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Roberto Diaz, MD, PhD


Specialty: Radiation Oncology
Program: Radiation Oncology

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Overview

Dr. Roberto Diaz graduated summa cum laude from Manhattanville College with a degree in chemistry. He earned his MS, PhD, and MD degrees from New York University School of Medicine where he completed the medical scientist training program with an emphasis on molecular oncology. After graduating, he spent his first year of residency in Internal Medicine at Yale University’s Griffin Hospital. At Griffin, he was voted best first-year resident by the nursing staff. He then completed his training in Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University where he served as chief resident in his final year.   Dr. Diaz is board certified in Radiation Oncology and is the Breast Section Chief in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center. His current academic appointment is Associate Professor at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, in the Department of Oncologic Sciences, College of Medicine. His professional memberships include the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), and the Latin American Association of Radiation Oncology (ALATRO).   Dr. Diaz has research interests both in translational and clinical breast cancer. His research has included discovery of biomarkers for metastatic breast cancer, targeted drug delivery, and novel radiosensitizers in Phase I clinical trials. During his time as a Holman Pathway resident at Vanderbilt, he was awarded grants from the Department of Defense, ASTRO, and the RSNA. For his work, he has won numerous national awards including the Resident Basic Science Research Award from ASTRO and the RSNA Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award [2008].   Dr. Diaz has authored and co-authored over 30 scientific articles for publication in international and national peer-reviewed journals like Nature Medicine and Cancer Research. In addition, Dr. Diaz has presented at numerous international and national research meetings, including at the European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO), as well as annual meetings of ASTRO and AACR. He has been invited as a visiting professor to the Republic of Macedonia to conduct training of local physicians in oncology and to improve their national breast cancer screening and treatment guidelines. Dr. Diaz has participated in televised interviews with CNN en Español as well as Univisión Tampa, on topics ranging from the effects of radiation on humans to cancer screening recommendations for women:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eppKgV2_Lsk   One of his greatest passions is medical missions. Dr. Diaz has worked in prisons in Ecuador and Peru; villages in Honduras and El Salvador; as well as in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. One of his greatest joys is mentoring students and resident physicians. Dr. Diaz’s past mentees have gone on to successful careers in medicine and research with numerous publications and honors in the fields of radiation oncology and cancer biology. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Dr. Diaz is fluent in both Spanish and English. Prior to working at Moffitt Cancer Center, he has lived in Santo Domingo, Manhattan, Atlanta and Nashville.

Education & Training

Board Certification:

  • Radiation Oncology

Residency:

  • Vaderbilt University Medical Center - Radiation Oncology
  • Griffin Hospital, Yale University - Internal Medicine

Medical School:

  • New York University School of Medicine - MD
Participating Trials

CLINICAL TRIAL 18356
A Randomized Phase III Trial Comparing Axillary Lymph Node Dissection to Axillary Radiation in Breast Cancer Patients who have Positive Sentinel Lymph Node Disease After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
Condition: Breast
Intervention:
Open

CLINICAL TRIAL 18386
A Randomized Phase III Clinical Trial Evaluating Post-Mastectomy Chestwall and Regional Nodal XRT and Post-Lumpectomy Regional Nodal XRT in Patients with Positive Axillary Nodes Before Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Who Convert to Pathologically Negative Axillary Nodes After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
Condition: Breast
Intervention: Not Applicable
Open

CLINICAL TRIAL 18596
A Phase II Study of Preoperative Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR) for Early-Stage Breast Cancer: Introduction of a Novel Form of Accelerated Partial Breast Radiotherapy
Condition: Breast
Intervention: Not Applicable
Open

If you believe you are eligible for one of these trials or studies, please call
1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488).

