Keep Up With What's New


       Welcome to Dr. Martire's Blog!   Here, we will provide you with a selection of interesting news items from our practice and the medical world.


     To see full articles, either click on "READ MORE" or  simply click on the article you wish to read from the titles listed, at left. 


Molecular Testing In Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. In recent years, the diagnostic work up and therapeutic options have completely evolved in non-small cell lung cancer. Molecular testing... READ MORE

Breast Cancer Subtypes



Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, characterized by many subtypes that have distinct molecular biological features. Each subtype is treated differently:

Luminal A: represents approximately 40% of all invasive breast cancers and it is characterized by....READ MORE 

Procrit: The Facts


            This article is a rebuttal to the Wall Street Journal article on “the misuse of Procrit” by oncologists across the country. The article is clear evidence of how journalism in the current times has nothing to do with “the truth” and is all about ratings which are driven by sensationalism. The article claims READ MORE...

The Top Advances in Oncology in the Last 50 Years


The American Society of Clinical Oncology as part of the 50th anniversary published the 5 top advances in clinical oncology as voted by physicians/patients and the public:

  1. Cure for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: the four drug chemotherapy ABVD (doxorubicin/bleomycin/vinblastine/dacarbazine) developed... READ MORE



The Silent Operator

Isabella Martire, M.D.

from Your Health Magazine, November 2010


Ovarian cancer is generally detected when it is in stage III or IV. Early detections for this particular cancer is usually an incidental finding because there is no good screening for it. The symptoms are...  ...READ MORE




Cancer Screening and Prevention

Isabella Martire, M.D.

from "Your Health Magazine," October 2010


As we have acquired increasing knowledge about various cancers, prevention and screening have become a bigger component of medicine. Lung cancer is one the most preventable cancers by simple smoking cessation or avoidance. Nowadays, there are numerous smoking cessation aides ranging from...  READ MORE




New Weapons in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Isabella Martire, M.D.

from "Your Health Magazine," July 2010


One out of 8 women over a lifetime will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though the incidence of this disease has gone up over the last two decades, the mortality has actually gone down and this is thanks to prevention, screening, early detection, and new, improved therapeutic modalities.

Chemotherapy is no longer the only modality used to fight this disease. We currently have new treatments that include... READ MORE 



Malignant Melanoma

Isabella Martire, M.D.

from Your Health Magazine, March 2011


     Since summer is approaching I would like to talk a little about malignant melanoma, a potentially devastating disease if not caught in the early stages.  The incidence of melanoma, in the U.S., is rising faster than any other cancer.


The incidence of melanoma in the U.S.A. is rising faster than any other cancer. One in 74 Americans will develop malignant melanoma in their lifetime.  READ MORE








Progress of Non Small Cell Lung Cancer



            Firstly, most lung cancers can be prevented by NOT smoking or smoking cessation and this is a well known fact. The reality is that people still smoke.


            After years of research we were finally able to demonstrate decreased mortality from lung cancer with ...READ MORE 






Isabella Martire, M.D.

from "Your Health Magazine," April 2011


     Patients with the diagnosis of CML or Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia prior to the year 2000 had an average survival of 6 years with bone marrow transplant.  Currently, the average survival of a CML patient is >30 years without...READ MORE






Therapeutic Options for Cancer Patients in 2011

Isabella Martire, M.D.

from "Your Health Magazine," May 2011


  The field of oncology is a relatively new field...  Chemotherapy works by damaging deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) in rapidly dividing cells, it therefore is not specific only to cancer cells; but also affects the “normal” cells, in the body, that are continuously dividing; like white blood cells, red blood cells, hair, gastrointestinal mucosa, platelets, and...READ MORE







Prostate Cancer: An Overview

Isabella Martire, M.D.

from "Your Health Magazine," December 2010


     Prostate cancer, in general,  is a disease of the elderly and screening has been a big topic of medical conversation and controversy, forever; even though a large European study has finally demonstrated...READ MORE 










Progress in Colorectal Cancer

Isabella Martire, M.D.

from "Your Health Magazine,"September 2010


     I remember the days when the only treatment for colorectal cancer was 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin--and it was not that long ago. On the average, a patient with stage IV disease had between one and...READ MORE






How To Choose The Oncology Setting That Fits Your Needs

Article 1 in a 2-Part Series


       First of all, if you live in the Washington Metropolitan area you are very lucky your options are numerous and quite good across the board.

In general, a tertiary care center (university) is an ideal setting for “special procedures” like transplant or experimental protocols (although remember not all protocols are created equal, some...READ MORE





 How To Choose The Oncology Setting That Fits Your Needs

 (This article is the second in a two-part series)



 The NCI (National Cancer Institute) is an ideal place if you need an experimental protocol and have no insurance since the drugs will be given to you free of charge. In order to qualify for an NCI trial you have to meet the strict protocol criteria. You may want to search the internet on the NCI web site the ongoing trials to see if you meet the criteria ( Also, it takes time before you register and are seen which means if you need immediate attention that a clinical trial may not be the ideal route for you. The drawback is...READ MORE




Hormonal Therapy For Breast Cancer




       Hormonal therapy for breast cancer nowadays is used for prevention, in the adjuvant setting, neoadjuvant setting and in metastatic disease.

