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Teresita Munoz-Antonia, PhD

Academic Rank: Associate Member



    • Tumor Biology
    • Lung Cancer Center of Excellence
    • Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer
    • Health Outcomes & Behavior Program

Education & Training


  • University of Connecticut, MS - Microbiology

The focus of the research in Dr. Munoz-Antonia's laboratory is to examine the prognostic and diagnostic value of the expression of transforming growth factor beta (TGFb) pathway molecules in human cancer. The pattern of alteration of critical proteins in early stages of tumor development may explain why cells that have the potential to transform into fully malignant tumors develop into tumors with low to moderate malignant potential. Dr. Mu'oz-Antonia and her colleagues have shown a direct correlation between resistance to the antiproliferative effects of TGFb, tumorigenicity, and decreased expression of TGFb type II receptor proteins. Their hypothesis is that dysregulated expression of signal transduction signaling components in epithelial cancers can be correlated with disease status. Their data on expression of the TGFb receptors and signaling proteins (Smads) in head and neck, thyroid, and lung tumors confirm this hypothesis. They have demonstrated a defect (either at the gene or protein level) in one of the components of the TGFb signaling pathway (receptors or Smads) in most primary tumors examined. Dr. Mu'oz-Antonia and her colleagues continue to test their hypothesis by examining the status of these molecular markers in the context of disease stage in different tumor types. In collaboration with investigators from the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. Munoz-Antonia and her colleagues have found significant differences in the expression of some TFGb signaling components in squamous cell cancers of the head and neck of Puerto Rican Hispanics. Some of these differences, such as decreased expression of TGFb type I receptor, are independent of human papillomavirus status, while others, such as decreased expression of Smad4, correlate with the presence of human papillomavirus. The development of tumor-specific biomarkers that identify patients at risk of developing recurrence, metastasis, or a second primary tumor could be useful to develop individualized treatment strategies.


  • Benbrahim Z, Antonia T, Mellas N. EGFR mutation frequency in Middle East and African non-small cell lung cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cancer. 2018 Sep;18(1):891. Pubmedid: 30217176. Pmcid: PMC6137870.
  • Rivera YM, Moreno L, Briant KJ, Vélez H, Jiménez JC, Torres J, Vadaparampil ST, Muñoz-Antonia T, Quinn GP. Developing Sustainable Cancer Education Programs: Training Public Health Students to Deliver Cancer 101 in Puerto Rico. J Cancer Educ. 2018 Feb;33(1):128-133. Pubmedid: 27424481. Pmcid: PMC5243927.
  • Quinn G, Pentz RD, Muñoz-Antonia T, Boyle TA, Schabath MB, Pratt C, Shaffer A, Duarte L, Bowman-Curci M, Antonia S, Chiappori A, Creelan B, Gray JE, Williams C, Haura E. Patient, caregiver and physician perspectives on participating in a thoracic rapid tissue donation program. Patient Educ Couns. 2018 Apr;101(4):703-710. Pubmedid: 29195718. Pmcid: PMC5878993.
  • Pérez-Morales J, Mejías-Morales D, Rivera-Rivera S, González-Flores J, González-Loperena M, Cordero-Báez FY, Pedreira-García WM, Chardón-Colón C, Cabán-Rivera J, Cress WD, Gordian ER, Muñoz-Antonia T, Cabrera-Ríos M, Isidro A, Coppola D, Rosa M, Boyle TA, Izumi V, Koomen JM, Santiago-Cardona PG. Hyper-phosphorylation of Rb S249 together with CDK5R2/p39 overexpression are associated with impaired cell adhesion and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition: Implications as a potential lung cancer grading and staging biomarker. PLoS One. 2018;13(11):e0207483. Pubmedid: 30452490. Pmcid: PMC6242691.
  • Gimbrone NT, Sarcar B, Gordian ER, Rivera JI, Lopez C, Yoder SJ, Teer JK, Welsh EA, Chiaporri AA, Schabath MB, Reuther GW, Dutil J, Garcia M, Ventosilla-Villanueva R, Vera-Valdivia L, Yabar-Berrocal A, Motta-Guerrero R, Santiago-Cardona PG, Muñoz-Antonia T, Cress WD. Somatic Mutations and Ancestry Markers in Hispanic Lung Cancer Patients. J Thorac Oncol. 2017 12;12(12):1851-1856. Pubmedid: 28911955. Pmcid: PMC5701827.
