Eric J. Small, MD

Doris and Donald Fisher Distinguished Professorship in Clinical Cancer Research; Stanford W. Ascherman and Norman R. Ascherman Endowed Chair, UCSF

Professor In Residence of Medicine and Urology; Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer; Co-Leader, Prostate Cancer Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cancer Center Program Membership

Prostate Cancer

Research Summary

My interests lie in clinical and translational research in advanced prostate cancer, including trial design, and development of novel agents. I piloted the early trials targeting the androgen receptor in advanced prostate cancer, developing ketoconazole and contributing to an understanding of its mechanisms of activity and resistance. I subsequently was centrally involved with the development of two novel androgen signaling inhibitors, abiraterone acetate and apalutamide, from first in human studies to FDA approval. 

I have also been involved in the early application of immunotherapy to prostate cancer, developing sipuleucel T from first in human studies through FDA approval, and undertaking the first in human testing of ipilimumab, the first immune check point inhibitor to be clinically developed. 

Understanding the mechanisms of resistance in advanced prostate cancer has been a research focus. I was principal investigator of a $10 million multi-center Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C)/Prostate Cancer Foundation Dream Team Award undertaking deep genomic characterization of prostate cancer metastases, in order to elucidate patterns of resistance in abiraterone and/or enzalutamide treated patients. Important observations from this, and subsequent work have included unexpectedly high prevalence rates of treatment associated small cell/neuroendocrine prostate cancer (t-SCNC), as well key structural variants which contribute to progression of castration-resistant disease, observed in the largest Whole Genome Sequencing series to date of metastatic advanced prostate cancer specimens. 

I hold a number of leadership roles, serving as Co-Leader of the UCSF Prostate Cancer Program, and as Deputy Director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. I previously served as Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the UCSF Department of Medicine for 10 years, and most recently have assumed the position of Chief Scientific Officer in the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Nationally, I serve on the ASCO Board of Directors, and chair 4 External Advisory Boards for other NCI-Designated Cancer Centers.


Stanford University, Stanford, CA, BS, 1980, Biology
Case Western Reserve University of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, MD, 1985, Medicine
Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA, Internship and Residency, 1988, Internal Medicine
University of California San Francisco, CA, Fellowship, 1991, Hematology/Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • 1978
    Biomedical Research Grant, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbour, ME
  • 1980
    NIH Research Support Grant, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • 1984
    Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
  • 1997
    Prostate Cancer Foundation Therapy Consortium
  • 2006-present
    Stanford W. and Norman R. Ascherman Endowed Chair

