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. 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 V TERT promoter mutations and other prognostic factors in patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor.  View on PubMed
  2. 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.  View on PubMed
  3. Chu CE, Alshalalfa M, Sjöström M, Zhao SG, Liu Y, Chou J, Herlemann A, Mahal B, Kishan A, 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.  View on PubMed
  4. 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 post-operative length of stay and opioid use in patients undergoing radical cystectomy.  View on PubMed
  5. 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.  View on PubMed
  6. 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.  View on PubMed
  7. 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.  View on PubMed
  8. Lonergan PE, Porten SP Bladder tumor recurrence after urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract.  View on PubMed
  9. 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.  View on PubMed
  10. 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.  View on PubMed
  11. 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.  View on PubMed
  12. 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.  View on PubMed
  13. 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.  View on PubMed
  14. 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.  View on PubMed
  15. de Jong JJ, Boormans JL, van Rhijn BWG, Seiler R, Boorjian SA, Konety B, Bivalacqua TJ, Wheeler T, Svatek RS, Douglas J, Wright J, Dall'Era M, Crabb SJ, Efstathiou JA, van der Heijden MS, Mouw KW, Miyamoto DT, Lotan Y, Black PC, Gibb EA, Porten SP Distribution of Molecular Subtypes in Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer Is Driven by Sex-specific Differences.  View on PubMed
  16. Mokkapati S, Porten SP, Narayan VM, Lim AH, Jayaratna IS, Roth B, Cheng T, Navai N, Wszolek M, Melquist J, Manyam G, Choi W, Broom B, Pretzsch S, Czerniak B, McConkey DJ, Dinney CPN TCF21 Promotes Luminal-Like Differentiation and Suppresses Metastasis in Bladder Cancer.  View on PubMed
  17. 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 A Genomic Classifier for Predicting Clinically Aggressive Luminal Bladder Tumors with Higher Rates of Pathological Up Staging.  View on PubMed
  18. Koya M, Osborne S, Chemaslé C, Porten S, Schuckman A, Kennedy-Smith A An evaluation of the real world use and clinical utility of the Cxbladder Monitor assay in the follow-up of patients previously treated for bladder cancer.  View on PubMed
  19. Chu CE, Porten SP, Grossfeld GD, Meng MV Role of Indoleamine-2,3-Dioxygenase Inhibitors in Salvage Therapy for Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer.  View on PubMed
  20. Breyer BN, Butler C, Fang R, Meeks W, Porten SP, North AC, Anger JT Promotion Disparities in Academic Urology.  View on PubMed

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