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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

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
  • Downs TM. Reducing Readmissions and Mortality after Radical Cystectomy. J. Urol. 2015 Feb 21.
    [PubMed ID: 25711198]
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  • Daneshmand S, Schuckman AK, Bochner BH, Cookson MS, Downs TM, Gomella LG, Grossman HB, Kamat AM, Konety BR, Lee CT, Pohar KS, Pruthi RS, Resnick MJ, Smith ND, Witjes JA, Schoenberg MP, Steinberg GD. Hexaminolevulinate blue-light cystoscopy in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer: review of the clinical evidence and consensus statement on appropriate use in the USA. Nat Rev Urol 2014 Oct; 11(10):589-96.
    [PubMed ID: 25245244]
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  • Abel EJ, Linder BJ, Bauman TM, Bauer RM, Thompson RH, Thapa P, Devon ON, Tarrell RF, Frank I, Jarrard DF, Downs TM, Boorjian SA. Perioperative blood transfusion and radical cystectomy: does timing of transfusion affect bladder cancer mortality? Eur. Urol. 2014 Dec; 66(6):1139-47.
    [PubMed ID: 25194909]
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  • Cowan NG, Chen Y, Downs TM, Bochner BH, Apolo AB, Porter MP, La Rochelle JC, Amling CL, Koppie TM. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy use in bladder cancer: a survey of current practice and opinions. Adv Urol 2014; 2014():746298.
    [PubMed ID: 24982672, PMCID: 4058463]
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  • Downs TM. Reply: To PMID 24751188. Urology 2014 Jun; 83(6):1216.
    [PubMed ID: 24751190]
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  • Downs TM, Rayford W, Davis DE, Nakada SY. Richard Francis Jones--opening doors and diversifying the urologic workforce: a pioneer in the training of African urologic surgeons in North America. Urology 2014 Jun; 83(6):1213-6.
    [PubMed ID: 24751189]
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  • Abel EJ, Wong K, Sado M, Leverson GE, Patel SR, Downs TM, Jarrard DF. Surgical operative time increases the risk of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in robotic prostatectomy. JSLS 2014 Apr-Jun; 18(2):282-7.
    [PubMed ID: 24960494, PMCID: 4035641]
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  • 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 Jul; 32(5):631-6.
    [PubMed ID: 24629498]
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  • Abel EJ, Bauman TM, Weiker M, Shi F, Downs TM, Jarrard DF, Huang W. Analysis and validation of tissue biomarkers for renal cell carcinoma using automated high-throughput evaluation of protein expression. Hum. Pathol. 2014 May; 45(5):1092-9.
    [PubMed ID: 24746216, PMCID: 4134351]
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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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