Publications

  • Mellon EA, Orman A, Joya LE, Montejo ME, Laronga C, Hoover SJ, Lee MC, Khakpour N, Kubal PF, Diaz R. Frequency of whole breast radiation therapy after intraoperative radiation therapy due to criteria identified by lumpectomy. Brachytherapy. 2017 Jul;16(1):174-180. Pubmedid: 27816540.
  • Small W, Thomas TO, Alvarado M, Baum M, Bulsara M, Diaz R, Donnelly E, Feldman S, Grobmyer S, Hoefer R, Joseph D, Kang S, Laronga C, McKee A, Rosen B, Tobias J, Uhl V, Vaidya JS, Wenz F, Holmes D. Commentary on "Accelerated partial breast irradiation consensus statement: Update of an ASTRO Evidence-Based Consensus Statement". Pract Radiat Oncol. 2017 Apr;7(3):e159-e163. Pubmedid: 28363492.
  • Ryckman JM, Shelton JW, Waller AF, Schreibmann E, Latifi K, Diaz R. Anatomic structure-based deformable image registration of brachytherapy implants in the treatment of locally advanced cervix cancer. Brachytherapy. 2016 Sep;15(5):584-592. Pubmedid: 27263057.
  • Dossett LA, Abbott AM, Sun W, Loftus L, Lee MC, Diaz R, Laronga C. Factors predictive of failure to complete planned intraoperative breast radiation using the intrabeam® system. J Surg Oncol. 2016 Dec;114(8):930-932. Pubmedid: 27861907.
  • Nagaraju GP, Alese OB, Landry J, Diaz R, El-Rayes BF. HSP90 inhibition downregulates thymidylate synthase and sensitizes colorectal cancer cell lines to the effect of 5FU-based chemotherapy. Oncotarget. 2014 Oct;5(20):9980-9991. Pubmedid: 25296971. Pmcid: PMC4259452.
  • Patel K, Wen J, Magliocca K, Muller S, Liu Y, Chen ZG, Saba N, Diaz R. Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is overexpressed in p16-negative oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, and its inhibition in vitro potentiates the effects of chemoradiation. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2014 Nov;74(5):1015-1022. Pubmedid: 25205430.
  • Vlacich G, Spratt DE, Diaz R, Phillips JG, Crass J, Li CI, Shyr Y, Cmelak AJ. Dose to the inferior pharyngeal constrictor predicts prolonged gastrostomy tube dependence with concurrent intensity-modulated radiation therapy and chemotherapy for locally-advanced head and neck cancer. Radiother Oncol. 2014 Mar;110(3):435-440. Pubmedid: 24440043.
  • Corso CD, Jarrio C, Nunnery EW, Ali AN, Ghavidel S, Rossi PJ, Diaz R. Dosimetric and cost comparison of first fraction imaging versus fractional re-imaging on critical organ dose in vaginal cuff brachytherapy. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2014 Mar;3(4):256-262. Pubmedid: 24674395.
  • Nagaraju GP, Ganji PN, Park W, Wen J, Mahaseth H, Landry J, Farris AB, Willingham F, Sullivan PS, Proia DA, El-Hariry I, Taliaferro-Smith L, Diaz R, El-Rayes BF. Antiangiogenic effects of ganetespib in colorectal cancer mediated through inhibition of HIF-1α and STAT-3. Angiogenesis. 2013 Oct;16(4):903-917. Pubmedid: 23838996.
  • Vlacich G, Diaz R, Thorpe SW, Murphy BA, Kirby W, Sinard RJ, Shakhtour B, Shyr Y, Murphy P, Netterville JL, Yarbrough WG, Cmelak AJ. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy with concurrent carboplatin and paclitaxel for locally advanced head and neck cancer: toxicities and efficacy. Oncologist. 2013 Jan;17(5):673-681. Pubmedid: 22550060. Pmcid: PMC3360907.
  • Okwan-Duodu D, Umpierrez GE, Brawley OW, Diaz R. Obesity-driven inflammation and cancer risk: role of myeloid derived suppressor cells and alternately activated macrophages. Am J Cancer Res. 2013 Jan;3(1):21-33. Pubmedid: 23359288. Pmcid: PMC3555202.
  • Nagaraju GP, Zhu S, Wen J, Farris AB, Adsay VN, Diaz R, Snyder JP, Mamoru S, El-Rayes BF. Novel synthetic curcumin analogues EF31 and UBS109 are potent DNA hypomethylating agents in pancreatic cancer. Cancer Lett. 2013 Dec;341(2):195-203. Pubmedid: 23933177.
  • Okwan-Duodu D, Landry J, Shen XZ, Diaz R. Angiotensin-converting enzyme and the tumor microenvironment: mechanisms beyond angiogenesis. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013 Aug;305(3):R205-R215. Pubmedid: 23739345.
  • Nagaraju GP, Aliya S, Zafar SF, Basha R, Diaz R, El-Rayes BF. The impact of curcumin on breast cancer. Integr Biol (Camb). 2012 Sep;4(9):996-1007. Pubmedid: 22772921.
  • Ali AN, Diaz R, Shu HK, Paulino AC, Esiashvili N. A Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program comparison of adult and pediatric Wilms' tumor. Cancer. 2012 May;118(9):2541-2551. Pubmedid: 21918969.
