Amir Goldkorn, MD

Professor of Medicine

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Amir Goldkorn, M.D., is the Associate Director of Translational Sciences at USC Norris. He is a Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Dr. Goldkorn obtained his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University (magna cum laude) and his Medical Degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he also completed his Internal Medicine residency. Subsequently, he trained in Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he then remained for 3 additional years of postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Elizabeth Blackburn, a Nobel Laureate and discoverer of telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens and protects chromosome ends (telomeres).

Dr. Goldkorn is a board-certified medical oncologist and physician-scientist who is clinically subspecialized in genitourinary (GU) malignancies. Dr. Goldkorn’s laboratory is focused on developing the therapeutic and biomarker potential of liquid biopsies, cancer plasticity, and telomerase. His team leads liquid biopsy studies in phase III multi-center GU cancer trials sponsored by the NCI-SWOG cooperative group, where Dr. Goldkorn chairs translational medicine for prostate cancer. Dr. Goldkorn founded and directs a Liquid Biopsy Core at USC Norris, which offers state-of-the-art instrumentation and develops novel workflows for multiparametric analysis of liquid biopsies. In the area of cancer plasticity, Dr. Goldkorn’s group discovered that cancer cells can cyclically lose and regain cancer stem-like properties, and their current work is focused on elucidating epigenetic, epitranscriptomic, and metabolomic mechanisms that mediate this plasticity. Collectively, these research efforts are aimed at surmounting cancer heterogeneity and providing powerful new tools for precision cancer care.


  • American Federation for Medical Research: Outstanding Investigator Award, 2015
  • Western Society of Clinical Investigation: Elected Member, 2014
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology: Merit Award, 2012
  • Stop Cancer Foundation: Research Career Development Award, 2007-2010
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology: Young Investigator Award, 2006-2007
  • UCLA School of Medicine: Letters of Distinction, 1996-1997
  • Harvard University: Harvard College Scholarship, 1990-1994


