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Maria E. Cabanillas, M.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

My career began as a hospitalist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Leukemia Department, where my primary role was to run an in-patient service in Leukemia. I was trained to supervise chemotherapy and to treat the adverse effects of these treatments which is how I became interested in the area of supportive care and Endocrinology. Ultimately, I completed fellowship training at Baylor College of Medicine in Endocrinology. Just a decade ago, the possibilities for treatment for patients with metastatic thyroid cancer who had failed radioactive iodine and thyroid hormone suppression were very limited. I quickly became interested in this area especially because there were no treatments known to benefit these patients. My background with treating very complex leukemia patients who had adverse events due to chemotherapy and targeted therapy and my experience with clinical trials led me to my current area of research interest in treatment of widely metastatic thyroid cancer. I am also interested in management of side effects from these targeted therapies, as these drugs have become chronic therapies for our thyroid cancer patients. Proficiency in the management of these side effects is essential in order to improve the patients' quality of life and to maintain patient compliance with the treatment. As the Facutly Director of Clinical Research, I supervise and train the research staff to conduct clinical trials in accordance to policy and in a safe and effective manner.

Research Interests

My research interests include the treatment of locally advanced and widely metastatic thyroid cancer with systemic therapies, especially the newer tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as XL184 (cabozantinib), E7080 (lenvatinib), and the BRAF inhibitor, vemurafenib. I am also interested in the management of side effects from these drugs in order to maintain a good quality of life for our patients during treatment.

Clinical Interests

My clinical interests include the treatment of all stages and types of thyroid cancer, including diagnosis of thyroid cancer, adjuvant treatment (ie, radioactive iodine after primary surgery, XRT), and treatment of advanced thyroid cancer with local therapies, radioactive iodine and the newer therapies with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (ie, vandetanib, sorafenib, sunitinib, pazopanib). I also provide patients with the option to have their tumor tested for appropriate genetic mutations which may help guide treatment.

For general clinic information and referrals, please visit the Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorder's contact information webpage at:

Contact Information

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1998 The University of Puerto Rico Medical School, San Juan, Puerto Rico, MD, Medicine

Postgraduate Training

7/2007-6/2009 Fellowship, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, Ashok Balasubramanian, MD
6/1998-6/2001 Residency, Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, Mark Farnie, MD

Board Certifications

10/2009 Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
1/2001 Internal Medicine

Experience/Service

Academic Appointments

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of General Internal Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 7/2007-7/2008
Assistant Professor, Department of General Internal Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 9/2003-6/2007
Assistant Professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 9/2003-6/2007
Instructor, Department of General Internal Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 9/2001-8/2003
Instructor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 9/2001-8/2003

Administrative Appointments/Responsibilities

Faculty Director of Clinical Research, Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 5/2011-present

Institutional Committee Activities

Member, Institutional Review Board 1, 8/2010-present
Member, Clinical Research Committee II, 1/2003-2007

