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Tracy M Downs, MD

Contact Dr. Downs


(608) 263-9534

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

Tracy M Downs, MD

Associate 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
  • Potretzke A, Hillman L, Wong K, Shi F, Brower R, Mai S, Cetnar JP, Abel EJ, Downs TM. NLR is predictive of upstaging at the time of radical cystectomy for patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. Urol. Oncol. 2014 Mar 12.
    [PubMed ID: 24629498]
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  • Shapiro DD, Potretzke A, Downs TM. Leukemoid reaction: a rare paraneoplastic syndrome in bladder cancer associated with a grave prognosis. Urology 2014 Feb; 83(2):274-7.
    [PubMed ID: 24044914]
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  • Truong M, Slezak JA, Lin CP, Iremashvili V, Sado M, Razmaria AA, Leverson G, Soloway MS, Eggener SE, Abel EJ, Downs TM, Jarrard DF. Development and multi-institutional validation of an upgrading risk tool for Gleason 6 prostate cancer. Cancer 2013 Nov 15; 119(22):3992-4002.
    [PubMed ID: 24006289]
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  • Potretzke AM, Wong KS, Downs TM. Intravesical Foreign Body via a Vesicoperineal Fistula. Case Rep Urol 2013; 2013():659582.
    [PubMed ID: 23653880, PMCID: 3638681]
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  • Downs TM. Editorial comment. Urology 2013 Jun; 81(6):1278.
    [PubMed ID: 23528914]
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  • Ewald JA, Downs TM, Cetnar JP, Ricke WA. Expression microarray meta-analysis identifies genes associated with Ras/MAPK and related pathways in progression of muscle-invasive bladder transition cell carcinoma. PLoS ONE 2013; 8(2):e55414.
    [PubMed ID: 23383328, PMCID: 3562183]
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  • Woldrich JM, Silberstein JL, Saltzstein SL, Derweesh IH, Downs TM. Penile Kaposis sarcoma in the state of California. Can J Urol 2012 Apr; 19(2):6178-82.
    [PubMed ID: 22512961]
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  • Bazzi WM, Raheem OA, Stroup SP, Kane CJ, Derweesh IH, Downs TM. Partial orchiectomy and testis intratubular germ cell neoplasia: World literature review. Urol Ann 2011 Sep; 3(3):115-8.
    [PubMed ID: 21976922, PMCID: 3183701]
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  • Downs TM, Burton DW, Araiza FL, Hastings RH, Deftos LJ. PTHrP stimulates prostate cancer cell growth and upregulates aldo-keto reductase 1C3. Cancer Lett. 2011 Jul 1; 306(1):52-9.
    [PubMed ID: 21444150]
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  • Silberstein JL, Millard F, Mehrazin R, Kopp R, Bazzi W, DiBlasio CJ, Patterson AL, Downs TM, Yunus F, Kane CJ, Derweesh IH. Feasibility and efficacy of neoadjuvant sunitinib before nephron-sparing surgery. BJU Int. 2010 Nov; 106(9):1270-6.
    [PubMed ID: 20394613]
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