• Researcher Profile

    Joaquim Bellmunt, MD, PhD

    Joaquim Bellmunt, MD, PhD
    Director, Bladder Cancer Center

    Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Genitourinary Oncology

    Office phone: 617-632-6328
    Fax: 617-632-2165

    Preferred contact method: office phone

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    Research Department

    Medical Oncology


    Urothelial cancer (bladder), Renal cell carcinoma (kidney), Genitourinary tumors

    Area of Research

    Translational Urothelial Cancer Research

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    DA 1230f
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Joaquim Bellmunt is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Attending Physician of Solid Tumor Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He also serves as the Director of the Bladder Cancer Center at DFCI and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Harvard University, Boston working as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide complete care for patients with genitourinary malignancies. He is past chairman of the Committee of Advanced Bladder Cancer in the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Genitourinary Group (EORTC-GU). He is co-founder and has been President of the Spanish Group for Treatment of Genitourinary Tumors (SOGUG). Dr Bellmunt's efforts have largely centered on improving the care of patients with genitourinary malignancies focusing on bladder and renal cell carcinoma.

    His areas of interest in genitourinary oncology include the development of drugs directed to novel therapeutic targets and early clinical and translational research in the field of growth factor receptors and angiogenesis. While his research interests are focused on bladder cancer, he has extensive experience treating prostate, penile, and kidney cancer. He serves on International committees focused on improving the treatments of genitourinary and bladder cancers. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and European Urology.

    He has been chairing two of the larger multicenter international trials of new drugs in the treatment of bladder cancer, in one of them, leading to the establishment of a new drug for bladder cancer patients. Dr Bellmunt's research focuses on clinical trials with aims to improve the treatment of patients with advanced bladder (urothelial) tumors as well as the development of novel agents for this disease. Dr Bellmunt is currently involved in collaborative efforts with basic scientists to analyze clinical, tissue, and biomarkers to optimize the administration of targeted therapeutic agents in bladder cancer.


    Translational Urothelial Cancer Research

    The goal of my research is to finally improve patients outcome with bladder cancer. I conduct clinical trials of new biological treatments that target molecular pathways that are relevant in bladder cancer growth and progression. My research includes the discovery of  the genetic alterations that lead to bladder cancer aggressiveness and recurrence and progression. We are trying to exploit those changes to develop new bladder cancer treatments.

