Rochester, Minnesota




The research of John C. Cheville, M.D., focuses on urologic malignancies and the pathological and molecular features predictive of outcome in patients with prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma, urothelial carcinoma and testicular tumors. Dr. Cheville works closely with a team of surgeons, clinicians and researchers.

This team uses large clinical registries to identify clinical and pathological features — as well as molecular alterations — predictive of tumor behavior and patient outcome. Dr. Cheville is also working with colleagues to correlate patients' tumor-specific alterations with drug treatments. His research extends to the application of novel rapid imaging technologies to the frozen section laboratory practice.

Focus areas

  • Comprehensive genomic analysis of urologic cancers for the identification of potential therapeutic targets. Dr. Cheville works with a multidisciplinary team that uses sequencing technologies that characterize all the genomic alterations of an individual's cancer. This characterization focuses on identifying changes that can be used for treatment. The individual's cancer is then treated with drugs and drug combinations targeting these tumor-specific alterations in a 3D microcancer model to identify the most effective treatment. Through this process, the team is continuing to enhance the understanding of genomic complexity, the underpinnings of cancer and avenues of novel treatments.
  • Characterization of large clinical registries of patients with kidney and bladder cancers. Dr. Cheville works with a team of surgeons, oncologists and biostaticians that has developed large clinical registries of patients with bladder and kidney cancers. Using the information from thousands of patients, the team can identify clinical, pathological and molecular features predictive of outcome. This work has resulted in clinical algorithms used to educate and follow patients appropriately. In addition, having such a diversified team enables the collection of data for a larger number of rare and hereditary cancers, which allows for better characterization and understanding of these tumors.
  • Infrared-optical hybrid microscopy to create virtual slides from unfixed fresh tissue. Dr. Cheville is working with colleagues from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to develop a clinical microscope that can create routine slide images from unfixed, unprocessed tissue. This work is being applied to the intraoperative assessment of tissues used to guide the surgeon during surgery. The goal of this novel imaging system is to provide the surgeon with more-rapid and accurate information regarding diagnosis and margin assessment.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Cheville and the team's goal is to improve the care of patients with urologic malignancies using contemporary tools and novel sequencing, such as tumor model and imaging technologies, to better predict tumor behavior and to identify and verify novel therapeutic targets.

The future of cancer care will be individualized and based on a person's tumor-specific genomic alterations. Future effective therapies will target multiple vulnerabilities in tumors, many that have complex alterations. The use of novel imaging can also be applied more broadly to patients with different diseases to provide rapid and accurate information to the treating clinician or surgeon and the patient.

Professional highlights

  • William B. Zeiler, M.D., Professorship in Pathology, 2022
  • Distinguished Clinician Award, Mayo Clinic, 2019
  • Co-director, Biomarker Discovery Program, Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2008-2019
  • Founding member, International Specialty Society, Genitourinary Pathology Society, 2018
  • Chair, Division of Anatomic Pathology, Mayo Clinic, 2005-2008


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology


  1. Fellow - Surgical Pathology Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  2. Resident Surgical & Medical Pathology, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. Resident - Pathology University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  4. Internship Michigan State University
  5. MD Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa
  6. BS Iowa State University

Clinical Studies

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