|Born||November 1950 (age 70)|
|Education||St John's College, Cambridge (BS, MB BChir)|
|Known for||Robotic prostate surgery|
Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (founding editor)
Trends in Urology and Men's Health (founding editor)
The Urology Foundation
|Children||3, including Vanessa and Joe|
|Awards||St Peter's Medal|
British Association of Urological Surgeons (2005)
Clement Price Thomas Award
Royal College of Surgeons (2016)
Cheltenham General Hospital
St Bartholomew’s Hospital
St George's Hospital
King Edward VII's Hospital
Royal Society of Medicine
|Thesis||"Urethro-vesical Dysfunction in Autonomic Neuropathy" (1986)|
Roger Sinclair Kirby FRCS(Urol), FEBU (born November 1950) is a British retired prostate surgeon and professor of urology, researcher, writer on men's health and prostate disease, founding editor of the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases and Trends in Urology and Men's Health and a fundraiser for prostate disease charities, best known for his use of the da Vinci surgical robot for laparoscopic prostatectomy in the treatment of prostate cancer. He is a co-founder and president of the charity The Urology Foundation (TUF), vice-president of the charity Prostate Cancer UK, trustee of the King Edward VII's Hospital and as of 2020 is president of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), London.
Following his medical education and training at the St John's College, Cambridge and Middlesex Hospital, London, and with a distinction in surgery, he took various surgical posts across England. In 1979 he gained fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. His early research involved looking at how nerves work to control the muscles used to control passing urine, findings of which disproved the then held belief that retention of urine in some women was psychological, and work that contributed to gaining his MD in 1986. In the same year, he was both elected Hunterian professor with his lecture titled "The Investigation and Management of the Neurogenic Bladder", and appointed consultant urologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. He later took over from John Wickham and subsequently became one of the first urologists in the UK to perform open radical prostatectomy for localised prostate cancers. In 1995, he became a professor of urology and Director of Postgraduate Education at St George's Hospital, London, and in 2005 he established The Prostate Centre in Wimpole Street, London, with the purpose of offering minimally invasive laparoscopic prostatectomy with a more holistic approach, advising on a wide range of men's health, including diet and exercise.
An advocate of monitoring one's own personal PSA level and having spent his surgical career researching and treating prostate cancer, he was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer himself in 2012, and featured in the 2013 "Tale of Four Prostates", where he was one of four surgeons who freely discussed the diagnosis, treatment and its implications, with the aim of dispelling its surrounding taboos.
Early life and education
Roger Kirby was born in Buckinghamshire to Janet and Kenneth Kirby. His father was a professor of biochemistry and fellow of the Royal Society who worked as head of cell chemistry at what was then called the Chester Beatty Research Institute. He died in 1967 at the age of 49, when Kirby was 16.
Kirby graduated in medical sciences from St John's College, Cambridge, in 1972 and completed his clinical training at the Middlesex Hospital (later merged with University College), where he was inspired by lead urologist Richard Turner-Warwick. He gained his MB BChir from Cambridge in 1975, with a distinction in surgery, the decisive turning point that led him towards surgery rather than cardiology.
His first house job was at the Cheltenham General Hospital, where he worked with surgeon Peter Boreham, who encouraged him to pursue the field of urology and particularly prostate disease. Subsequently, he took up posts at Brighton, Wolverhampton, and Gloucester. His other teachers have included Ken Shuttleworth and Wyndam Lloyd Davies. He passed in the final Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in 1979. Kirby later described how a number of people in the 1970s had not heard of the prostate gland. During this time, he had attended to a number of people with large prostates that blocked urine flow and a number of people with inflammation of the prostate, which caused pain. When he did see someone with prostate cancer, only two basic surgical options were available on offer: removing the testicles or an operation that removed the middle of the prostate, the latter being performed to improve the flow of urine.