  • Seijo E, Lima D, Iriabho E, Almeida J, Monico J, Echeverri M, Gutierrez S, Flores I, Lee JH, Fisher K, Grizzle WE, Sica GL, Butler C, Hicks C, Meade CD, Sodeke SO, Moroz K, Coppola D, Munoz-Antonia T. Construction and Validation of a Multi-Institutional Tissue Microarray of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma From Racially and Ethnically Diverse Populations. Cancer Control. 2016 Oct;23(4):383-389. Pubmedid: 27842327. Pmcid: PMC5268085.
  • Schabath MB, Cress D, Munoz-Antonia T. Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Epidemiology and Genomics of Lung Cancer. Cancer Control. 2016 Oct;23(4):338-346. Pubmedid: 27842323. Pmcid: PMC5340153.
  • Chen L, Kurtyka CA, Welsh EA, Rivera JI, Engel BE, Muñoz-Antonia T, Yoder SJ, Eschrich SA, Creelan BC, Chiappori AA, Gray JE, Ramirez JL, Rosell R, Schabath MB, Haura EB, Chen DT, Cress WD. Early2 factor (E2F) deregulation is a prognostic and predictive biomarker in lung adenocarcinoma. Oncotarget. 2016 Dec;7(50):82254-82265. Pubmedid: 27756884. Pmcid: PMC5347689.
  • Hudson J, Munoz-Antonia T, Haura E, Cress D, Simmons VN, Quinn GP. Translating Hispanic Genomic Factors in Lung Cancer Into Clinical Practice: EGFR Testing for Improved Outcomes. Gene Cell Tissue. 2016 Apr;3(2). Pubmedid: 29888762. Pmcid: PMC5990038.
  • Rivera YM, Vélez H, Canales J, Jiménez JC, Moreno L, Torres J, Vadaparampil ST, Muñoz-Antonia T, Quinn GP. When a Common Language Is Not Enough: Transcreating Cancer 101 for Communities in Puerto Rico. J Cancer Educ. 2016 12;31(4):776-783. Pubmedid: 26365291. Pmcid: PMC4791206.
  • Yoshida T, Song L, Bai Y, Kinose F, Li J, Ohaegbulam KC, Muñoz-Antonia T, Qu X, Eschrich S, Uramoto H, Tanaka F, Nasarre P, Gemmill RM, Roche J, Drabkin HA, Haura EB. ZEB1 Mediates Acquired Resistance to the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. PLoS One. 2016;11(1):e0147344. Pubmedid: 26789630. Pmcid: PMC4720447.
  • Muñoz-Antonia T, Ung D, Montiel-Ishino FA, Nelson A, Canales J, Quinn GP. African Americans' and Hispanics' information needs about cancer care. J Cancer Educ. 2015 Jun;30(2):327-332. Pubmedid: 25189798. Pmcid: PMC4594795.
  • Muñoz-Antonia T. Don'T neglect cultural diversity in oncology care. J Natl Compr Canc Ne. 2014 May;12(5 Suppl):836-837. Pubmedid: 24853229.
  • Wells KJ, Lima DS, Meade CD, Muñoz-Antonia T, Scarinci I, McGuire A, Gwede CK, Pledger WJ, Partridge E, Lipscomb J, Matthews R, Matta J, Flores I, Weiner R, Turner T, Miele L, Wiese TE, Fouad M, Moreno CS, Lacey M, Christie DW, Price-Haywood EG, Quinn GP, Coppola D, Sodeke SO, Green BL, Lichtveld MY. Assessing needs and assets for building a regional network infrastructure to reduce cancer related health disparities. Eval Program Plann. 2014 Jun;44:14-25. Pubmedid: 24486917. Pmcid: PMC4360072.
