William B. Isaacs, Ph.D.

William Thomas Gerrard, Mario Anthony Duhon and Jennifer and John Chalsty Professor of Urology
Professor of Oncology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Department of Urology The Johns Hopkins Hospital 600 N. Wolfe Street / Marburg 115 Baltimore, Maryland  21287-2101

Office: 410-955-2518

Fax: 410-502-9336

Research Interests

Our research focus has been prostate cancer biology and genetics for the past 30 years. Our interests continue to be in the area of understanding mechanisms underlying inherited risk for prostate cancer and disease progression, both from the perspective of developing markers to identify men at high risk for targeted screening and identifying novel pathways that may be exploited for chemopreventive and therapeutic purposes.  Our most recent efforts are focused upon developing protocols for translating genetic information to clinically important decision-making processes in the screening and management of prostate cancer. We have generated one the largest collections of whole exome germline sequence data from men with prostate cancer of varying degrees of aggressiveness for purpose of identifying mutations which are associated with high risk/metastatic prostate cancer.


Free Access to abstracts at PubMed
Research Profile

  1. Carter HB, Helfand B, Mamawala M, Wu Y, Landis P, Yu H, Wiley K, Na R, Shi Z, Petkewicz J, Shah S, Fantus RJ, Novakovic K, Brendler CB, Zheng SL, Isaacs WB, Xu J. Germline Mutations in ATM and BRCA1/2 Are Associated with Grade Reclassification in Men on Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol. 2019 May;75(5):743-749. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2018.09.021. Epub 2018 Oct 8. PMID:30309687

  2. Isaacs WB, Xu J. Current progress and questions in germline genetics of prostate cancer. Asian J Urol. 2019 Jan;6(1):3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajur.2018.10.001. Epub 2018 Nov 2.Review.

  3. Germline mutations in PPFIBP2 are associated with lethal prostate cancer.Wu Y, Yu H, Zheng SL, Feng B, Kapron AL, Na R, Boyle JL, Shah S, Shi Z, Ewing CM, Wiley KE, Luo J, Walsh PC, Carter HB, Helfand BT, Cooney KA, Xu J, Isaacs WB. Prostate. 2018 Dec;78(16):1222-1228. doi: 10.1002/pros.23697. Epub 2018 Jul 24. PMID: 30043417

  4. Germline DNA-repair Gene Mutations and Outcomes in Men with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer Receiving First-line Abiraterone and Enzalutamide. Antonarakis ES, Lu C, Luber B, Liang C, Wang H, Chen Y, Silberstein JL, Piana D, Lai Z, Chen Y, Isaacs WB, Luo J. Eur Urol. 2018 Aug;74(2):218-225. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2018.01.035. Epub 2018 Feb 10. PMID:29439820

  5. Na R, Zheng SL, Han M, Yu H, Jiang D, Shah S, Ewing CM, Zhang L, Novakovic K, Petkewicz J, Gulukota K, Helseth DL Jr, Quinn M, Humphries E, Wiley KE, Isaacs SD, Wu Y, Liu X, Zhang N, Wang CH, Khandekar J, Hulick PJ, Shevrin DH, Cooney KA, Shen Z, Partin AW, Carter HB, Carducci MA, Eisenberger MA, Denmeade SR, McGuire M, Walsh PC, Helfand BT, Brendler CB, Ding Q, Xu J, Isaacs WB. Germline Mutations in ATM and BRCA1/2 Distinguish Risk for Lethal and Indolent Prostate Cancer and are Associated with Early Age at Death. Eur Urol. 2017 May;71(5):740-747. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2016.11.033. Epub 2016 Dec 15.PMID:27989354

  6. Ewing CM, Ray AM, Lange EM, Zuhlke KA, Robbins CM, Tembe WD, Wiley KE, Isaacs SD, Johng D, Wang Y, Bizon C, Yan G, Gielzak M, Partin AW, Shanmugam V, Izatt T, Sinari S, Craig DW, Zheng SL, Walsh PC, Montie JE, Xu J, Carpten JD, Isaacs WB, Cooney KA. Germline mutations in HOXB13 and prostate-cancer risk.  N Engl J Med. 2012 Jan 12;366(2):141-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1110000.  PMID: 22236224

  7. Xu J, Zheng SL, Isaacs SD, Wiley KE, Wiklund F, Sun J, Kader AK, Li G, Purcell LD, Kim ST, Hsu FC, Stattin P, Hugosson J, Adolfsson J, Walsh PC, Trent JM, Duggan D, Carpten J, Grönberg H, Isaacs WB. Inherited genetic variant predisposes to aggressive but not indolent prostate cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 2;107(5):2136-40. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914061107. Epub 2010 Jan 11

  8. Zheng SL, Sun J, Wiklund F, Smith S, Stattin P, Li G, Adami HO, Hsu FC, Zhu Y, Bälter K, Kader AK, Turner AR, Liu W, Bleecker ER, Meyers DA, Duggan D, Carpten JD, Chang BL, Isaacs WB*, Xu J*, Grönberg H. *corresponding authors. Cumulative association of five genetic variants with prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2008 Feb 28;358(9):910-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa075819. Epub 2008 Jan 16. PMID: 18199855