Clara N Curiel
Director, Cutaneous Oncology Program
Interim Chief, Division of Dermatology
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Medicine - (Tenure Track)
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-0307
Research Interest
Clara Curiel-Lewandroski, PhD, is the director of the Pigmented Lesion Clinic and Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Oncology Program, both part of the University of Arizona Cancer Center Skin Cancer Institute. She completed two research fellowships, the first in the Department of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, and the second at the Ludwig Boltzman Institute and Immunobiology of the Skin at Miinster University in Germany. Dr. Curiel is certified by the American Board of Dermatology.Dr. Curiel-Lewandroski’s research focus is on melanoma chemoprevention, early detection of melanoma, cutaneous T cell lymphomas and skin cancer. She studied the extended use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly aspirin, and their ability to possibly decrease the risk of cutaneous medanoma (CM) development. CM is responsible for more than 77 percent of skin cancer deaths.


Sekulic, A., Kim, S. Y., Hostetter, G., Savage, S., Einspahr, J. G., Prasad, A., Sagerman, P., Curiel-Lewandrowski, C., Krouse, R., Bowden, G. T., Warneke, J., Alberts, D. S., Pittelkow, M. R., DiCaudo, D., Nickoloff, B. J., Trent, J. M., & Bittner, M. (2010). Loss of inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase is an early event in development of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.), 3(10), 1277-83.

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) occurs commonly and can metastasize. Identification of specific molecular aberrations and mechanisms underlying the development and progression of cutaneous SCC may lead to better prognostic and therapeutic approaches and more effective chemoprevention strategies. To identify genetic changes associated with early stages of cutaneous SCC development, we analyzed a series of 40 archived skin tissues ranging from normal skin to invasive SCC. Using high-resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization, we identified deletions of a region on chromosome 10q harboring the INPP5A gene in 24% of examined SCC tumors. Subsequent validation by immunohistochemistry on an independent sample set of 71 SCC tissues showed reduced INPP5A protein levels in 72% of primary SCC tumors. Decrease in INPP5A protein levels seems to be an early event in SCC development, as it also is observed in 9 of 26 (35%) examined actinic keratoses, the earliest stage in SCC development. Importantly, further reduction of INPP5A levels is seen in a subset of SCC patients as the tumor progresses from primary to metastatic stage. The observed frequency and pattern of loss indicate that INPP5A, a negative regulator of inositol signaling, may play a role in development and progression of cutaneous SCC tumors.

Loescher, L. J., Janda, M., Soyer, H. P., Shea, K., & Curiel-Lewandrowski, C. (2013). Advances in skin cancer early detection and diagnosis. Seminars in oncology nursing, 29(3), 170-81.

To provide an overview of 1) traditional methods of skin cancer early detection, 2) current technologies for skin cancer detection, and 3) evolving practice models of early detection.

Curiel-Lewandrowski, C., & Atkins, M. B. (2001). Immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of malignant melanoma. Current opinion in investigational drugs (London, England : 2000), 2(11), 1553-63.

Clinical and laboratory observations suggest that host immunological responses may occasionally influence the course of melanoma, stimulating the investigation of immunotherapy approaches in this disease. Areas of active investigation have included recombinant cytokines, either alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic regimens or other biological response modifiers, such as vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, dendritic cells and gene therapy. To date, the benefit of these approaches in patients at high-risk of recurrence or advanced disease has been modest. Although many of these novel strategies are limited by weak antigen presentation, tumor-induced tolerance and tumor heterogeneity, it is possible that these approaches will prove more useful when given in combination.

Rosales, A. M., Curiel, C. N., Pluchino, S., Tristano, S., & Sanchez de Leon, R. (1994). Effect of furosemide administration in the fluid filtration rate and pulmonary artery pressure in isolated rabbit lung. Act Cient Venez, 49, 18-26.
Curiel, C. N., Nijsten, T., & Kadin, M. (2004). Lymphomatoid papulosis in childhood: a retrospective cohort study of 35 cases. Arch Dermatol, 140(3), 306-12.