  • Schabath MB, McIntyre J, Pratt C, Gonzalez LE, Munoz-Antonia T, Haura EB, Quinn GP. Healthcare providers' knowledge and attitudes about rapid tissue donation (RTD): phase one of establishing a rapid tissue donation programme in thoracic oncology. J Med Ethics. 2014 Feb;40(2):139-142. Pubmedid: 23557908. Pmcid: PMC3924895.
  • Chen L, Muñoz-Antonia T, Cress WD. Trim28 contributes to EMT via regulation of E-cadherin and N-cadherin in lung cancer cell lines. PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e101040. Pubmedid: 24983967. Pmcid: PMC4077753.
  • Gordian E, Li J, Pevzner Y, Mediavilla-Varela M, Luddy K, Ohaegbulam K, Daniel KG, Haura EB, Muñoz-Antonia T. Transforming growth factor β signaling overcomes dasatinib resistance in lung cancer. PLoS One. 2014;9(12):e114131. Pubmedid: 25501935. Pmcid: PMC4263601.
  • Cress WD, Chiappori A, Santiago P, Muñoz-Antonia T. Lung cancer mutations and use of targeted agents in Hispanics. Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2014;9(4):225-232. Pubmedid: 25626064. Pmcid: PMC4441412.
  • Mora E, Robb JA, Stefanoff G, Mellado RH, Coppola D, Muñoz-Antonia T, Flores I. Proceedings of the 1st Puerto Rico Biobanking Workshop. Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2014;9(4):233-244. Pubmedid: 25626063. Pmcid: PMC4635463.
  • Wells KJ, McIntyre J, Gonzalez LE, Lee JH, Fisher KJ, Jacobsen PB, Meade C, Muñoz-Antonia T, Quinn GP. Feasibility trial of a Spanish-language multimedia educational intervention. Clin Trials. 2013 Oct;10(5):767-774. Pubmedid: 23935161. Pmcid: PMC4510979.
  • Quinn GP, Murphy D, Pratt C, Muñoz-Antonia T, Guerra L, Schabath MB, Leon ME, Haura E. Altruism in terminal cancer patients and rapid tissue donation program: does the theory apply?. Med Health Care Phil. 2013 Nov;16(4):857-864. Pubmedid: 23539332. Pmcid: PMC3735793.
  • Quinn GP, McIntyre J, Gonzalez LE, Antonia TM, Antolino P, Wells KJ. Improving awareness of cancer clinical trials among Hispanic patients and families: audience segmentation decisions for a media intervention. J Health Commun. 2013 Dec;18(9):1131-1147. Pubmedid: 23639101. Pmcid: PMC4818950.
  • Gwede CK, Castro E, Brandon TH, McIntyre J, Meade CD, Munoz-Antonia T, Simmons VN, Vadaparampil ST, Jimenez J, Quinn GP. Developing strategies for reducing cancer disparities via cross-institutional collaboration: outreach efforts for the partnership between the Ponce School of Medicine and the Moffitt Cancer Center. Health Promot Pract. 2012 Nov;13(6):807-815. Pubmedid: 22167362. Pmcid: PMC3708698.
  • Quinn GP, Jimenez J, Meade CD, Muñoz-Antonia T, Gwede CK, Castro E, Vadaparampil ST, Simmons VN, McIntyre J, Crocker TT, Brandon TH. Enhancing oncology health care provider's sensitivity to cultural communication to reduce cancer disparities: a pilot study. J Cancer Educ. 2011 Jun;26(2):322-325. Pubmedid: 21479572. Pmcid: PMC3673723.
  • Muñoz-Antonia T, Torrellas-Ruiz M, Clavell J, Mathews LA, Muro-Cacho CA, Báez A. Aberrant methylation inactivates transforming growth factor Beta receptor I in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Int J Otolaryngol. 2011 Jul;2009:848695. Pubmedid: 20111589. Pmcid: PMC2809419.
  • Flores I, Muñoz-Antonia T, Matta J, García M, Fenstermacher D, Gutierrez S, Seijo E, Torres-Ruiz J, Pledger WJ, Coppola D. The Establishment of the First Cancer Tissue Biobank at a Hispanic-Serving Institution: A National Cancer Institute-Funded Initiative between Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida and the Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Puerto Rico. Biopreserv Biobank. 2011 Dec;9(4):363-371. Pubmedid: 24836632. Pmcid: PMC5206688.