  • Amin M, Gabram S, Bumpers H, Landry J, Jani AB, Diaz R, Rizzo M. Feasibility of accelerated partial breast irradiation in a large inner-city public hospital. Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Dec;19(13):4094-4098. Pubmedid: 22732836.
  • Corso CD, Ali AN, Diaz R. Radiation-induced tumor neoantigens: imaging and therapeutic implications. Am J Cancer Res. 2011 Oct;1(3):390-412. Pubmedid: 21969260. Pmcid: PMC3180059.
  • Lopez-Barcons LA, Ali AN, Diaz R. Application of recombinant and non-recombinant peptides in the determination of tumor response to cancer therapy. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011 Feb;12(2):320-335. Pubmedid: 21050162.
  • Passarella RJ, Spratt DE, van der Ende AE, Phillips JG, Wu H, Sathiyakumar V, Zhou L, Hallahan DE, Harth E, Diaz R. Targeted nanoparticles that deliver a sustained, specific release of Paclitaxel to irradiated tumors. Cancer Res. 2010 Jun;70(11):4550-4559. Pubmedid: 20484031. Pmcid: PMC2880200.
  • Diaz R, Jaboin JJ, Morales-Paliza M, Koehler E, Phillips JG, Stinson S, Gilbert J, Chung CH, Murphy BA, Yarbrough WG, Murphy PB, Shyr Y, Cmelak AJ. Hypothyroidism as a consequence of intensity-modulated radiotherapy with concurrent taxane-based chemotherapy for locally advanced head-and-neck cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Jun;77(2):468-476. Pubmedid: 19577867.
  • Spratt DE, Diaz R, McElmurray J, Csiki I, Duggan D, Lu B, Delbeke D. Impact of FDG PET/CT on delineation of the gross tumor volume for radiation planning in non-small-cell lung cancer. Clin Nucl Med. 2010 Apr;35(4):237-243. Pubmedid: 20305410.
  • Passarella RJ, Zhou L, Phillips JG, Wu H, Hallahan DE, Diaz R. Recombinant peptides as biomarkers for tumor response to molecular targeted therapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Oct;15(20):6421-6429. Pubmedid: 19825959. Pmcid: PMC2763341.
  • Diaz R, Blakey MD, Murphy PB, Cryar AK, Cmelak AJ. Thyroid storm after intensity-modulated radiation therapy: a case report and discussion. Oncologist. 2009 Mar;14(3):233-239. Pubmedid: 19286762.
  • Diaz R, Passarella RJ, Hallahan DE. Determining glioma response to radiation therapy using recombinant peptides. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2008 Nov;8(11):1787-1796. Pubmedid: 18983239.
  • Han Z, Fu A, Wang H, Diaz R, Geng L, Onishko H, Hallahan DE. Noninvasive assessment of cancer response to therapy. Nat Med. 2008 Mar;14(3):343-349. Pubmedid: 18297085.
  • Albert JM, Gonzalez A, Massion PP, Chen H, Olson SJ, Shyr Y, Diaz R, Lambright ES, Sandler A, Carbone DP, Putnam JB, Johnson DH, Lu B. Cytoplasmic clusterin expression is associated with longer survival in patients with resected non small cell lung cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Sep;16(9):1845-1851. Pubmedid: 17855704.
  • Diaz R, Lue J, Mathews J, Yoon A, Ahn D, Garcia-España A, Leonardi P, Vargas MP, Pellicer A. Inhibition of Ras oncogenic activity by Ras protooncogenes. Int J Cancer. 2005 Jan;113(2):241-248. Pubmedid: 15386411.
  • Diaz R, Lopez-Barcons L, Ahn D, Garcia-Espana A, Yoon A, Matthews J, Mangues R, Perez-Soler R, Pellicer A. Complex effects of Ras proto-oncogenes in tumorigenesis. Carcinogenesis. 2004 Apr;25(4):535-539. Pubmedid: 14633661.
  • Hernández-Muñoz I, Benet M, Calero M, Jiménez M, Díaz R, Pellicer A. rgr oncogene: activation by elimination of translational controls and mislocalization. Cancer Res. 2003 Jul;63(14):4188-4195. Pubmedid: 12874025.
  • Pérez de Castro I, Diaz R, Malumbres M, Hernández MI, Jagirdar J, Jiménez M, Ahn D, Pellicer A. Mice deficient for N-ras: impaired antiviral immune response and T-cell function. Cancer Res. 2003 Apr;63(7):1615-1622. Pubmedid: 12670913.
  • Diaz R, Ahn D, Lopez-Barcons L, Malumbres M, Perez de Castro I, Lue J, Ferrer-Miralles N, Mangues R, Tsong J, Garcia R, Perez-Soler R, Pellicer A. The N-ras proto-oncogene can suppress the malignant phenotype in the presence or absence of its oncogene. Cancer Res. 2002 Aug;62(15):4514-4518. Pubmedid: 12154063.
  • Leonardi P, Kassin E, Hernandez-Muñoz I, Diaz R, Inghirami G, Pellicer A. Human rgr: transforming activity and alteration in T-cell malignancies. Oncogene. 2002 Aug;21(33):5108-5116. Pubmedid: 12140761.