Selected Publications

  1. Kwon DH, Gordon KM, Tong B, Borno HT, Beigh M, Fattah D, Schleicher A, Aggarwal RR, Blanco AM, Small EJ, Dhawan M. Implementation of a Telehealth Genetic Testing Station to Deliver Germline Testing for Men With Prostate Cancer. JCO Oncol Pract. 2023 Jan 12; OP2200638.  View on PubMed
  2. Feng E, Rydzewski NR, Zhang M, Lundberg A, Bootsma M, Helzer KT, Lang JM, Aggarwal R, Small EJ, Quigley DA, Sj?str?m M, Zhao SG. Intrinsic Molecular Subtypes of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 12 15; 28(24):5396-5404.  View on PubMed
  3. Langlais CS, Chen YH, Van Blarigan EL, Chan JM, Ryan CJ, Zhang L, Borno HT, Newton RU, Luke A, Bang AS, Panchal N, Tenggara I, Schultz B, Lavaki E, Pinto N, Aggarwal R, Friedlander T, Koshkin VS, Harzstark AL, Small EJ, Kenfield SA. Quality of life for men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer participating in an aerobic and resistance exercise pilot intervention. Urol Oncol. 2022 Dec 15.  View on PubMed
  4. Gillessen S, Bossi A, Davis ID, de Bono J, Fizazi K, James ND, Mottet N, Shore N, Small E, Smith M, Sweeney C, Tombal B, Antonarakis ES, Aparicio AM, Armstrong AJ, Attard G, Beer TM, Beltran H, Bjartell A, Blanchard P, Briganti A, Bristow RG, Bulbul M, Caffo O, Castellano D, Castro E, Cheng HH, Chi KN, Chowdhury S, Clarke CS, Clarke N, Daugaard G, De Santis M, Duran I, Eeles R, Efstathiou E, Efstathiou J, Ngozi Ekeke O, Evans CP, Fanti S, Feng FY, Fonteyne V, Fossati N, Frydenberg M, George D, Gleave M, Gravis G, Halabi S, Heinrich D, Herrmann K, Higano C, Hofman MS, Horvath LG, Hussain M, Alicja Jereczek-Fossa B, Jones R, Kanesvaran R, Kellokumpu-Lehtinen PL, Khauli RB, Klotz L, Kramer G, Leibowitz R, Logothetis CJ, Mahal BA, Maluf F, Mateo J, Matheson D, Mehra N, Merseburger A, Morgans AK, Morris MJ, Mrabti H, Mukherji D, Murphy DG, Murthy V, Nguyen PL, Oh WK, Ost P, O'Sullivan JM, Padhani AR, Pezaro C, Poon DMC, Pritchard CC, Rabah DM, Rathkopf D, Reiter RE, Rubin MA, Ryan CJ, Saad F, Pablo Sade J, Sartor OA, Scher HI, Sharifi N, Skoneczna I, Soule H, Spratt DE, Srinivas S, Sternberg CN, Steuber T, Suzuki H, Sydes MR, Taplin ME, Tilki D, T?rkeri L, Turco F, Uemura H, Uemura H, ?r?n Y, Vale CL, van Oort I, Vapiwala N, Walz J, Yamoah K, Ye D, Yu EY, Zapatero A, Zilli T, Omlin A. Management of Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer. Part I: Intermediate-/High-risk and Locally Advanced Disease, Biochemical Relapse, and Side Effects of Hormonal Treatment: Report of the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference 2022. Eur Urol. 2022 Dec 06.  View on PubMed
  5. Ragavan MV, Legaspi N, LaLanne A, Hong JC, Small EJ, Borno HT. Analysis of Serious Adverse Event Reporting for Patients Enrolled in Cancer Clinical Trials During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Oncol. 2022 12 01; 8(12):1849-1851.  View on PubMed
  6. Kwon DH, Shakhnazaryan N, Shui D, Hong JC, Mohamad O, de Kouchkovsky I, Borno HT, Bose R, Chou J, Desai A, Fong L, Friedlander TW, Koshkin VS, Aggarwal RR, Feng FY, Hope TA, Small EJ. Serial stereotactic body radiation therapy for oligometastatic prostate cancer detected by novel PET-based radiotracers. Urol Oncol. 2022 Nov 24.  View on PubMed
  7. Chou J, Egusa EA, Wang S, Badura ML, Lee F, Bidkar AP, Zhu J, Shenoy T, Trepka K, Robinson TM, Steri V, Huang J, Wang Y, Small EJ, Chan E, Stohr BA, Ashworth A, Delafontaine B, Rottey S, Cooke KS, Hashemi Sadraei N, Yu B, Salvati M, Bailis JM, Feng FY, Flavell RR, Aggarwal R. Immunotherapeutic Targeting and PET Imaging of DLL3 in Small-Cell Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer. Cancer Res. 2023 01 18; 83(2):301-315.  View on PubMed
  8. Borno HT, Kim MO, Tolstykh I, Lin A, Hong JC, Yousefi S, Zhang S, McKay RR, Harismendy O, Razavi P, Cinar P, Rugo H, Koshkin VS, Rabow M, Wang C, Bailey A, Small EJ. Assessing Unique Risk Factors for COVID-19 Complications Among Cancer Patients: A Multi-ethnic Cohort Study. J Immigr Minor Health. 2022 Nov 07.  View on PubMed
  9. Sj?str?m M, Zhao SG, Levy S, Zhang M, Ning Y, Shrestha R, Lundberg A, Herberts C, Foye A, Aggarwal R, Hua JT, Li H, Bergamaschi A, Maurice-Dror C, Maheshwari A, Chen S, Ng SWS, Ye W, Petricca J, Fraser M, Chesner L, Perry MD, Moreno-Rodriguez T, Chen WS, Alumkal JJ, Chou J, Morgans AK, Beer TM, Thomas GV, Gleave M, Lloyd P, Phillips T, McCarthy E, Haffner MC, Zoubeidi A, Annala M, Reiter RE, Rettig MB, Witte ON, Fong L, Bose R, Huang FW, Luo J, Bjartell A, Lang JM, Mahajan NP, Lara PN, Evans CP, Tran PT, Posadas EM, He C, Cui XL, Huang J, Zwart W, Gilbert LA, Maher CA, Boutros PC, Chi KN, Ashworth A, Small EJ, He HH, Wyatt AW, Quigley DA, Feng FY. The 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Landscape of Prostate Cancer. Cancer Res. 2022 11 02; 82(21):3888-3902.  View on PubMed