  • Markers of bone metabolism and overall survival in men with bone-metastatic hormone sensitive prostate cancer (HSPC): A subset analysis of SWOG S1216, a phase III trial of androgen deprivation with or without orteronel Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2024 Feb 29. . View in PubMed
  • Bone Biomarkers and Subsequent Survival in Men with Hormone-sensitive Prostate Cancer: Results from the SWOG S1216 Phase 3 Trial of Androgen Deprivation Therapy with or Without Orteronel Eur Urol. 2024 Feb; 85(2):171-176. . View in PubMed
  • Association of Molecular Subtypes with Pathologic Response, PFS, and OS in a Phase II Study of COXEN with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer Clin Cancer Res. 2024 01 17; 30(2):444-449. . View in PubMed
  • m6A epitranscriptome analysis reveals differentially methylated transcripts that drive early chemoresistance in bladder cancer NAR Cancer. 2023 Dec; 5(4):zcad054. . View in PubMed
  • Cell-free DNA Methylation as a Predictive Biomarker of Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Patients with Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer in SWOG S1314 Eur Urol Oncol. 2023 10; 6(5):516-524. . View in PubMed
  • Long-term Outcomes from a Phase 2 Study of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer (SWOG S1314; NCT02177695) Eur Urol. 2023 09; 84(3):341-347. . View in PubMed
  • Randomized Phase III Study of Enzalutamide Compared With Enzalutamide Plus Abiraterone for Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (Alliance A031201 Trial) J Clin Oncol. 2023 06 20; 41(18):3352-3362. . View in PubMed
  • External Validation of Association of Baseline Circulating Tumor Cell Counts with Survival Outcomes in Men with Metastatic Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer Mol Cancer Ther. 2022 Dec 02; 21(12):1857-1861. . View in PubMed
  • FOXC1 Binds Enhancers and Promotes Cisplatin Resistance in Bladder Cancer Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 28; 14(7). . View in PubMed
  • Non-Invasive Profiling of Advanced Prostate Cancer via Multi-Parametric Liquid Biopsy and Radiomic Analysis Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 25; 23(5). . View in PubMed
  • Integration of Liquid Biopsies in Clinical Management of Metastatic Prostate Cancer Curr Oncol Rep. 2022 10; 24(10):1287-1298. . View in PubMed
  • Orteronel for Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer: A Multicenter, Randomized, Open-Label Phase III Trial (SWOG-1216) J Clin Oncol. 2022 10 01; 40(28):3301-3309. . View in PubMed
  • Bladder cancer cells shift rapidly and spontaneously to cisplatin-resistant oxidative phosphorylation that is trackable in real time Sci Rep. 2022 04 01; 12(1):5518. . View in PubMed
  • A Randomized Phase II Study of Coexpression Extrapolation (COXEN) with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Bladder Cancer (SWOG S1314; NCT02177695) Clin Cancer Res. 2021 05 01; 27(9):2435-2441. . View in PubMed
  • Baseline Circulating Tumor Cell Count as a Prognostic Marker of PSA Response and Disease Progression in Metastatic Castrate-Sensitive Prostate Cancer (SWOG S1216) Clin Cancer Res. 2021 04 01; 27(7):1967-1973. . View in PubMed
  • Cancer transcriptomic profiling from rapidly enriched circulating tumor cells Int J Cancer. 2020 05 15; 146(10):2845-2854. . View in PubMed
  • Epigenetic plasticity potentiates a rapid cyclical shift to and from an aggressive cancer phenotype Int J Cancer. 2020 06 01; 146(11):3065-3076. . View in PubMed
  • Randomized Phase II Trial of Abiraterone Alone or With Dasatinib in Men With Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC)Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2019 08; 17(4):241-247. e1. . View in PubMed
  • Development of a translational medicine protocol for an NCTN genitourinary clinical trial: Critical steps, common pitfalls and a basic guide to translational clinical research Urol Oncol. 2019 05; 37(5):313-317. . View in PubMed
  • Multiparametric liquid biopsy analysis in metastatic prostate cancer JCI Insight. 2019 03 07; 4(5). . View in PubMed
  • Current status of liquid biopsies for the detection and management of prostate cancer Cancer Manag Res. 2019; 11:5271-5291. . View in PubMed
  • A phase I trial of topotecan plus tivantinib in patients with advanced solid tumors Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2018 10; 82(4):723-732. . View in PubMed
  • Liquid Biopsy in Prostate Cancer: Circulating Tumor Cells and Beyond Cancer Treat Res. 2018; 175:87-104. . View in PubMed
  • Bone turnover biomarkers identify unique prognostic risk groups in men with castration resistant prostate cancer and skeletal metastases: Results from SWOG S0421 Cancer Treat Res Commun. 2018; 16:18-23. . View in PubMed
  • Development and Application of Liquid Biopsies in Metastatic Prostate Cancer Curr Oncol Rep. 2018 03 23; 20(4):35. . View in PubMed
  • The evolution of chemotherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer Ann Oncol. 2017 Nov 01; 28(11):2658-2669. . View in PubMed
  • Validation of the Association of RECIST Changes With Survival in Men With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Treated on SWOG Study S0421 Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2017 12; 15(6):635-641. . View in PubMed
  • Circulating Tumor Cells in Genitourinary Malignancies: An Evolving Path to Precision Medicine Front Oncol. 2017; 7:6. . View in PubMed
  • Telomere and Telomerase Therapeutics in Cancer Genes (Basel). 2016 May 26; 7(6). . View in PubMed
  • AXIN2 expression predicts prostate cancer recurrence and regulates invasion and tumor growth Prostate. 2016 May; 76(6):597-608. . View in PubMed
  • Editorial Comment J Urol. 2015 Sep; 194(3):798. . View in PubMed
  • Exosome-mediated transfer of microRNAs within the tumor microenvironment and neuroblastoma resistance to chemotherapy J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Jul; 107(7). . View in PubMed
  • Circulating tumor cell telomerase activity as a prognostic marker for overall survival in SWOG 0421: a phase III metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer trial Int J Cancer. 2015 Apr 15; 136(8):1856-62. . View in PubMed
  • Circulating tumor cells in prostate cancer: a better predictor of survival than prostate specific antigen? Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2014 Nov; 14(11):1257-60.. View in PubMed
  • New prostate cancer drugs: extending and improving life Lancet Oncol. 2014 Sep; 15(10):1052-4. . View in PubMed
  • Circulating tumor cell counts are prognostic of overall survival in SWOG S0421: a phase III trial of docetaxel with or without atrasentan for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer J Clin Oncol. 2014 Apr 10; 32(11):1136-42. . View in PubMed
  • Serum biomarkers of bone metabolism in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients with skeletal metastases: results from SWOG 0421 J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Apr; 106(4):dju013. . View in PubMed
  • Cancer cells acquire a drug resistant, highly tumorigenic, cancer stem-like phenotype through modulation of the PI3K/Akt/ß-catenin/CBP pathway Int J Cancer. 2014 Jan 01; 134(1):43-54. . View in PubMed
  • Circulating tumor cells in prostate cancer Cancers (Basel). 2013 Dec 04; 5(4):1676-90. . View in PubMed
  • Efficacy of oxaliplatin plus pemetrexed in chemotherapy pretreated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2013 Dec; 11(4):416-22. . View in PubMed
  • Docetaxel and atrasentan versus docetaxel and placebo for men with advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer (SWOG S0421): a randomised phase 3 trial Lancet Oncol. 2013 Aug; 14(9):893-900. . View in PubMed
  • Therapeutic windows and opportunity cost cast upon prostate cancer’s fatal shore Ann Oncol. 2013 Jul; 24(7):1717-1720. . View in PubMed
  • Perillyl alcohol for the treatment of temozolomide-resistant gliomas Mol Cancer Ther. 2012 Nov; 11(11):2462-72. . View in PubMed
  • Prostate tumor cells with cancer progenitor properties have high telomerase activity and are rapidly killed by telomerase interference Prostate. 2011 Sep 15; 71(13):1390-400. . View in PubMed
  • Cancer cells cyclically lose and regain drug-resistant highly tumorigenic features characteristic of a cancer stem-like phenotype Mol Cancer Ther. 2011 Jun; 10(6):938-48. . View in PubMed
  • Telomerase targeted therapy in cancer and cancer stem cells Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2011 Jun; 9(6):442-55. . View in PubMed
  • A cancer detection platform which measures telomerase activity from live circulating tumor cells captured on a microfilter Cancer Res. 2010 Aug 15; 70(16):6420-6. . View in PubMed
  • Reprogramming murine telomerase rapidly inhibits the growth of mouse cancer cells in vitro and in vivo Mol Cancer Ther. 2010 Feb; 9(2):438-49. . View in PubMed
  • Targeted therapy in renal cancer Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2009 Nov; 1(3):183-205. . View in PubMed
  • Assembly of mutant-template telomerase RNA into catalytically active telomerase ribonucleoprotein that can act on telomeres is required for apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in human cancer cells Cancer Res. 2006 Jun 01; 66(11):5763-71. . View in PubMed
  • Cortical variability and asymmetry in normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease Cereb Cortex. 1998 Sep; 8(6):492-509. . View in PubMed
  • Sulcal variability in the Alzheimer’s brain: correlations with cognition Neurology. 1998 Jan; 50(1):145-51. . View in PubMed