Honors and Awards

2011 James S. and Suzanne Cyrus Scholar Award Finalist, Division of Internal Medicine Research Retreat
2010 James S. and Suzanne Cyrus Scholar Award Finalist, Division of Internal Medicine Research Retreat
2009 ASCO Cancer Foundation Merit Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
2005 Division of Internal Medicine Research Retreat Award, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Carhill AA, Cabanillas ME, Jimenez C, Waguespack SG, Habra MA, Hu M, Ying A, Vassilopoulou-Sellin R, Gagel RF, Sherman SI, Busaidy NL. The Non-investigational Use of Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors in Thyroid Cancer: Establishing a Standard for Patient Safety and Monitoring. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 98(1):31-42, 1/2013. e-Pub 11/2012. PMCID: PMC3537108.
2. Cabanillas ME, Kantarjian H, Thomas DA, Mattiuzzi GN, Rytting ME, Bruera E, Xiao L, Bekele BN, Foudray MC, Cortes JE. Epoetin alpha decreases the number of erythrocyte transfusions in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, lymphoblastic lymphoma, and Burkitt leukemia/lymphoma: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial. Cancer 118(3):848-55, 2/2012. e-Pub 7/2011. PMID: 21751205.
3. Busaidy NL, Cabanillas ME. Differentiated thyroid cancer: management of patients with radioiodine non-responsive disease. J Thyroid Res 2012:618985, 2012. e-Pub 2/2012. PMCID: PMC3316972.
4. Hong DS, Cabanillas ME, Wheler J, Naing A, Tsimberidou AM, Ye L, Waguespack SG, Hernandez M, El Naggar AK, Bidyasar S, Wright J, Sherman SI, Kurzrock R. Inhibition of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK and RET kinase pathways with the combination of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib and the farnesyltransferase inhibitor tipifarnib in medullary and differentiated thyroid malignancies. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 96(4):997-1005, 4/2011. PMCID: PMC3070247.
5. Cabanillas ME, Waguespack SG, Bronstein Y, Williams MD, Feng L, Hernandez M, Lopez A, Sherman SI, Busaidy NL. Treatment with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors for Patients with Differentiated Thyroid Cancer the M.D. Anderson Experience (selected for editorial in Nature Reviews and J Clin Endocrinol Metab). J Clin Endocrinol Metab 95(6):2621-4, 6/2010. PMID: 20392874.
6. Cabanillas ME, Lu H, Fang S, Du XL. Elderly patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who receive chemotherapy are at higher risk for osteoporosis and fractures. Leukemia Lymphoma 48(8):1514-21, 8/2007. PMID: 17701582.
7. Berrios-Rivera JP, Fang S, Cabanillas ME, Cabanillas F, Lu H, Du XL. Variations in chemotherapy and radiation therapy in a large nationwide and community-based cohort of elderly patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Am J Clin Oncol 30(2):163-71, 4/2007. PMID: 17414466.
8. Weiser MA, Cabanillas M, Vu K, Tamm EP, Wallace MJ, Escalante CP, Bresalier RS. Diagnostic evaluation of patients with a high suspicion of malignancy: comorbidities and clinical predictors of cancer. Am J Med Sci 330(1):11-8, 7/2005. PMID: 16020994.
9. Weiser MA, Cabanillas ME, Konopleva M, Thomas DA, Pierce SA, Escalante CP, Kantarjian HM, O'Brien SM. Relation between the duration of remission and hyperglycemia during induction chemotherapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia with a hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone/methotrexate-cytarabine regimen. Cancer 6(100):1179-1185, 2004.
10. Choueiri TK, Pal SK, Brose M, McDermott DF, Morrissey S, Miles DR, Holland J, Dutcher JP, Sherman SI, Kaelin WG, Cabanillas ME. Activity of Cabozantinib (XL184) in Patients With Renal Cell or Differentiated Thyroid Cancer Evaluated in a Drug–Drug Interaction Study. British Journal of Cancer. Submitted.

Invited Articles

1. Cabanillas ME, Hu MI, Durand JB, Busaidy N. Challenges Associated with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Therapy for Metastatic Thyroid Cancer. Special Issue of the Journal Thyroid Research: Thyroid Oncology. e-Pub 10/2011.
2. M Bugalho MJ, Wohllk N, Hoff AO, Cabanillas ME. Thyroid oncology. J Thyroid Res 2011:467570, 2011. e-Pub 10/2011. PMCID: PMC3191810.

Editorials

1. Cabanillas ME, Sherman SI. Applying New Clinicopathologic Characteristics to Prognostication in Advanced Thyroid Carcinoma. Endocr Relat Cancer 19(2):C19-22, 4/2012. e-Pub 4/10/2012. PMID: 22241721.