  10. Pollock Y, Smith MR, Saad F, Chowdhury S, Oudard S, Hadaschik B, Olmos D, Lee JY, Uemura H, Bhaumik A, Londhe A, Rooney B, Brookman-May SD, De Porre P, Mundle SD, Small EJ. Clinical characteristics associated with falls in patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer treated with apalutamide. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2022 Oct 08.  View on PubMed
  11. Aggarwal R, Alumkal JJ, Szmulewitz RZ, Higano CS, Bryce AH, Lopez-Gitlitz A, McCarthy SA, Miladinovic B, McQuarrie K, Thomas S, Zhang K, Small EJ. Randomized, Open-Label Phase 2 Study of Apalutamide plus Androgen Deprivation Therapy versus Apalutamide Monotherapy versus Androgen Deprivation Monotherapy in Patients with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer. Prostate Cancer. 2022; 2022:5454727.  View on PubMed
  12. Westbrook TC, Guan X, Rodansky E, Flores D, Liu CJ, Udager AM, Patel RA, Haffner MC, Hu YM, Sun D, Beer TM, Foye A, Aggarwal R, Quigley DA, Youngren JF, Ryan CJ, Gleave M, Wang Y, Huang J, Coleman I, Morrissey C, Nelson PS, Evans CP, Lara P, Reiter RE, Witte O, Rettig M, Wong CK, Weinstein AS, Uzunangelov V, Stuart JM, Thomas GV, Feng FY, Small EJ, Yates JA, Xia Z, Alumkal JJ. Transcriptional profiling of matched patient biopsies clarifies molecular determinants of enzalutamide-induced lineage plasticity. Nat Commun. 2022 09 15; 13(1):5345.  View on PubMed
  13. Tamukong PK, Kuhlmann P, You S, Su S, Wang Y, Yoon S, Gong J, Figlin RA, Janes JL, Freedland SJ, Halabi S, Small EJ, Rini BI, Kim HL. Hypoxia-inducible factor pathway genes predict survival in metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Urol Oncol. 2022 11; 40(11):495.e1-495.e10.  View on PubMed
  14. Herberts C, Annala M, Sipola J, Ng SWS, Chen XE, Nurminen A, Korhonen OV, Munzur AD, Beja K, Sch?nlau E, Bernales CQ, Ritch E, Bacon JVW, Lack NA, Nykter M, Aggarwal R, Small EJ, Gleave ME, SU2C/PCF West Coast Prostate Cancer Dream Team, Quigley DA, Feng FY, Chi KN, Wyatt AW. Deep whole-genome ctDNA chronology of treatment-resistant prostate cancer. Nature. 2022 08; 608(7921):199-208.  View on PubMed
  15. Zhao N, Chopra S, Trepka K, Wang YH, Sakhamuri S, Hooshdaran N, Kim H, Zhou J, Lim SA, Leung KK, Egusa EA, Zhu J, Zhang L, Foye A, Sriram R, Chan E, Seo Y, Feng FY, Small EJ, Chou J, Wells JA, Aggarwal R, Evans MJ. CUB Domain-Containing Protein 1 (CDCP1) Is a Target for Radioligand Therapy in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer, including PSMA Null Disease. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 07 15; 28(14):3066-3075.  View on PubMed
  16. Nixon AB, Halabi S, Liu Y, Starr MD, Brady JC, Shterev I, Luo B, Hurwitz HI, Febbo PG, Rini BI, Beltran H, Small EJ, Morris MJ, George DJ. Predictive Biomarkers of Overall Survival in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Treated with IFNa � Bevacizumab: Results from CALGB 90206 (Alliance). Clin Cancer Res. 2022 07 01; 28(13):2771-2778.  View on PubMed
  17. Kwon DH, Paciorek A, Zhang L, Borno HT, Bucknor M, Small EJ, Aggarwal RR. Skeletal-related events after abiraterone or enzalutamide in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: A population-based study using the SEER-Medicare linked dataset. Urol Oncol. 2022 08; 40(8):379.e17-379.e24.  View on PubMed
  18. Borno HT, Kim MO, Hong JC, Yousefi S, Lin A, Tolstykh I, Zhang S, McKay RR, Harismendy O, Cinar P, Rugo H, Koshkin VS, Rabow M, Wang C, Bailey A, Small EJ. COVID-19 Outcomes Among Patients With Cancer: Observations From the University of California Cancer Consortium COVID-19 Project Outcomes Registry. Oncologist. 2022 05 06; 27(5):398-406.  View on PubMed
  19. Borno HT, Zhang L, Zhang S, Kaplan C, Palmer NR, Bell A, Bakke B, Lin A, Aggarwal R, Small EJ. Mobile Clinical Trial Matching Technology in Medical Oncology Clinic: A Pilot Feasibility Study. JCO Clin Cancer Inform. 2022 05; 6:e2100182.  View on PubMed
  20. Kellogg Parsons J, Zahrieh D, Patel D, Mohler JL, Chen RC, Paskett ED, Liu H, Peil ES, Rock CL, Hahn O, Taylor J, Van Veldhuizen PJ, Small EJ, Morris MJ, Naughton MJ, Pierce JP, Marshall J. Diet and Health-related Quality of Life Among Men on Active Surveillance for Early-stage Prostate Cancer: The Men's Eating and Living Study (Cancer and Leukemia Group 70807 [Alliance]). Eur Urol Focus. 2022 Nov; 8(6):1607-1616.  View on PubMed

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