Raj Satkunasivam, MD, MS, FRCSC

Assistant Professor of Urology, Academic Institute
Assistant Clinical Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Dr. Raj Satkunasivam is a fellowship-trained urologic oncologist with a focus on minimally invasive and robotic approaches to the treatment of genito-urinary malignancies. His practice includes minimally invasive and robotic surgical techniques for kidney, bladder, prostate, adrenal and testicular cancers. He is the Director of Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery at the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE).

Dr. Satkunasivam received his medical degree from the University of Toronto and completed his urology residency also at the University of Toronto. He pursued sub-specialty fellowship training in urologic oncology, advanced robotic and laparoscopic surgery at the University of Southern California, where he developed novel techniques for robotic kidney-sparing surgery (partial nephrectomy) and robotic bladder cancer surgery with entirely robotic (intra-corporeal) urinary reconstruction.

Description of Research

Prior to joining Houston Methodist Hospital, Dr. Satkunasivam was an Assistant Professor and Surgeon Investigator at the University of Toronto's Odette Cancer Center at Sunnybrook Hospital. He holds a Master of Science in Health Services Research from the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California. His research is focused on the clinical epidemiology of genito-urinary malignancies, specifically in identifying novel risk factors, improving individualized risk assessment and in assessing the comparative effectiveness of treatments. His research also examines outcomes and quality of surgical care, and novel strategies to improve the care of complex surgical patients. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Houston Methodist Academic Institute and a Health Services Researcher in the Center for Outcomes Research at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Areas Of Expertise

Urologic oncology

Relation between surgeon age and postoperative outcomes: A population-based cohort study
Satkunasivam, R, Klaassen, Z, Ravi, B, Fok, KH, Menser, T, Kash, B, Miles, BJ, Bass, BL, Detsky, AS & Wallis, CJD 2020, CMAJ, vol. 192, no. 15, pp. E385-E392. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.190820

Analysis of Heterogeneity in Survival Benefit of Immunotherapy in Oncology According to Patient Demographics and Performance Status: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Overall Survival Data
Butaney, M, Satkunasivam, R, Goldberg, H, Freedland, SJ, Patel, SP, Hamid, O, Pal, SK, Klaassen, Z & Wallis, CJD 2020, American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 193-202. https://doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000650

Editorial Comment: "Focal Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer with Either High Intensity Focused Ultrasound or Cryoablation: A Single Institution Experience"
Satkunasivam, R & Miles, BJ 2020, The Journal of urology, vol. 203, no. 2. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.JU.0000614904.75755.c5

Reducing Unnecessary Prostate Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging by Using Clinical Parameters to Predict Negative and Indeterminate Findings
Deniffel, D, Zhang, Y, Salinas, E, Satkunasivam, R, Khalvati, F & Haider, MA 2020, The Journal of urology, vol. 203, no. 2, pp. 292-298. https://doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000000518

Association between Smoking and Survival Benefit of Immunotherapy in Advanced Malignancies: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R, Butaney, M, Khan, UA, Goldberg, HA, Freedland, SJ, Patel, SP, Hamid, O, Pal, SK & Klaassen, Z 2019, American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials, vol. 42, no. 9, pp. 711-716. https://doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000577

Robot-assisted Radical Cystectomy Versus Open Radical Cystectomy: A Meta-analysis of Oncologic, Perioperative, and Complication-related outcomes
Satkunasivam, R, Tallman, CT, Taylor, JM, Miles, BJ, Klaassen, Z & Wallis, CJD 2019, European Urology Oncology, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 443-447. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2018.10.008

Immune Checkpoint Blockade plus Axitinib for Renal-Cell Carcinoma
Klaassen, Z, Satkunasivam, R & Wallis, CJD 2019, New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 380, no. 26. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc1905518

The association between physician trust and prostate-specific antigen screening: Implications for shared decision-making
Klaassen, Z, Wallis, CJD, Goldberg, H, Chandrasekar, T, Fleshner, NE, Finelli, A, Kulkarni, GS, Detsky, AS & Satkunasivam, R 2018, Canadian Urological Association Journal, vol. 12, no. 12, pp. 395-400. https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.5351

