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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Hematology/Oncology

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photo Liza C. Villaruz, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Division of Hematology/Oncology

Email: villaruzl@upmc.edu

Phone: 412-648-6578

Contact
Office: UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5150 Centre Avenue, 5th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
 
Phone: 412-648-6578
Fax: 412-648-6579
E-mail: villaruzl@upmc.edu
Administrative Assistant:
Christine Platania
Address: 5150 Centre Avenue
5th floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Email: cplatania@upmc.edu
Phone: 412-648-6578
Education and Training
Education
BS, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 2001
MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2005
Training
Internal Medicine Residency, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2008
Hematology/Oncology Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2011
Research Interest
Dr. Villaruz is a clinical and translational investigator in lung cancer, with active involvement in current clinical trials and a strong track record of successful development of institutional clinical trials through NCI-CTEP and industry. Dr. Villaruz actively develops clinical trials in both the UPCI Lung Cancer Program (LCP) and the UM1 NCI ET-CTN with Phase I Emphasis at the UPCI. She facilitates the interactions between the LCP and the Phase I Program. Amongst the institutional clinical trials developed by Dr. Villaruz is the NCI-CTEP UM1 sponsored multi-center phase I clinical trial of the ATR inhibitor VX-970 in combination with irinotecan in patients with solid organ tumors (UPCI 15-164/NCI P9938), which was developed in close collaboration with the translational and basic scientists at the UPCI. Dr. Villaruz is the UPCI Principal Investigator (PI) for the Academic Thoracic Oncology Medical Investigators Consortium (ATOMIC), a national consortium of academic institutions that design and conduct clinical trials in thoracic oncology.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Villaruz has a thoracic oncology outpatient clinic at the Hillman Cancer Center. She has a specialty in the use of molecular profiling in the identification of genomic alterations that are amenable to personalized lung cancer therapies. Dr. Villaruz conducts numerous clinical trials evaluating novel targeted therapeutic approaches in lung cancer. She also conducts clinical trials optimizing the incorporation of immunotherapy into lung cancer treatment. She has a particular clinical interest in small cell lung cancer and has worked to build the small cell lung cancer clinical trial menu with the goal of providing therapeutic options to the small cell lung cancer patient population. She works at the multidisciplinary level to ensure comprehensive care of all lung cancer patients.
Publications
Selected Publications:
Dacic S, Luvison A, Evdokimova V, Kelly L, Siegfried JM, Villaruz LC, Socinski MA, Nikiforov YE. RET rearrangements in lung adenocarcinoma and radiation. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2014; 9(1): 118-20.
Villaruz LC, Socinski MA. Temsirolimus therapy in a patient with lung adenocarcinoma harboring an FBXW7 mutation. Lung Cancer. Lung Cancer. 2013; 83(2): 300-1.
Villaruz LC, Socinski MA. The clinical viewpoint: definitions, limitations of RECIST, practical considerations of measurement. Clinical Cancer Resaerch. 2013; 19(10): 2629-36.
Villaruz LC, Socinski MA, Cunningham DE, Chiosea SI, Burns TF, Siegfried JM, Dacid S. The prognostic and predictive value of KRAS oncogene substitutions in lung adenocarcinoma. Cancer. 2013; 119(12): 2268-74.
Villaruz LC, Socinski MA. The clinical utility of PD-L1 testing in selecting non-small cell lung cancer patients for PD1/PD-L1 directed therapy. Clinical Pharmacology Therapy. 2016; 10.1002: 385.
Villaruz LC, Socinski MA. Is there a role of nab-paclitaxel in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer? The data suggest yes. European Journal of Cancer. 2016; doi:10.1016.
Weiss JM, Villaruz LC, Obrien J, Ivanova A, Lee C, Olson JG, Pollack G, Gorman R, Socinski MA, Stinchombe TE. Results of a Phase II Trial of Carboplatin, Pemetrexed, and Bevacizumab for the Treatment of Never or Former/Light Smoking Patients With Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Clin Lung Cancer. Clinical Lung Cancer. 2015; 17(2): 128-32.
Villaruz LC, Huang G, Romkes M, Kirkwood JM, Buch SC, Nukui T, Flaherty KT, Lee SJ, Wilson MA, Nathanson KL. MicroRNA expression profiling predicts clinical outcome of carboplatin/paclitaxel-based therapy in metastatic melanoma treated on the ECOG-ACRIN trial E2603. Clinical Epigenetics. 2012; 7(1): 58.
Villaruz LC, Socinski MA, Abberbock S, Berry LD, Johnson BE, Kwiatkowski DJ, Iafrate AJ, Varella-Garcia M, Franklin WACamidge DR, Sequist LV, Haura EB, Landanyi M, Kurland BF, Kugler K, Minna JD, Bunn PA, Kris MG. Clinicopathologic features and outcomes of patients with lung adenocarcinomas harboring BRAF mutations in the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium. Cancer. 2015; 121(3): 448-56.
Weiss JM, Villaruz LC, Socinski MA, Ivanova A, Grilley-Olson J, Dhruva N, Stinchcombe TE. A single-arm phase II trial of pazopanib in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer with non-squamous histology with disease progression on bevacizumab containing therapy. Lung Cancer. 2014; 86(2): 288-90.
Notable Achievements
Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award, 2011
Member-Clinical Scientist - NCI CTEP VX-970 Drug Project Team
Session Chair, Drug Resistance at the IASLC 16th World Conference
NCI Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award, 2015