Abstracts

1. Dadu R, Lu C, Piha-Paul S, Cote G, Cabanillas ME. Dual Somatic Mutations in BRAF V600E and PIK3CA (PI3K) in Patients with Aggressive Papillary Thyroid Cancer (PTC). Thyroid, 10/2012.
2. Schlumberger M, Jarzab B, Cabanillas ME, Robinson B, Pacini F, Ball DW, McCaffrey JC, Newbold K, Allison R, Martins R, Licitra LF, Shah MH, Bodenner D, Elisei R, Burmeister LA, Funahashi Y, Sellecchia R, Andresen C, O'Brien JP, Sherman SI. A phase II trial of the multitargeted kinase inhibitor lenvatinib (E7080) in advanced medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). Journal of Clinical Oncology suppl; abstr 5591, 6/2012.
3. Maria E. Cabanillas, Marcia S. Brose, David A. Ramies, Yihua Lee, Dale Miles, Steven I. Sherman. Antitumor activity of cabozantinib (XL184) in a cohort of patients (pts) with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). J Clin Oncol suppl; abstr 5547, 5/2012.
4. Douglas Wilmot Ball, Steven I. Sherman, Barbara Jarzab, Maria E. Cabanillas, Renato Martins, Manisha H. Shah, Donald Bodenner, Kate Newbold, Lisa F. Licitra, Duncan Topliss, Roger Allison, Tadashi Kadowaki, Yasuhiro Funahashi, Mark Matijevic, Pallavi Sachdev, James P. O'Brien, Martin Schlumberger. Lenvatinib treatment of advanced RAI-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC): Cytokine and angiogenic factor (CAF) profiling in combination with tumor genetic analysis to identify markers associated with response. J Clin Oncol suppl; abstr 5518, 5/2012.
5. Cabanillas ME, Brose MS, Ramies DA, Lee Y, Miles D, Sherman SI. Anti-tumor Activity Observed in a Cohort of Patients (pts) with Differentiated Thyroid Cancer (DTC) in a Phase 1 Study of Cabozantinib (XL184). American Thyroid Association, 81st Annual Meeting, 10/2011.
6. Choueiri TK, Pal SK, Cabanillas ME, Ramies DA, Tseng L, Holland JS, Morrissey S, Dutcher JP. Antitumor activity observed in a phase I drug–drug interaction study of cabozantinib (XL184) and rosiglitazone in patients (pts) with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). J Clin Oncol 29 (#13042), 2011.
7. Sherman SI, Jarzab B, Cabanillas ME, Licitra LF, Pacini F, Martins R, Robinson B, Ball D, McCaffrey J, Shah MH, Bodenner D, Allison R, Newbold K, Elisei R, O'Brien JP, Schlumberger M. Phase II, Multicenter, Open-label, Single Arm Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Oral E7080 in Medullary and Iodine-131 Refractory, Unresectable Differentiated Thyroid Cancers, Stratified by Histology. J Clin Oncol 29 (#5503), 2011.
8. Michaelis CL, Cote GJ, Santarpia L, Klein MJ, Gornet TG, Fritsche HA, Busaidy NL, Waguespack SG, Cabanillas ME, Hu MI, Jimenez C, Sherman SI. Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) in Patients with Thyroid Cancer. Endocrine Reviews 31(3):S615 (#S615), 6/2010.
9. Cabanillas ME, Kurzrock R, Sherman SI, Tsimberidou AM, Waguespack S, Naing A, Busaidy NL, Gagel R, Wright JJ, Hong DS. Phase I trial of combination sorafenib and tipifarnib: The experience in advanced differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). J Clin Oncol 28(15s):(suppl; abstr 5586), 6/2010.
10. Cabanillas ME, David H, Waguespack S, Sherman SI, Hernandez M, Hu M, Habra M, Busaidy N. Stable disease is an important endpoint in patients with progressive, differentiated thyroid cancer treated with sorafenib. Thyroid 19(S1):S1-S93 (#152), 9/2009.
11. Cabanillas ME, Waguespack SG, Bronstein Y, Williams M, Feng L, Sherman SI, Busaidy NL. Treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors for patients with differentiated thyroid cancer: The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center experience. J Clin Oncol 27(15s):abstract 6060, 2009.
12. Cabanillas ME, Thomas DA, Kantarjian H, Mattiuzzi GN, Bekele BN, Foudray MC, Cassat JL, Cortes JE. Epoetin-alpha compared to standard of care decreases number of packed red blood cell transfusions in patients receiving hyper-CVAD for acute lymphocytic leukemia, lymphoblastic lymphoma, and Burkitt's lymphoma. J Clin Oncol 18S (#7075), 2007.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: An Open-Label, Multi-Center Phase II Study of the BRAF Inhibitor RO5185426 in Patients with Metastatic or Unresectable Papillary Thyroid Cancer (PTC) positive for the BRAF V600 Mutation and Resistant to Radioactive Iodine
Funding Source: Roche
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 12/1/2011 - present
 
Title: A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 3 Trial of E7080 in 131I-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer
Funding Source: Eisai
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Duration: 10/2011
 
Title: Exelixis Study XL184-008, A Phase 1 Drug-Drug Interaction Study of the Effects of XL184 on the Pharmacokinetics of a Single Oral Dose of Rosiglitazone in Subjects with Solid Tumors
Funding Source: Exelixis
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 8/2010 - present
 
Title: A Phase II Trial Using RAD001 for Patients with Radioiodine Refractory Thyroid Cancer
Funding Source: Novartis
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator: Busaidy
Duration: 2010 - present
 
Title: Phase II, Multicenter, Open-label, Single Arm Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Oral E7080 in Medullary and Iodine-131 Refractory, Unresectable Differentiated Thyroid Cancers, Stratified by Histology
Funding Source: Eisai
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 2009 - present
 
Title: Phase II, open, randomized comparative trial of two different schedules of palonsetron versus ondansetron for the prevention of nausea and vomiting in patients with hematologic malignancies receiving regimens containing high-dose cytarabine
Funding Source: Eisai
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Duration: 2005 - 2007

Last updated: 6/19/2013