The drugs used and FDA approved for prevention of breast cancer is tamoxifen, raloxifen and examestane. High risk patients are...READ MORE






Cancer Statistics In the United States


          I would like to discuss how awareness has contributed to early detection and improvement in cancer survival statistics for some the most common cancers like breast, colon, prostate, and lung. In 2010, greater than 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were...READ MORE




Dr. Isabella Martire


Since 2009, the United States Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations for screening have dramatically changed:

1)    Breast cancer screening with mammogram was not recommended for women age 40 to 50 and every two years was recommended for women 50 to 74 years of age.

2)    Pap smears every three years for women over the age of 21 is the current recommendation from the USPSTF.

3)    The latest recommendation from the USPSTF is that routine PSA screening is no longer to be performed for the men of any age with the premise that is does not affect survival or mortality.


It is very interesting that these new recommendations come in a day and age when the economy is poor and it is necessary to “save” or “budget”. I want to give you some information that can guide you in making decisions regarding your screening.  READ MORE






Cervical Cancer


In view of the recent “new” screening recommendations for cervical cancer by the USPSTF (United States Preventive Services Task Force) I would like to give an historical recount of the progress made through the last 40 years.


As of March 2012 the USPSTF recommends screening for cervical cancer in women ages 21 to 65 with...READ MORE   






Breast Cancer Awareness

Dr. Isabella Martire


     October is breast cancer awareness month. One out of eight women over a lifetime will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  READ MORE 





An Update on CLL

(Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia)


            CLL is the most common leukemia in the western world. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is an indolent disorder for the majority of patients.  At diagnosis, 80% of the patients are in the asymptomatic phase (stage 0 CLL); in the peripheral blood excess of small lymphocytes is noted for at least three months. It usually affects people ages > 50, with two-thirds of patients being over the age of 60.  CLL is a heterogeneous disease where some patients never require therapy while others have a rapid progression and poorer prognosis requiring aggressive measures.  READ MORE...



Cancer Drugs Approved in 2012


This is the first part of a two part article. The past decade has been very prolific as far as drug development and FDA approval for cancer treatments. Since we are starting the New Year I would like to give a recap of the drugs that were FDA approved in 2012.  READ MORE...



Cancer Drugs Approved in 2012

Part 2


Medullary thyroid cancer is a “rare” form of cancer that is very aggressive and deadly that has notoriously very poor response to chemotherapy. This past year cabozantinib (Cometriq) was FDA approved for metastatic disease. Cabozantinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that blocks several pathways promoting cell death. The drug is oral and has as potential side effects:  READ MORE...


Treatment Option for Hepatocellular Carcinoma


     Hepatocellular carcinoma is fairly common worldwide; secondary to Hepatitis B, and less common in the United States where the majority of cases are secondary to Hepatitis C and alcoholic liver cirrhosis.

     Back in the 1990’s liver transplantation was the only therapeutic option potentially curable in selected patients. Currently the therapeutic options are numerous and diversified.  READ MORE...


Thyroid Cancer


Thyroid cancer is not a common neoplasm although the incidence is rising in the USA.  The most common pathology is papillary and follicular and in general, the prognosis is  READ MORE...


Skin Cancer Update

(Part one of two)


        Since we are in summer, I would like to give an update on skin cancer. As far as prevention, the FDA, as of June of 2011, released new guidelines where sunscreen has to be broad spectrum which means must be effective against UVA as well as UVB; since both contribute to skin cancer. The sunscreen has to be water resistant for at least 40 – 80 minutes to prevent sunburn in individuals immersed in water. The SPF considered effective is 30 to 50 maximum effect and needs to be applied every three hours.

        The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell, squamous and melanoma.  READ MORE...

Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer

            The number of FDA approved therapies for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer has blossomed over the last decade.

            ASCO has recently updated the clinical practice guidelines for systemic therapy in metastatic disease. The guideline recommends the indefinite use of androgen depravation. Chemotherapy with docetaxel is no longer recommended as first line, in fact the guideline states lack of data to establish optimal sequence of therapies.

The therapies with proven improvement in survival and quality of life are: READ MORE...

Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Screening



  1. Diet is very important for colon cancer prevention.  Animal fat has been linked to an increased risk for colon cancer. A diet high in fiber and low in red meat is recommended.
  2. Exercise has been beneficial in reducing the risk of several cancers including colon cancer by helping maintain a normal body mass index.
  3. For the general population, screening colonoscopy is recommended starting at the age of ...Read More



Vaccine Therapy for Solid Tumors


For years, researchers have tried to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. Currently FDA approved several vaccines that I would like to review in this article.


Sipulecel (Provenge) is one of the first FDA approved vaccines for solid tumors it targets metastatic prostate cancer castrate resistant. Provenge activates the T cells of the immune system which in turn READ MORE...


Advances in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


The landscape of oncology has become very exciting over the last three years for Non Small Cell lung cancer (NSCLC). With the event of genomic research, new therapeutic targets have been identified and...READ MORE

Current Therapy For Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea And Vomitting


Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) can affect, very significantly, the quality of life in cancer patients. Over the last two decades major progress has been made in understanding the...READ MORE