In 1985, Kirby spent five weeks at the Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina, USA, on a Royal College of Surgeons travelling scholarship. Earlier, as a research fellow at the Middlesex, he met Clare Fowler and together they published research articles on how nerves work to control the muscles used to control passing urine, work that formed the basis of both Fowler's future contributions to continence issues in people with neurological conditions, and Kirby's doctoral thesis. In 1986 they published their findings that disproved the then widely held belief that retention of urine in some women was psychological or hysterical. The condition came to be known as Fowler's syndrome and has been found to be potentially treatable. In the same year he gained his MD from Cambridge, and was elected the Hunterian professorship with a lecture titled "The Investigation and Management of the Neurogenic Bladder". It was published in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, where Kirby showed how the use of EMG could distinguish between people with pelvic nerve injury, distal autonomic neuropathy, progressive autonomic failure– multiple system atrophy, and idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, thus influencing the selection of people for surgery via the urethra. In 1986, as the PSA test was coming into use, Kirby was also appointed consultant urologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, and later took over from John Wickham.
Kirby subsequently became one of the first urologists in the UK to perform open radical prostatectomy for localised prostate cancers. After watching American urologist Patrick C. Walsh at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, perform open radical prostatectomies for prostate cancer, while simultaneously preserving pelvic nerves, he became a staunch advocate of the procedure. In 1995, he became a professor of urology and director of Postgraduate Education at St George's Hospital, London. By 2005, using a suprapubic transverse incision, Kirby was performing around 130 of these operations a year. Most of these procedures were performed with colleague and anaesthetist Peter Amoroso.
The Prostate Centre
In 2005, Kirby established The Prostate Centre in Wimpole Street, London. He had previously been watching the development of robotic prostatectomies, and in 2005, for the purpose of performing laparoscopic prostatectomies, a da Vinci surgical robot was acquired. This provided better vision of the pelvic nerves and at the age of 55, he became one of the first surgeons in England to use one. From 2005, the Centre therefore offered minimally invasive laparoscopic prostatectomy with a more holistic approach, advising on a wide range of men's health, including diet and exercise.
Over the course of his surgical career, he undertook over 2000 radical prostatectomy operations, of which most of the later ones were robotic.
Fundraising and charities
In 1995, Kirby helped found two charities: Prostate Research Campaign and The British Urological Foundation, later renamed The Urology Foundation, which was established with funds from the British Journal of Urology International and the British Association of Urological Surgeons. His fundraising activities have included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking in Nepal and cycling across the Andes. By 2005, he had completed three London Marathons.
In 2010, he stepped down as chairman of Prostate UK to become trustee of the newly merged charity Prostate Action. The Prostate Cancer Charity founded by Jonathan Waxman subsequently merged with Prostate Action in 2012 to form one organisation under the title of Prostate Cancer UK, of which Kirby became vice-president. He is also affiliated with the King Edward VII's Hospital, a charity-registered private hospital in Marylebone, west London.
Some of his fundraising activities have been accomplished with his late colleague, John M. Fitzpatrick and in 2018, he hiked with Sir Marcus Setchell. Kirby's efforts to raise awareness of prostate issues have also involved raising significant funds for prostate charities.
Awards and honours
Until 2015, he was council member, secretary and trustee of the British Association of Urological Surgeons. Subsequently, he was elected president of the urology section of the Royal Society of Medicine RSM for 2016/17.
In 2016 he received the Royal College of Surgeons' Clement Price Thomas Award. In the same year, he stepped down from the board of trustees of the Urology Foundation and was subsequently made its life president, and took up the role of chair of the academic board of the RSM, In 2019, he was elected to become president of the RSM for 2020, succeeding Sir Simon Wessely. His inauguration as president of the RSM took place on 28 July 2020.
Personal and family
Kirby married Jane, who edited Country Living magazine before working as the business manager at her husband's clinic. They have three children including Joe Kirby who is a teacher and Vanessa Kirby, who is an actress.
Kirby checked his PSA annually, constructing his own personal PSA slope which remained low. However, in 2012, at the age of 61, he noticed a rise and following a 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging, transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy and bone scan, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgical treatment for the condition he had treated throughout his surgical career. A Gleason 3+4=7 1.3cc adenocarcinoma was completely resected and he made a full recovery.
Following treatment, he was one of four surgeons who freely discussed the diagnosis, treatment and its implications, and featured in a "Tale of Four Prostates" with an accompanying video in 2013. He stated that he "hope(d) that the openness about our own diagnoses and management will help to dispel the taboo that still haunts this most common of cancers of men".
Kirby has published more than 350 peer-reviewed scientific publications, authored 68 books and founded two scientific journals: Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases and Trends in Urology and Men’s Health. He has also been an associate editor of the British Journal of Urology International.
