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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
  • Grimes MD, Blute ML, Wittmann TA, Mann MA, Zorn K, Downs TM, Shi F, Jarrard DF, Best SL, Richards KA, Nakada SY, Abel EJ. A Critical Analysis of Perioperative Outcomes in Morbidly Obese Patients Following Renal Mass Surgery. Urology 2016 Jun 20.
    [PubMed ID: 27339026]
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  • Blute ML, Zorn K, Grimes M, Shi F, Downs TM, Jarrard DF, Best SL, Richards K, Nakada SY, Abel EJ. Extreme obesity does not predict poor cancer outcomes after surgery for renal cell cancer. BJU Int. 2016 Sep; 118(3):399-407.
    [PubMed ID: 26589741]
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  • Downs TM. Editorial Comment. J. Urol. 2016 Feb; 195(2):412.
    [PubMed ID: 26592567]
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  • Blute ML, Abel EJ, Downs TM, Kelcz F, Jarrard DF. Addressing the need for repeat prostate biopsy: new technology and approaches. Nat Rev Urol 2015 Aug; 12(8):435-44.
    [PubMed ID: 26171803]
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  • Blute ML, Rushmer TJ, Shi F, Fuller BJ, Abel EJ, Jarrard DF, Downs TM. Renin-Angiotensin Inhibitors Decrease Recurrence after Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor in Patients with Nonmuscle Invasive Bladder Cancer. J. Urol. 2015 Nov; 194(5):1214-9.
    [PubMed ID: 26173101]
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  • Potretzke AM, Wong KS, Shi F, Christensen W, Downs TM, Abel EJ. Highest risk of symptomatic venous thromboembolic events after radical cystectomy occurs in patients with obesity or nonurothelial cancers. Urol Ann 2015 Jul-Sep; 7(3):355-60.
    [PubMed ID: 26229325, PMCID: 4518374]
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  • Abel EJ, 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. J. Urol. 2015 Oct; 194(4):886-91.
    [PubMed ID: 25837535]
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  • Downs TM. Reducing readmissions and mortality after radical cystectomy. J. Urol. 2015 May; 193(5):1461-2.
    [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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