    Select Publications

    • Stein A, Bellmunt J, Escudier B, Kim D, Stergiopoulos SG, Mietlowski W, Motzer RJ; RECORD-1 Trial Study Group. Survival Prediction in Everolimus-treated Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Incorporating Tumor Burden Response in the RECORD-1 Trial. Eur Urol. 2012 Nov 21.
    • Bellmunt J, Petrylak DP. New therapeutic challenges in advanced bladder cancer. Semin Oncol. 2012 Oct;39(5):598-607.
    • Fizazi K, Scher HI, Molina A, Logothetis CJ, Chi KN, Jones RJ, Staffurth JN, North S, Vogelzang NJ, Saad F, Mainwaring P, Harland S, Goodman OB Jr, Sternberg CN, Li JH, Kheoh T, Haqq CM, de Bono JS; COU-AA-301 Investigators. Abiraterone acetate for treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: final overall survival analysis of the COU-AA-301 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study. Lancet Oncol. 2012 Oct;13(10):983-92.
    • Bellmunt J, von der Maase H, Mead GM, Skoneczna I, De Santis M, Daugaard G, Boehle A, Chevreau C, Paz-Ares L, Laufman LR, Winquist E, Raghavan D, Marreaud S, Collette S, Sylvester R, de Wit R. Randomized phase III study comparing paclitaxel/cisplatin/gemcitabine and gemcitabine/cisplatin in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer without prior systemic therapy: EORTC Intergroup Study 30987. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Apr 1;30(10):1107-13.
    • Montagut C, Dalmases A, Bellosillo B, Crespo M, Pairet S, Iglesias M, Salido M, Gallen M, Marsters S, Tsai SP, Minoche A, Seshagiri S, Serrano S, Himmelbauer H, Bellmunt J, Rovira A, Settleman J, Bosch F, Albanell J. Identification of a mutation in the extracellular domain of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor conferring cetuximab resistance in colorectal cancer. Nat Med. 2012 Jan 22;18(2):221-3.
    • De Santis M, Bellmunt J, Mead G, Kerst JM, Leahy M, Maroto P, Gil T, Marreaud S, Daugaard G, Skoneczna I, Collette S, Lorent J, de Wit R, Sylvester R. Randomized phase II/III trial assessing gemcitabine/carboplatin and methotrexate/carboplatin/vinblastine in patients with advanced urothelial cancer who are unfit for cisplatin-based chemotherapy: EORTC study 30986. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Jan 10;30(2):191-9.
    • Gómez-Martín C, Salazar R, Montagut C, Gil-Martín M, Núñez JA, Puig M, Lin X, Khosravan R, Tursi JM, Lechuga MJ, Bellmunt J. A phase I, dose-finding study of sunitinib combined with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil in patients with advanced gastric cancer. Invest New Drugs. 2013 Apr;31(2):390-8.
    • Calvo E, Ravaud A, Bellmunt J. What is the optimal therapy for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who progress on an initial VEGFr-TKI? Cancer Treat Rev. 2013 Jun;39(4):366-74.
    • Sonpavde G, Pond GR, Fougeray R, Choueiri TK, Qu AQ, Vaughn DJ, Niegisch G, Albers P, James ND, Wong YN, Ko YJ, Sridhar SS, Galsky MD, Petrylak DP, Vaishampayan UN, Khan A, Vogelzang NJ, Beer TM, Stadler WM, O'Donnell PH, Sternberg CN, Rosenberg JE, Bellmunt J. Time from prior chemotherapy enhances prognostic risk grouping in the second-line setting of advanced urothelial carcinoma: a retrospective analysis of pooled, prospective phase 2 trials. Eur Urol. 2013 Apr;63(4):717-23.
    • Bellmunt J. Tackling the bone with alpha emitters in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients. Eur Urol. 2013 Feb;63(2):198-200.
    • Bellmunt J, Fougeray R, Rosenberg JE, von der Maase H, Schutz FA, Salhi Y, Culine S, Choueiri TK. Long-term survival results of a randomized phase III trial of vinflunine plus best supportive care versus best supportive care alone in advanced urothelial carcinoma patients after failure of platinum-based chemotherapy.Ann Oncol. 2013 Jun;24(6):1466-72.
    • Sonpavde G, Pond GR, Fougeray R, Choueiri TK, Qu AQ, Vaughn DJ, Niegisch G, Albers P, James ND, Wong YN, Ko YJ, Sridhar SS, Galsky MD, Petrylak DP, Vaishampayan UN, Khan A, Vogelzang NJ, Beer TM, Stadler WM, O'Donnell PH, Sternberg CN, Rosenberg JE, Bellmunt J. Time from prior chemotherapy enhances prognostic risk grouping in the second-line setting of advanced urothelial carcinoma: a retrospective analysis of pooled, prospective phase 2 trials. Eur Urol. 2013 Apr;63(4):717-23.
    • Bellmunt J, Pons F, Orsola A. Molecular determinants of response to cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Curr Opin Urol. 2013 Jul 12.
    • Bellmunt J, Dutcher J.Targeted therapies and the treatment of non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Ann Oncol. 2013 Jul;24(7):1730-40. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdt152. Epub 2013 Apr 26.
    • Alcaraz A, González-López R, Morote J, de la Piedra C, Meseguer C, Esteban E, Climent M, González-Gragera B, Alvarez-Ossorio JL, Chirivella I, Mellado B, Lara PC, Vázquez F, Contreras JA, Carles J, Murias A, Calderero V, Comet-Batlle J, González-Del Alba A, León-Mateos L, Mañas A, Segarra J, Lassa A, González-Enguita C, Méndez MJ, Samper P, Unda M, Mahillo-Fernández I, Bellmunt J; TUGAMO GROUP. Biochemical markers of bone turnover and clinical outcome in patients with renal cell and bladder carcinoma with bone metastases following treatment with zoledronic acid: The TUGAMO study. Br J Cancer. 2013 Jul 9;109(1):121-30.
    • Sonpavde G, Galsky MD, Bellmunt J. A new approach to second-line therapy for urothelial cancer? Lancet Oncol. 2013 Jul;14(8):682-4. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70175-X. Epub 2013 May 22. 
    • Gallén M, Gallego R, Bellmunt J. Stage II disease, elderly patients, secondary neoplasms, and the MOSAIC trial. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Apr 20;31(12):1609. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.47.1854. Epub 2013 Mar 18. 
    • Merseburger AS, Bellmunt J, Jenkins C, Parker C, Fitzpatrick JM; European Treatment Practices Group. Perspectives on treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Oncologist. 2013;18(6):775.
    • Melichar B, Bracarda S, Matveev V, Alekseev B, Ivanov S, Zyryanov A, Janciauskiene R, Fernebro E, Mulders P, Osborne S, Jethwa S, Mickisch G, Gore M, van Moorselaar RJ, Staehler M, Magne N, Bellmunt J; on behalf of BEVLiN Investigators. A multinational phase II trial of bevacizumab with low-dose interferon-α2a as first-line treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma: BEVLiN.  Ann Oncol. 2013 Jun 26.
    • Majumdar S, Gong EM, Di Vizio D, Dreyfuss J, Degraff DJ, Hager MH, Park PJ, Bellmunt J, Matusik RJ, Rosenberg JE, Adam RM. Loss of Sh3gl2/Endophilin A1 Is a Common Event in Urothelial Carcinoma that Promotes Malignant Behavior. Neoplasia. 2013 Jul;15(7):749-60.
    • Ryan CJ, Smith MR, de Bono JS, Molina A, Logothetis CJ, de Souza P, Fizazi K, Mainwaring P, Piulats JM, Ng S, Carles J, Mulders PF, Basch E, Small EJ, Saad F, Schrijvers D, Van Poppel H, Mukherjee SD, Suttmann H, Gerritsen WR, Flaig TW, George DJ, Yu EY, Efstathiou E, Pantuck A, Winquist E, Higano CS, Taplin ME, Park Y, Kheoh T, Griffin T, Scher HI, Rathkopf DE; COU-AA-302 Investigators. Abiraterone in metastatic prostate cancer without previous chemotherapy. N Engl J Med. 2013 Jan 10;368(2):138-48.
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