  • Cangiano J, Centeno BA, Garrett CR, Caceres W, de Jesus A, Lee JH, Pavia O, Jove R, Baez L, Sullivan DM, Muro-Cacho CA, Munoz-Antonia T. Signal transduction proteins in tumors from Puerto Rican and Caucasian gastric adenocarcinoma patients: expression differences with potential for specific targeted therapies. Digest Dis Sci. 2008 Aug;53(8):2090-2100. Pubmedid: 18224443. Pmcid: PMC4467019.
  • Munoz-Antonia T, Muro-Cacho C, Sharma S, Cantor A, Bepler G. Expression of TGFbeta type-II receptor in association with markers of proliferation and apoptosis in premalignant lung lesions. Cancer. 2007 Oct;110(7):1527-1531. Pubmedid: 17676583.
  • Meng S, Chen Z, Munoz-Antonia T, Wu J. Participation of both Gab1 and Gab2 in the activation of the ERK/MAPK pathway by epidermal growth factor. Biochem J. 2005 Oct;391(Pt 1):143-151. Pubmedid: 15952937. Pmcid: PMC1237148.
  • Báez A, Cantor A, Fonseca S, Marcos-Martinez M, Mathews LA, Muro-Cacho CA, Muñoz-Antonia T. Differences in Smad4 expression in human papillomavirus type 16-positive and human papillomavirus type 16-negative head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2005 May;11(9):3191-3197. Pubmedid: 15867212.
  • Adnane J, Seijo E, Chen Z, Bizouarn F, Leal M, Sebti S, Munoz-Antonia T. RhoB, not RhoA, represses the transcription of the transforming growth factor beta type II receptor by a mechanism involving activator protein 1. J Biol Chem. 2002 Mar;277(10):8500-8507. Pubmedid: 11741970.
  • Adnane J, Muro-Cacho C, Mathews L, Sebti S, Munoz-Antonia T. Suppression of rho B expression in invasive carcinoma from head and neck cancer patients. Clin Cancer Res. 2002 Jul;8(7):2225-2232. Pubmedid: 12114424.
  • Jennings R, Alsarraj M, Wright K, Munoz-Antonia T. Regulation of the human transforming growth factor beta type II receptor gene promoter by novel Sp1 sites. Oncogene. 2001 Oct;20(47):6899-6909. Pubmedid: 11687969.
  • Seijo E, Song H, Lynch M, Jennings R, Qong X, Lazaridis E, Muro-Cacho C, Weghorst C, Munoz-Antonia T. Identification of genetic alterations in the TGFbeta type II receptor gene promoter. Mutat Res-Fund Mol M. 2001 Nov;483(1-2):19-26. Pubmedid: 11600128.
  • Muro-Cacho C, Rosario K, Livingstone S, Munoz-Antonia T. Defective transforming growth factor beta signaling pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma as evidenced by the lack of expression of activated Smad 2. Clin Cancer Res. 2001;7(6):1618-1626. Pubmedid: 11410498.
  • Gal T, Munoz-Antonia T, Muro-Cacho C, Klotch D. Radiation effects on osteoblasts in vitro: a potential role in osteoradionecrosis. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Sep;126(9):1124-1128. Pubmedid: 10979127.
  • Adnane J, Bizouarn F, Chen Z, Ohkanda J, Hamilton A, Munoz-Antonia T, Sebti S. Inhibition of farnesyltransferase increases TGFbeta type II receptor expression and enhances the responsiveness of human cancer cells to TGFbeta. Oncogene. 2000 Nov;19(48):5525-5533. Pubmedid: 11114730.
  • Cunnick J, Dorsey J, Munoz-Antonia T, Mei T, Wu J. Requirement of SHP2 binding to Grb2-associated binder-1 for mitogen-activated protein kinase activation response to lysophosphatic acid and epidermal growth factor. J Biol Chem. 2000 May;275(18):13842-13848. Pubmedid: 10788507.
