Wright F, Kim DM, Natesan D, Kwon D, Ho H, Ho S, Chan E, Porten SP, Wong AC, Desai A, Huang FW, Chou J, Oh DY, Pruthi RS, Fong L, Small EJ, Friedlander TW, Koshkin VS. TERT promoter mutations and other prognostic factors in patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor. J Immunother Cancer. 2021 05; 9(5).  View on PubMed
  8. Klaassen Z, Scarpato KR, Ristau BT, Stratton KL, Porten SP, Smaldone MC, Chapin BF, Psutka SP. Research highlights of the 2020 society of urologic oncology young urologic oncologists' program. Urol Oncol. 2021 08; 39(8):452-454.  View on PubMed
  9. Chu CE, Alshalalfa M, Sjöström M, Zhao SG, Liu Y, Chou J, Herlemann A, Mahal B, Kishan AU, Spratt DE, Cooperberg M, Small E, Wong A, Porten S, Hope TA, Ross AE, Davicioni E, Nguyen P, Karnes RJ, Carroll PR, Schaeffer E, Feng FY. Prostate-specific Membrane Antigen and Fluciclovine Transporter Genes are Associated with Variable Clinical Features and Molecular Subtypes of Primary Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol. 2021 Jun; 79(6):717-721.  View on PubMed
  10. Chu CE, Law L, Zuniga K, Lin TK, Tsourounis C, Rodriguez-Monguio R, Lazar A, Washington SL, Cooperberg MR, Greene KL, Carroll PR, Pruthi RS, Meng MV, Chen LL, Porten SP. Liposomal Bupivacaine Decreases Postoperative Length of Stay and Opioid Use in Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy. Urology. 2021 Mar; 149:168-173.  View on PubMed
  11. Chyu J, Peters CE, Nicholson TM, Dai JC, Taylor J, Garg T, Smith AB, Porten SP, Greene K, Browning N, Harris E, Sutherland SE, Psutka SP. Women in Leadership in Urology: The Case for Increasing Diversity and Equity. Urology. 2021 Apr; 150:16-24.  View on PubMed
  12. Washington SL, Gregorich SE, Meng MV, Suskind AM, Porten SP. Race modifies survival benefit of guideline-based treatment: Implications for reducing disparities in muscle invasive bladder cancer. Cancer Med. 2020 11; 9(22):8310-8317.  View on PubMed
  13. Talwar R, Bernstein A, Jones A, Crook J, Apolo AB, Taylor JM, Burke LM, Plimack ER, Porten SP, Greene KL, Psutka SP, Smith AB. Assessing Contemporary Trends in Female Speakership within Urologic Oncology. Urology. 2021 Apr; 150:41-46.  View on PubMed
  14. Lonergan PE, Porten SP. Bladder tumor recurrence after urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract. Transl Androl Urol. 2020 Aug; 9(4):1891-1896.  View on PubMed
  15. de la Calle CM, Washington SL, Lonergan PE, Meng MV, Porten SP. Bladder cancer in patients younger than 40 years: outcomes from the National Cancer Database. World J Urol. 2021 Jun; 39(6):1911-1916.  View on PubMed
  16. Zuniga KB, Washington SL, Porten SP, Meng MV. Correction to: A comparison of stage-specific all-cause mortality between testicular sex cordstromal tumors and germ cell tumors: results from the National Cancer Database. BMC Urol. 2020 07 17; 20(1):103.  View on PubMed
  17. Sarin A, Lancaster E, Chen LL, Porten S, Chen LM, Lager J, Wick E. Using provider-focused education toolkits can aid enhanced recovery programs to further reduce patient exposure to opioids. Perioper Med (Lond). 2020; 9:21.  View on PubMed
  18. Oh DY, Kwek SS, Raju SS, Li T, McCarthy E, Chow E, Aran D, Ilano A, Pai CS, Rancan C, Allaire K, Burra A, Sun Y, Spitzer MH, Mangul S, Porten S, Meng MV, Friedlander TW, Ye CJ, Fong L. Intratumoral CD4+ T Cells Mediate Anti-tumor Cytotoxicity in Human Bladder Cancer. Cell. 2020 06 25; 181(7):1612-1625.e13.  View on PubMed
  19. de Jong JJ, Liu Y, Boorjian SA, Bivalacqua TJ, Porten SP, Wheeler T, Davicioni E, Svatek RS, Boormans JL, Black PC, Lotan Y, Gibb EA. Reply by Authors. J Urol. 2020 08; 204(2):246.  View on PubMed
  20. Zuniga KB, Washington SL, Porten SP, Meng MV. A comparison of stage-specific all-cause mortality between testicular sex cord stromal tumors and germ cell tumors: results from the National Cancer Database. BMC Urol. 2020 Apr 17; 20(1):40.  View on PubMed

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