In The Prostate: Small Gland Big Problem, one section was written by Clive Turner, who had undergone a radical prostatectomy himself and subsequently counselled other men considering the same option. In his textbook Men's Health, dedicated to premature death in men, particularly his father, he, his brother Mike Kirby and colleague Carson Cully III, attempt to address the gender gap in mortality. His book Fast facts: Prostate Cancer entered its tenth edition in 2020.
- An Atlas of Erectile Dysfunction. Taylor & Francis (2003), ISBN 9781842142417
- Your Guide to Prostate Cancer. Hodder Arnold (2005). ISBN 9780340906200. (With Claire Taylor)
- Prostate Cancer: Principles and Practice. Taylor & Francis (2006), ISBN 9781841844589. (With Alan W. Partin, Mark Feneley and J. Kellogg Parsons)
- The Prostate: Small Gland Big Problem. Health Press Limited, (2006), ISBN 9781903734896
- Succeeding as a Hospital Doctor: The Experts Share Their Secrets. Health Press (2007). ISBN 978-1-903734-79-7. (With Tony Mundy)
- Men's Health. London: Routledge (2009). (3rd Edition). ISBN 9780415447331. Co-edited with Carson C. Cully III, Michael Kirby and Adrian White
- ABC of Prostate Cancer. Wiley-Blackwell (2011). ISBN 9781444346916. (With Prokar Dasgupta)
- Fast Facts: Prostate Cancer. Karger (2020). 10th Ed. ISBN 978-1-910797-37-2. (With Manish I. Patel)
- Studies of the neurogenic bladder, Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons England, (A summary of a Hunterian Lecture delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 4 September 1986), Vol. 70, No. 5. (1988), pp. 285–288
- "Urethro-vesical dysfunction in progressive autonomic failure with multiple system atrophy", co-authored with Clare Fowler, John Gosling and Roger Bannister, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, Vol. 49, (1986), pp. 554–562
- "The trouble with men". British Journal of Urology International, 23 February 2012 doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.10985.x. (With Michael Kirby, Culley Carson and John M. Fitzpatrick)
- "Richard Turner-Warwick" British Journal of Urology International (2014). (With Christopher Chapple)
- "A tale of four prostates". Trends in Urology and Men's Health, March/April 2013 (With Damian Hanbury, John Anderson and Sean G. Vesey)
- "Portrait of a Prostate UK supporter". 16 March 2009
- "UK Prostate Charities Merge". British Journal of Urology International, First published: 29 August 2012. (With Owen Sharp, Paul Forster, and Jonathan Waxman)
- "Are you ready to go to prison on a manslaughter charge?". British Journal of Urology International (2014)
- Five ways to stop men dying from prostate cancer. The Telegraph, 2 February 2018
- Surge in prostate cancer referrals following Stephen Fry’s diagnosis. Trends in Urology and Men‘s Health, 13 September 2018
- Kirby, Roger S.; Carson, Culley C.; Kirby, Michael G.; White, Alan (2009). "Preface". Men's Health (3rd ed.). CRC Press. pp. xviii. ISBN 9780415447331.
- Kirby, R. (28 September 2012). "An interview with Roger Kirby, MA, MD, FRCS (Urol), FEBU". British Journal of Urology International. 110 (8): 1095–1096. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410x.2012.11575.x. ISSN 1464-4096. PMID 23020700. S2CID 28047798.
- Kon, Andrea (5 August 2005). "Professor honoured for his surgical work with medal". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- Kirby, Roger. "Roger Sinclair Kirby; Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). The Prostate Centre, London.
- "Professor Roger Kirby biography". www.rsm.ac.uk. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- "The Council – Cambridge Medical Graduates' Society". Retrieved 13 June 2019.
- "In conversation with Roger Kirby". Urology News. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
- Kirby, Roger (28 August 2013). "Changes and challenges: a career in prostate surgery". Future Oncology. 9 (9): 1267–1269. doi:10.2217/fon.13.138. ISSN 1479-6694. PMID 23980673.
- "Fellowship of the RCS" (PDF). College and Faculty news. p. 496. PMC 2492249.
- Garfield, Simon (8 May 2005). "Gland on the run". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
- "Hunterian professorship" (PDF). College and Faculty Bulletin Supplement to the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. pp. 7–9. PMC 2498386.
- "Interview with professor Clare J. Fowler" (PDF). Queen Square Alumnus Association: 13–17. December 2021.