  • West J, Munoz-Antonia T, Johnson J, Klotch D, Muro-Cacho C. Transforming growth factor-beta type II receptors and smad proteins in follicular thyroid tumors. Laryngoscope. 2000 Aug;110(8):1323-1327. Pubmedid: 10942134.
  • Jennings R, Munoz-Antonia T, Zhu Z, Jackson R, Antonia S. Identification of an enhancer element in the mouse B7-1 promoter. Immunogenetics. 1999 Oct;50(1-2):109-112. Pubmedid: 10541818.
  • Jackson R, Antonia S, Wright K, Moon S, Nepvue A, Munoz-Antonia T. Human cut-like repressor protein binds TGFbeta type II receptor gene promoter. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1999 Nov;371(2):290-300. Pubmedid: 10545217.
  • Muro-Cacho CA, Anderson M, Cordero J, Munoz-Antonia T. Expression of transforming growth factor beta type II receptors in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 1999 Jun;5(6):1243-1248. Pubmedid: 10389906.
  • Muro-Cacho C, Munoz-Antonia T, Livingstone S, Klotch D. Transforming growth factor beta receptors and p27kip in thyroid carcinoma. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999 Jan;125(1):76-81. Pubmedid: 9932593.
  • Anderson M, Muro-Cacho C, Livingstone S, Munoz-Antonia T. Transforming growth factor beta receptors in verrucous and squamous cell carcinoma. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999 Aug;125(8):849-854. Pubmedid: 10448730.
  • Muro-Cacho C, Munoz-Antonia T, Livingstone S, Klotch D. Aberrant expression of TGF-beta receptors type I and II, and p27kip in papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. Curr Awar Biomed. 1999;3:26-29.
  • Antonia S, Finley C, Munoz-Antonia T. Cloning and partial characterization of the mouse B7-1 promoter. Immunogenetics. 1996;43(4):234-237. Pubmedid: 8575824.
  • Munoz-Antonia T, Xiaochuan L, Reiss M, Rosalind J, Antonia S. A mutation in the transforming growth factor (beta) type II receptor gene promoter associated with loss of gene expression. Cancer Res. 1996;56:4831-4835. Pubmedid: 8895728.
  • Jackson R, Antonia S, Nepvue A, Munoz-Antonia T. A mutation in the transforming growth factor beta type II receptor gene promoter associated with loss of gene expression. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1996;56(21):4831-4835.
  • Antonia S, Munoz-Antonia T, Soldevilla G, Miller J, Flavell R. B7-1 expression by a non-antigen presenting cell-derived tumor. Cancer Res. 1995 Jun;55(11):2253-2256. Pubmedid: 7538898.
  • Garrogue-Antar L, Munoz-Antonia T, Antonia S, Gesmond J, Vellucci V, Reiss M. Missense Mutations of the transforming growth factor (beta) type II receptor in human head and neck squamous carcinoma cells. Cancer Res. 1995;55:3982-3987. Pubmedid: 7664267.
  • Reiss M, Munoz-Antonia T, Cowan J, Wilkins P, Zhou Z, Velluci V. Resistance of human squamous carcinoma cells to the antiproliferative effects of transforming growth factor (beta) is a recessive phenotype. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993;90:6280-6284.
  • Brenner B, Munoz-Antonia T, Velluci V, Zhou Z, Reiss M. Wild-type p53 tumor suppressor gene restores differentiation of human squamous carcinoma cells but not the response to transforming growth factor (beta). Cell Growth Differ. 1993;4:993-1004.
  • Reiss M, Brash D, Munoz-Antonia T, Simon J, Ziegler A, Velluci V, Zhou Z. Status of the p53 tumor supressor gene in human squamous carcinoma cell lines. Oncol Res. 1992;4:439-439.
  • Reverón D, López C, Gutiérrez S, Sayegh ZE, Antonia T, Dutil J, Malafa M, Coppola D. Frequency of Mismatch Repair Protein Deficiency in a Puerto Rican Population with Colonic Adenoma and Adenocarcinoma. Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 15(4):265-271. Pubmedid: 29976631. Pmcid: PMC6070705.