Robert Svatek, M.D.
Professor, Acting Chair
Dr. Robert Svatek was born and raised in Wharton, a small town approximately 60 miles southwest of Houston in the gulf coast region of Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin for undergraduate training and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for medical school. He then completed his urology residency training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Following residency, he completed a 3-year fellowship in urologic oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. While there, he also earned his master of science in clinical research investigation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine. He was then recruited to the department of urology at UT Health San Antonio in 2010, to build a bladder cancer center of excellence.
Dr. Svatek is recognized nationally as an expert in the management of superficial and advanced bladder cancer. Treatment of superficial bladder cancer requires careful, meticulous detail and adherence to surveillance regimens. It requires diligence in the administration of proper standardized therapy, but treatment regimens must also be individualized. Expertise in the management of advanced bladder cancer requires proper timing and coordination of multiple treatment modalities available to treat the disease including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Thus, Dr. Svatek works closely with other subspecialists to provide the optimal therapy for patients.
Dr. Svatek is one of the top five highest-volume bladder cancer surgeons in the United States, performing over 60 bladder removal procedures (cystectomies) yearly. He provides state-of-the-art surgical options, including robotic-assisted and open approaches, as well as all available urinary diversion options, including ileal conduit and continent diversions (Indiana pouch and neobladder). Dr. Svatek has developed a collaborative care pathway here in San Antonio with exceptional precision in the pre-operative and post-operative management of patients. Dr. Svatek aims to provide the people of south and southwest Texas with the highest level of expertise and compassionate care.
Dr. Robert Svatek is a surgeon-scientist with clinical expertise in early and late-phase clinical trials and urologic cancers. His laboratory expertise is in cancer immunology with an emphasis on understanding the immunopathologic basis of urothelial carcinoma and development of novel immunotherapeutic agents. Research conducted in his lab is rapidly translated into novel clinical trials. Current projects include chemokine signaling mechanisms driving bladder cancer growth and response to immunotherapy, role of innate immune cells including natural killer cells and gamma delta T cells in tumor immunology, significance of regulatory T cells in bladder cancer pathology, and mechanisms underlying BCG immunotherapy.
Research Area/Field of Study: Cancer Immunology
Sub Field of Study: Urothelial cancer
Specific Field of Study: T cell and Natural kill cell mechanisms in cancer immunology
Related Diseases: urothelial carcinoma, melanoma, breast cancer, among other cancers
Research Techniques: Genetically modified mouse models, flow and mass cytometry, immunotherapuetics, double humanized mouse models, Elispot, adoptive immune cell transfers among other immunologic research techniques
Mukherjee N, Ji N, Hurez V, Curiel TJ, Montgomery MO, Braun AJ, Nicolas M, Aguilera M, Kaushik D, Liu Q, Ruan J, Kendrick KA, Svatek RS. Intratumoral CD56(bright) natural killer cells are associated with improved survival in bladder cancer. Oncotarget. 2018 Nov 23;9(92):36492-36502. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.26362. eCollection 2018 Nov 23. PubMed PMID: 30559932; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6284861.
Ji N, Mukherjee N, Morales EE, Tomasini ME, Hurez V, Curiel TJ, Abate G, Hoft DF, Zhao XR, Gelfond J, Maiti S, Cooper LJN, Svatek RS. Percutaneous BCG enhances innate effector antitumor cytotoxicity during treatment of bladder cancer: a translational clinical trial. Oncoimmunology. 2019 May 25;8(8):1614857. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2019.1614857. eCollection 2019. PubMed PMID: 31413921; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6682354.
Svatek RS, Ji N, de Leon E, Mukherjee NZ, Kabra A, Hurez V, Nicolas M, Michalek JE, Javors M, Wheeler K, Sharp ZD, Livi CB, Shu ZJ, Henkes D, Curiel TJ. Rapamycin Prevents Surgery-Induced Immune Dysfunction in Patients with Bladder Cancer. Cancer Immunol Res. 2019 Mar;7(3):466-475. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-18-0336. Epub 2018 Dec 18. PubMed PMID: 30563829; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6926429.