Theodorescu is the Paul Bunn Professor and Director of the NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Colorado. He is also Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology and Attending Urologic Oncologist. He received his urological training in the Surgical Scientist Program at the University of Toronto where he also obtained a PhD in molecular and cell biology with Robert Kerbel, an internationally known cancer biologist. He then completed a clinical fellowship in urologic oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Currently, Dr. Theodorescu has a focused clinical practice in urologic oncology with a special interest in bladder and prostate cancer and minimally invasive robotic surgery.
He also manages an active translational molecular biology lab focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms leading to bladder and prostate cancer metastasis and their potential applications to patients with these diseases. Theodorescu has three significant accomplishments to date: The first has been the identification of a new metastasis suppressor gene, RhoGDI2, in human cancer. Expression of this gene has also been shown to be an independent prognostic marker for disease specific survival in human bladder cancer. Recent mechanistic studies of this gene have revealed how this gene affects metastatic phenotype and this has resulted in the formulation of a new therapeutic approach to prevent lung metastatic disease. A clinical trial is now in the planning stages for bladder cancer patients at high risk of metastasis development and constitutes a prototypical example of translation of bench to bedside research. The second accomplishment has been the development of COXEN (CO-eXpression ExtrapolatioN) a radical new strategy aimed at 1) personalizing cancer therapy and 2) identifying which new drugs have a high likelihood of being effective in patients based solely on in vitro assays. Proof of principle implementation of these systems has already yielded excellent prediction of patient outcome in several tumor types as well as new candidate compounds for the treatment of human bladder cancer. Third, recent mass spectrometry based proteomics work has resulted in the discovery of novel urinary biomarkers of bladder and prostate cancer which have been validated in clinical trial and which offer the potential for diagnosis and therapy guidance.
His laboratory is currently funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Theodorescu is both a project leader and overall program leader of an NIH program project in prostate cancer signal transduction. He serves or has served on peer reviewed study sections for the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society and the Department of Defense Prostate Initiative. He has served as co-editor in chief for the World Journal of Urology and on the editorial boards of several publications including Cancer Letters and Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. He is also a regular reviewer for PNAS, Cancer Research, Cancer, Oncogene, Clinical Cancer Research, American Journal of Pathology, Journal of Urology and Urology. He is on the executive committee of the institutional MD/PhD program and a member mentor on several NIH training grants. He is on the board of directors of the metastasis research society (MRS) and a permanent member of the NIH Tumor Progression Metastasis (TPM) study section.
Dr. Theodorescu has taken a strong interest in urology resident training and has mentored several residents and fellows which have pursued urologic oncology training and have become academic surgeons. This latter commitment was recognized by a teaching award. He has also trained over 20 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He is on the external advisory board of the NIH T32 urologic oncology research training grant at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Director of the national American Urological Association Basic Science for Urology Residents. Dr. Theodorescu has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Sydney Kimmel Award, Young Investigator Award from the Society for Basic Urologic Research and Edwin Beer Award from the New York Academy of Medicine. He has been recently elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons (AAGUS).
Dr. Theodorescu is an actively practicing surgeon who has made contributions to the clinical practice of urology through his contributions to prostate brachytherapy and the development of a new modification of the Hautmann orthotopic bladder replacement. He is developing new approaches in minimally invasive laparoscopic robotic (daVinci) techniques for oncologic surgery in combination with novel imaging modalities.