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Tracy M Downs, MD, FACS

Contact Dr. Downs


(608) 263-9534

UW Medical Foundation Centennial Building
1685 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705-2281

Tracy M Downs, MD, FACS

Professor (CHS)
Director, Bladder Cancer and Intravesical Therapy Programs


  • MD, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 1993
  • Internship, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard), Boston, MA, 1995
  • Clinical Nutrition Fellowship, Harvard, Boston, MA, 1999
  • Residency, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard), Boston, MA, 2001
  • Research Fellowship, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 2003
  • Urologic Oncology Fellowship, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 2003

Clinical Specialties

Dr. Downs is certified by the American Board of Urology. He specializes in the surgical treatment of urologic cancers and treats all forms of urologic cancers including bladder cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, testis cancer and penile cancer. He has a special interest in the treatment of bladder cancer, where he performs robotic cystectomy (da Vinci robotic system), along with complex urinary reconstruction to make a new internalized bladder (orthotopic neobladder). Dr. Downs’ clinical care philosophy is to provide compassionate, cutting-edge urologic cancer care to his patients.

Research Interests

Dr. Downs has a joint appointment with the UW Carbone Cancer Center, and his clinical research emphasizes developing new therapies for genitourinary cancers.

Research Focus
Chemoprevention – Bladder cancer, prostate cancer
Screening Programs – Bladder cancer screening for high-risk subjects
Outcomes Research – Patient outcomes of treatments for non-muscle invasive (superficial) bladder cancer and radical cystectomy
Translational Research – Discovery of molecular and urinary biomarkers (bladder cancer)
Quality of Life Outcomes – Bladder cancer, prostate cancer

Recent Publications
  • Wang JH, Downs TM, Jason Abel E, Richards KA, Jarrard DF. Prostate Biopsy in Active Surveillance Protocols: Immediate Re-biopsy and Timing of Subsequent Biopsies. Curr Urol Rep 2017 Jul; 18(7):48.
    [PubMed ID: 28589399]
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  • Blute ML, Kucherov V, Rushmer TJ, Damodaran S, Shi F, Abel EJ, Jarrard DF, Richards KA, Messing EM, Downs TM. Reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) ) at first transurethral resection of bladder tumour is a significant predictor of subsequent recurrence and progression. BJU Int. 2017 May 02.
    [PubMed ID: 28464520]
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  • Tazeh NN, Canter DJ, Damodaran S, Rushmer T, Richards KA, Abel EJ, Jarrard DF, Downs TM. Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio (NLR) at the Time of Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor: A Large Retrospective Study and Analysis of Racial Differences. Bladder Cancer 2017 Apr 27; 3(2):89-94.
    [PubMed ID: 28516153, PMCID: 5409044]
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  • Ravvaz K, Walz ME, Weissert JA, Downs TM. Predicting Nonmuscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Recurrence and Progression in a United States Population. J. Urol. 2017 Apr 19.
    [PubMed ID: 28433642]
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  • Tobert CM, Hamilton-Reeves JM, Norian LA, Hung C, Brooks NA, Holzbeierlein JM, Downs TM, Robertson DP, Grossman R, Nepple KG. Emerging Impact of Malnutrition on Surgical Patients: Literature Review and Potential Implications for Cystectomy in Bladder Cancer. J. Urol. 2017 Mar 09.
    [PubMed ID: 28286066]
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  • Blute ML, Damaschke N, Wagner J, Yang B, Gleave M, Fazli L, Shi F, Abel EJ, Downs TM, Huang W, Jarrard DF. Persistence of senescent prostate cancer cells following prolonged neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy. PLoS ONE 2017; 12(2):e0172048.
    [PubMed ID: 28234906, PMCID: 5325224]
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  • Jay R, Heckman JE, Hinshaw L, Best S, Lubner M, Jarrard DF, Downs TM, Nakada SY, Lee FT, Huang W, Ziemlewicz T. Multi-quadrant biopsy technique improves diagnostic ability in large heterogeneous renal masses. Abel EJ, Heckman JE, Hinshaw L, Best S, Lubner M, Jarrard DF, Downs TM, Nakada SY, Lee FT Jr, Huang W, Ziemlewicz T.J Urol. 2015 Oct;194(4):886-91. [Epub 2015 Mar 30]. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2015.03.106. Urol. Oncol. 2017 Mar; 35(3):119.
    [PubMed ID: 28159492]
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  • Rush PS, Shiau JM, Hibler BP, Longley BJ, Downs TM, Bennett DD. Primary cutaneous adenosquamous carcinoma of the penis: the first characterization of HPV status in this rare and diagnostically challenging entity with review of glandular carcinomas of the penis. J. Cutan. Pathol. 2016 Dec; 43(12):1226-1230.
    [PubMed ID: 27696488]
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  • Blute ML, Ziemlewicz TJ, Lang JM, Kyriakopoulos C, Jarrard DF, Downs TM, Grimes M, Shi F, Mann MA, Abel EJ. Metastatic Tumor Burden Does Not Predict Overall Survival Following Cytoreductive Nephrectomy for Renal Cell Carcinoma: a Novel 3-Dimensional Volumetric Analysis. Urology 2017 Feb; 100():139-144.
    [PubMed ID: 27667156]
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  • Lane GI, Downs TM, Soubra A, Rao A, Hemsley L, Laylan C, Shi F, Konety B. Tolerability of Repeat Use of Blue Light Cystoscopy with Hexaminolevulinate for Patients with Urothelial Cell Carcinoma. J. Urol. 2017 Mar; 197(3 Pt 1):596-601.
    [PubMed ID: 27664580]
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