Professor Axel Bex
Clinical Lead Consultant
I am a urologic surgeon who specializes in caring for people with kidney cancer, cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter and adrenal tumours. As consultant clinical lead of the Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, I lead a group of experts who are dedicated to researching and treating renal cancer. I am a Professor at University College London, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, London, UK and am furthermore affiliated with the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I performed major surgery for urological cancers for over 20 years before accepting the appointment at the Royal Free in 2018.
In kidney cancer, I treat all stages of the disease, from small localized tumors to larger, advanced renal cancers that have spread locally to lymph nodes, the major veins that carry blood into the heart or distant organs. I have more than 25 years of experience and perform about 150 kidney and adrenal surgeries each year.
My area of expertise includes the combination of medical therapy and surgery for advanced kidney cancer. I often work together with local and international experts in medical oncology to include these types of operations in clinical trials. Through studies we investigate therapies stimulating the immune system to attack the cancer given before or after surgery which can improve people’s outcomes. I have been and am the principal investigator of several practice changing trials in kidney cancer which were published in leading journals and which have confirmed my position as international key opinion leader of locally advanced renal cancer. This has provided me with an extensive multidisciplinary network of international experts supporting people diagnosed with kidney cancer.
In addition, I perform kidney preserving surgery (partial nephrectomy) for people with smaller kidney tumors. I also treat the rarer cancers of the renal pelvis and ureter. My expertise with cystectomies (removal of the bladder) and all kinds of reconstructions of the urinary tract helps people who need their kidney removed after this procedure. I also specialise in removal of adrenal tumours jointly with a team of experts in case these masses are hormonally active.
I am passionate about research as it increases our knowledge from which people with kidney cancer will benefit. I have published more than 300 scientific articles, reviews, and book chapters. I have given lectures throughout the world, from many countries in Europe, to North America, from Japan to Russia and Turkey, to Australia and Brazil. I am Vice-Chair of the European Association of Urology (EAU) Renal Cancer Guideline panel providing the best evidence for the care of people with kidney cancer. I chaired the Genitourinary Group of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) between 2018 and 2021 and I am a member of UK, Dutch and German national urological associations. I am advising kidney cancer patient advocacy groups and am a recipient of the John Fitzpatrick Award from the Kidney Cancer Association for Excellence in Kidney Surgery.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, being outdoors, painting, cooking, and reading fiction and non-fiction. I am particularly interested in classic, medieval and modern European history.
Royal Free Hospital
Country of qualification
English, German, Dutch and French
- Member of the British Association of Urologic Surgeons (BAUS)
- Dutch Urologocical Association (NVU)
- German Society of Urology (DGU)
- European Association of Urology (EAU)
- Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)
- Open laparoscopic and robot assisted laparoscopic radical nephrectomies
- partial nephrectomies
- benign nephrectomies and adrenalectomies
In kidney cancer, Professor Bex treats all stages of the disease, from small localised tumors to larger, advanced renal cancers that have spread locally to lymph nodes, the major veins that carry blood into the heart or distant organs. He has more than 25 years of experience and perform about 150 kidney and adrenal surgeries each year. His area of expertise includes the combination of medical therapy and surgery for advanced kidney cancer. I often work together with local and international experts in medical oncology to include these types of operations in clinical trials.
Professor Bex’s research interest is in all stages of kidney cancer and is leading practice changing trials in advanced kidney cancer.