Outcomes of Non-curative Gastrectomy for Gastric Cancer: An Analysis of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP)
Jeong, Y, Mahar, AL, Coburn, NG, Wallis, CJ, Satkunasivam, R, Beyfuss, K, Karanicolas, PJ, Law, CHL & Hallet, J 2018, Annals of Surgical Oncology, vol. 25, no. 13, pp. 3943-3949. https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-018-6824-8

The role of provider characteristics in the selection of surgery or radiation for localized prostate cancer and association with quality of care indicators
Satkunasivam, R, Lo, M, Stern, M, Gill, IS, Fleming, S, Wu, XC, Anderson, RT, Thompson, TD & Hamilton, AS 2018, American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials, vol. 41, no. 11, pp. 1076-1082. https://doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000442

First-line Systemic Therapy for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis [Figure presented]
Wallis, CJD, Klaassen, Z, Bhindi, B, Ye, XY, Chandrasekar, T, Farrell, AM, Goldberg, H, Boorjian, SA, Leibovich, B, Kulkarni, GS, Shah, PS, Bjarnason, GA, Heng, DYC, Satkunasivam, R & Finelli, A 2018, European Urology, vol. 74, no. 3, pp. 309-321. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2018.03.036

Advanced Androgen Blockage in Nonmetastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer: An Indirect Comparison of Apalutamide and Enzalutamide
Wallis, CJD, Chandrasekar, T, Goldberg, H, Klotz, L, Fleshner, N, Satkunasivam, R & Klaassen, Z 2018, European Urology Oncology, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 238-241. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2018.04.004

Comparison of Abiraterone Acetate and Docetaxel with Androgen Deprivation Therapy in High-risk and Metastatic Hormone-naïve Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis
Wallis, CJD, Klaassen, Z, Bhindi, B, Goldberg, H, Chandrasekar, T, Farrell, AM, Boorjian, SA, Kulkarni, GS, Karnes, RJ & Satkunasivam, R 2018, European Urology, vol. 73, no. 6, pp. 834-844. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2017.10.002

Null association between androgen-deprivation therapy and nonprostate cancer mortality among older men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R, Herschorn, S, Law, C, Seth, A, Kodama, RT, Kulkarni, GS & Nam, RK 2018, Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 241.e1-241.e6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urolonc.2018.02.001

Association Between Primary Local Treatment and Non–prostate Cancer Mortality in Men With Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R, Herschorn, S, Law, C, Seth, A, Kodama, RT, Kulkarni, GS & Nam, RK 2018, Urology, vol. 114, pp. 147-154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2017.12.013

Population-based Analysis of Treatment Toxicity Among Men With Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer: A Phase IV Study
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R, Saskin, R, Bansal, S, Kulkarni, GS, Emmenegger, U & Nam, RK 2018, Urology, vol. 113, pp. 138-145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2017.08.067

Personal prostate-specific antigen screening and treatment choices for localized prostate cancer among expert physicians
Wallis, C, Cheung, D, Klotz, L, Chalasani, V, Leao, R, Garisto, J, Morton, G, Nam, R, Tannock, I & Satkunasivam, R 2018, Journal of the Canadian Urological Association, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. E59-E63. https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.4736

Selecting patients for prostate cancer treatment: the role of comorbidity
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R & Bhindi, B 2018, BJU international, vol. 121, no. 2, pp. 164-165. https://doi.org/10.1111/bju.13923

Tumour front inflammation and necrosis are independent prognostic predictors in high-grade urothelial carcinoma of the bladder
Hodgson, A, Xu, B, Satkunasivam, R & Downes, MR 2018, Journal of clinical pathology, vol. 71, no. 2, pp. 154-160. https://doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2017-204562

Association of Patient Sex with Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors and Overall Survival in Advanced Cancers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Wallis, CJD, Butaney, M, Satkunasivam, R, Freedland, SJ, Patel, SP, Hamid, O, Pal, SK & Klaassen, Z 2018, JAMA oncology. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.5904

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