An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Erminia Massarelli, M.D., M.S., Ph.D.

Medical Oncologist
Clinical Expertise
Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research

Clinical Teams

Erminia Massarelli, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., is an associate clinical professor in the department of medical oncology and therapeutics research, specializing in lung and head and neck cancers.

Dr. Massarelli received her medical doctorate and Ph.D. in molecular oncology and endocrinology from the University of Naples Federico II in Italy.  She continued her postdoctoral training with dual medical oncology and thoracic/head & neck medical oncology fellowships at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  In 2009, Dr. Massarelli pursued a residency in internal medicine at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX, followed by a clinical fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in medical oncology and a master of science in biomedical sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, Dr. Massarelli is the recipient of several honors and awards, and has received funding for her research grants and protocols including receipt of the ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation’s Young Investigator Award.  She has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles, numerous abstracts and three book chapters.  Dr. Massarelli is frequently invited to present her work at national and international conferences and symposia, and holds several memberships in professional societies including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).

  • Carlomagno C, Lauria R, De Laurentiis M, Arpino G, Massarelli E, Ferrara C, Milano A, Vernaglia Lombardi A, Costanzo R, Catalano G, Bianco AR, De Placido S. Second-Line Chemotherapy with a Hybrid-Alternating Regimen of Bolus 5FU Modulated by Methotrexate and Infusional 5FU Modulated by Flinic Acid in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Pretreated with 5FU. A phase 2 study. Oncology 63(3):219-25, 2002.
  • Massarelli E, Andre F, Liu DD, Lee JJ, Wolf M, Fandi A, Ochs J, Le Chevalier T, Fossella F, Herbst RS. A retrospective analysis of the outcome of patients who have received two prior chemotherapy regimens including platinum and docetaxel for recurrent non-small cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer 39(1):55-61, 2003.
  • Gridelli C, Massarelli E, Maione P, Rossi A, Herbst RS, Onn A, Ciardiello F. Potential role of molecularly targeted therapy in the management of advanced non-small cell lung carcinoma in the elderly. Cancer 101(8):1733-44, 2004.
  • Onn A, Correa AM, Gilcrease M, Isobe T, Massarelli E, Bucana CD, O'Reilly MS, Hong WK, Fidler IJ, Putnam JB, Herbst RS. Synchronous overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor and HER2-neu protein is a predictor of poor outcome in patients with stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res 10(1 Pt 1):136-43, 2004.
  • Zinner RG, Glisson BS, Fossella FV, Pisters KM, Kies MS, Lee PM, Massarelli E, Sabloff B, Fritsche HA Jr., Ro JY, Ordonez NH, Tran HT, Yang Y, Smith TL, Mass RD, Herbst RS. Trastuzumab in combination with cisplatin and gemicitabine in patients with Her2-overexpressing, untreated, advanced non-small cell lung cancer: report of a phase II trial and findings regarding optimal identification of patients with Her2-overexpressing disease. Lung Cancer 44(1):99-110, 2004.
  • De Laurentis M, Arpino G. Massarelli E, Ruggiero A, Carlomagno C, Clardiello F, Tortora G, D'Agostino D, Caputo F, Cancello G, Montagna E, Malomi L, Zinno L, Lauria R, Bianco AR, De Placido S. A meta-analysis on the interaction between HER-2 expression and response to endocrine treatment in advanced breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res 11(13):4741-8, 7/2005.
  • Massarelli E, Liu DD, Lee JJ, El-Naggar AK, Lo Muzio L, Staibana S, De Placido S, Myers JN, Papadimitrakopoulou VA. Akt activation correlates with adverse outcome in tongue cancer. Cancer 104(11):2430-6, 12/2005.
  • Fujimoto N, Wislez M, Zhang J, Iwanaga K, Dactor J, Hanna AE, Kalyankrishna S, Cody DD, Price RE, Sato M, Shay JW, Minna JD, Peyton M, Tang X, Massarelli E, Herbst R, Threadgill DW, Wistuba II, Kurie JM,. High expression of ErbB family members and their ligands in lung adenocarcinoma that are sensitive to inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor. Cancer Res 65(24):11478-85, 12/2005.