- Padmanabhan, Priya; Rosenblum, Nirit (2008). "16. Idiopathic urinary retention in the female". In Raz, Shlomo; Rodriguez, Larissa V. (eds.). Female Urology (Third ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier. pp. 187–192. ISBN 978-1-4160-2339-5.
- Kirby, R. S. (September 1988). "Studies of the neurogenic bladder". Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 70 (5): 285–288. ISSN 0035-8843. PMC 2498826. PMID 3190128.
- Wyndale, J. J. "Neurologic Urinary and Faecal Incontinence" (PDF). p. 804.
- "Professor Roger Kirby | The Prostate Centre". Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- Markham, Kika (2014). Our Time of Day: My Life with Corin Redgrave. Oberon Books. ISBN 9781783195992.
- Galukande, Natasha (2013). "Changes and Challenges". Medscape. Retrieved 18 June 2019.(subscription required)
- "Act early to save your life". The Daily Telegraph. 4 April 2005. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
- "Stephen Fry and his surgeon describe how it felt to treat his prostate cancer". Australian Financial Review. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
- de Winter, Louise; Kirby, Roger; Norris, Steven (January 2012). "The Urology Foundation (TUF): where have we come from, where are we going?". BJU International. 109 (1): 3–4. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10803.x. ISSN 1464-410X. PMID 22151750. S2CID 37045550.
- "Seven TUF Cycling Challenges". www.theurologyfoundation.org. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
- "Prostate Cancer UK and Prostate Action announce merger". Prostate Cancer UK. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- "Our ambassadors". Prostate Cancer UK. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- "Urology". King Edward VII’s Hospital. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- "Professor John Fitzpatrick - obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 28 July 2014. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
- Francis, Sarah (10 September 2018). "Hike for Hope with Sir Marcus Setchell and Roger Kirby". Wellbeing of Women. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
- The British Association of Urological Surgeons Limited (12 December 2011). "BAUS". BAUS. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- Grainger, Lisa (13 November 2010). "Britain's top doctors: Urology". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- Kirby, Roger (2016). "Seven habits of highly effective doctors". Trends in Urology & Men's Health. 7 (3): 5. doi:10.1002/tre.517. ISSN 2044-3749.
- "The Urology Foundation". The Urology Foundation. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Professor Roger Kirby named RSM President-Elect". www.rsm.ac.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- Harris, Siobhan (13 September 2019). "Modernising the Royal Society of Medicine: We Speak to its President-Elect". Medscape. Retrieved 14 September 2019.(subscription required)
- "Professor Roger Kirby becomes President of the Royal Society of Medicine | The Royal Society of Medicine". www.rsm.ac.uk. 5 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
- Garfield, Simon (26 February 2013). "A delicate operation". 1843. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- Nicol, Patricia (14 January 2016). "Vanessa Kirby: meet south-west London's hottest export". Evening Standard. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
- "Doctor heal thyself" (PDF). Health News. 5 September 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- "The Londoner: Theatres keen to take back power". Evening Standard. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- "BBC - Radio 4 - Case Notes Transcript 20/05/2008". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
- Kirby, Roger; Hanbury, Damian; Anderson, John; Vesey, Sean G. (2013). "A tale of four prostates" (PDF). Trends in Urology & Men's Health. 4 (2): 29–31. doi:10.1002/tre.322. S2CID 56134725.
- Garfield, Simon (31 March 2013). "Surviving prostate cancer: a prostate surgeon's story". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
- Amelia Hill, social affairs correspondent (2 September 2007). "The Guardian". UK. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- Challacombe, Ben (2020). "Book review: Fun Facts – Prostate Cancer" (PDF). Trends in Urology & Men's Health. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
- Professor Roger Kirby talking about a prostate healthy diet
- The Urology Foundation (TUF)fundraising cycle journey, A team of fundraising enthusiasts (including Roger Kirby, Editor of Trends in Urology & Men’s Health) cycled from Agra to Jaipur in Rajasthan, India to raise funds for The Urology Foundation (TUF)
- 1: Episode 1: Prostate Cancer - What is it, what are the symptoms, how is it diagnosed and how is it treated?, Susan Burnett interviews leading prostate cancer expert Professor Roger Kirby
- From doctor to patient: Three urologists face prostate cancer