  • Massarelli E, Brown E, Tran N, Liu DD, Izzo JG, Lee JJ, El-Naggar AK, Hong WK, Papadimitrakopoulou V. Loss of E-cadherin and p27 Expression is Associated with Head and Neck Squamous Tumorigenesis. Cancer 103(5):952-9, 2005.
  • Massarelli E, Herbst RS. Use of Novel Targeted Therapies in Second-line Non-small-cell Lung Cancer. Semin Oncol 33((1 Suppl 1)):9-16, 2/2006.
  • Massarelli E, Varella-Garcia M, Tang X, Ozburn N, Xavier C, Liu DD, Bekele BN, Herbst RS, Wistuba II. KRAS mutation is an important predictor of resistance to therapy with Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res 13(10):2890-2896, 5/2007.
  • Tang X, Varella-Garcia M, Xavier C., Massarelli E, Ozburn N, Moran C, Wistuba II. Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Abnormalities in the Pathogenesis and Progression of Lung Adenocarcinoma. Cancer Prev Res 1:192-200, 2008.
  • Kies MS, Holsinger FC, Lee JJ, William WN Jr., Glisson BS, Lin HY, Lewin JS, Ginsberg LE, Gillaspy A, Massarelli E, Byers L, Lippman SM, Hong WK, El-Naggar AK, Garden AS, Papadimitrakopoulou V. Induction chemotherapy and cetuximab for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: results from a phase II prospective trial. J Clin Oncol 28(1):8-14, 1/2010.
  • Leighl NB, Raez LE, Besse B, Rosen PJ, Barlesi F, Massarelli E, Gabrali N, Hart LL, Albain KS, Berkowitz L, Melnyk O, Shepherd FA, Sternas L, Ackerman J, Shu Z, Miller VA, Herbst RS. A multicenter, phase II study of vascular endothelial growth factor trap (Aflibertcept) in platinum and erlotinib-resistant adenocarcinoma of the lung. J Thorac Oncol 5(7):1054-9, 7/2010.
  • Massarelli E, Papadimitrakopoulou VA. Phosphatidykinosital 3-kinase and Mammalian target of rapamycin pathway in non-small-cell lung cancer. J Thorac Oncol 7(16 Suppl 5):S379-82, 12/2012.
  • Massarelli E, Saintigny P, Lin S, Ahn YH, Chen Y, Goswami S, Erez B, O'Reilly MS, Liu D, Lee JJ, Zhang L, Ping Y, Behrens C, Solis Soto LM, Heymach JV, Kim ES, Herbst RS, Lippman SM, Wistuba II, Hong WK, Kurie JM, Koo JS. CXCR2 expression in tumor cells is a poor prognostic factor and promotes invasion and metastasis in lung adenocarcinoma. Cancer Res 73(2):571-82, 1/2013.
  • Massarelli E, Johnson FM, Erickson HS, Wistuba II, Papadimitrakopoulou V. Uncommon Epithelial Growth Factor Receptor Mutations in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and their Mechanisms of EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors Sensitivity and Resistance. Lung Cancer 80(3):235-41, 6/2013.
  • Massarelli E, Papadimitrakopoulou V, Welsh J, Tang C, Tsao AS. Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer. Translational Lung Cancer Research 3(1):53-63, 2/2014
  • Massarelli E, Onn A, Marom EM, Alden CM, Liu DD, Tran HT, Mino B, Wistuba II, Faiz SA, Bashoura L, Eapen GA, Morice RC, Jack Lee J, Hong WK, Herbst RS, Jimenez CA. Vandetanib and Indwelling Pleural Catheter for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer With Recurrent Malignant Pleural Effusion. Clin Lung Cancer 15(5):379-86. 9/2014.
  • Tang C, Wang X, Soh H, Seyedin S, Cortez MA, Krishnan S, Massarelli E, Hong D, Naing A, Diab A, Gomez D, Ye H, Heymach J, Komaki R, Allison JP, Sharma P, Welsh JW. Combining radiation and immunotherapy: a new systemic therapy for solid tumors? Cancer Immunol Res 2(9):831-838, 9/2014.
  • Massarelli E, Papadimitrakopoulou V. Ceritinib for the Treatment of Late Stage (Metastatic) Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Clin Cancer Res 21(4):670-4, 2/2015.
  • Massarelli E, Lin H, Ginsberg LE, Tran HT, Lee JJ, Canales JR, Williams MD, Blumenschein SR, Heymach JV, Kies MS, Papadimitrakopoulou V. Phase II trial of everolimus and erlotinib in aptients with platinum-resistant recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Annals of Oncology 2015 (in press).
  • Mishra DK, Compean SD, Thrall MJ, Liu X, Massarelli E, Kurie JM, Kim MP. Human Lung fibroblasts inhibit non small cell lung cancer metastasis in ex vivo 4D model. Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2015 (in press).
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