Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, MD

Associate Professor of Dermatology
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-5351
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Curiel-Lewandrowski 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.

Dr. Curiel-Lewandrowski graduated summa cum laude from Central University of Venezuela Medical School. She completed her internship in internal medicine at Boston University and her residency in dermatology at Tufts University. She then 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-Lewandrowski is certified by the American Board of Dermatology.

Dr. Curiel-Lewandrowski's role as a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) is to establish and foster research activities related to the skin cancer field across multiple disciplines, and across basic science and clinical projects. She is currently a Co-PI of the Skin Cancer Prevention Program Project and the Clinical Director of the Skin Cancer Institute at the UACC. She has effectively accomplished her role in these positions while addressing important clinical gaps in the skin cancer primary prevention and early detection fields through innovative study designs, and effective execution. To date, her research interests has focused in photobiology, early skin cancer detection, and primary prevention.

Joining the Arizona Cancer Center in 2004 resulted in a catalyzing effect that has allowed Dr. Curiel-Lewandrowski to increase her expertise in translational efforts related to skin cancer therapeutic prevention. She has now served as a lead dermatologist in seven clinical studies and as a PI in six clinical trials (4 pilot, 3 Phase 1, and 3 Phase 2 studies) within the PPG in Skin Cancer Chemoprevention, the UA NCI/DCP Cancer Chemoprevention Consortium Agreement, and sponsored studies. Her current position at the UACC been instrumental in establishing research collaborations between the UACC and the College of Optical Sciences, Bioengineering, and the Department of Radiology to evaluate novel imaging modalities in the skin cancer arena.

The availability of core services at the UACC has been essential to the skin cancer related research projects. In addition, close interactions across investigators at the UACC has allowed them to build a strong skin cancer research project that is unique in the nation.


Clinical Information

Clinical Focus: 

Dr. Curiel-Lewandrowski's dermatology primary focus is treating patients with conditions of melanoma, dysplastic nevi, Cutaneous T and B cell lymphomas, Appendageal tumors and basal and squamous cell skin cancers.

Disease or Clinical Specialty: 
Actinic Keratosis
Atypical Moles
Basal Cell Cancer
Cutaneous T-Cell
Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Mycosis Fungoides
Skin Cancer
Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Prevention and Control
Member Status: 
Research Member
Year of Membership Acceptance: 
Research Focus: 

Dr. Curiel's research focus is on melanoma chemoprevention, early detection of melanoma, cutaneous T cell lymphomas and skin cancer.

Selected Publications: 
  1. Curiel R, Perez-Gonzalez JF, Brito N, Zerpa R, Curiel C, Cubeddu L. Positive inotropic effect mediated by alpha-1 adrenoceptor in intact human subjects. J.Cardivasc.Pharmacol. 1989;61:4,603-615
  2. Sznajder JI, Ridge K, Peluffo G, Curiel C, Rutschman D. Alveolar Na/K ATPase activity increases following mechanical ventilation induced pulmonary edema. Chest 1993;103:1765
  3. Khurshid A, Peluffo G, Curiel C, Ridge K, Sznajder JI.   Transcription factors in alveolar type 2 cells, isolated from hyperoxic rats. Am.Rev.Res.Dis. 1993;147. 151
  4. Rosales AM, Curiel C, Pluchino S, Tristano S, Sanchez de Leon R. Effect of furosemide administration in the fluid filtration rate and pulmonary artery pressure in isolated rabbit lung. Act. Cient. Venez 1994;49:1
  5. Curiel C, Martinez R, Pinto V, Rosales AM, Sanchez de Le6n R. Increase in cardiac output and PEEP as mechanism of V/P optimization. Rev. Fisiol. Esp 1995;51 (1), 7-16
  6. Curiel C. Malignant melanoma and active specific immunotherapeutic options. Dermatology & Cosmetics 1998;8:47-57
  7. Curiel C. Atypical fibroxanthoma vs malignant fibrohistiocytoma. Dermatology & Cosmetics 1998; 9: 67-69.
  8. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Mahnke K, Schmidt W, Labeur M, Schmidt W, Granstein R, Luger T, Schwarz T, Grabbe S. "Transfection of immature bone marrow-derived dendritic cells with the GM-CSF gene potently enhances their in vivo antigen presenting capacity". J Immunol 1999;163(1):174-83
  9. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Demierre MF. Advances in specific immunotherapy of malignant melanoma. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000; 43(2):167-188
  10. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Atkins MB. Immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of malignant melanoma. Invited review. Curr Opin Invest Drugs. 2001 2(11):1553-1563
  11. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Venna S, Eller MS, Cruikshank W, Cruz PD Jr, Dougherty I, Gilchrest BA. Inhibition of the elicitation phase of contact hypersensitivity by thymidine dinucleotides is in part mediated by increased expression of interleukin-10 in human keratinocytes. Exp Dermatol. 2003 Apr;12(2):145-52.
  12. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Nijsten T, Kadin M.Lymphomatoid papulosis in childhood: An epidemiological study. Arch Dermatol. 2004 Mar;140(3):306-12.
  13. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Williams CM, Swindells KJ, Tahan SR Astner S, Frankenthaler RA, Gonzales S. Use of in Vivo Confocal Microscopy In Malignant Melanoma: An aid in diagnosis, and assessment of surgical and non-surgical therapeutic approaches. Arch Dermatol. 2004 Sep;140(9):1127-32.
  14. Adams AE, Zwicker J, Curiel C, Kadin ME, Falchuk KR, Drew R, Kupper TS. Aggressive cutaneous T-cell lymphomas after TNFalpha blockade.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Oct;51(4):660-2.
  15. Li FP, Fletcher JA, Heinrich MC, Garber JE, Sallan SE, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Duensing A, van de Rijn M, Schnipper LE, Demetri GD. Familial gastrointestinal stromal tumor syndrome: phenotypic and molecular features in a kindred. J Clin Oncol. 2005 Apr 20;23(12):2735-43.
  16. Einspahr JG, Thomas TM, Saboda K, Nickoloff BJ, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Warneke JW, Bozzo P, Fruehauf JP, Alberts DS. Expression of VEGF and microvessel density counts in cutaneous melanocytic lesion progression. Cancer 2007 110(11):2519-27.
  17. Einspahr J, Bowden GT, Alberts DS, McKenzie N, Saboda K, Warneke J, Salasche S, Ranger-Moore J, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Nagle RB, Nickoloff BJ, Brooks C, Dong Z, Stratton SP. Cross-validation of murine UVB signal transduction pathways in human skin. Photochem Photobiol. 2008;84(2):363-476
  18. Loescher LJ, Crist JD, Cranmer L, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Warneke JA. Melanoma high-risk families’ perceived healthcare provider risk communications. Journal of Cancer Education, 24(4).
  19. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Speetzen LS, Cranmer L, Warneke J, Loescher L. A case report of Li Fraumeni syndrome resulting in five malignant melanomas: clinico-pathological features of this rare entity and review of the literature. Submitted 2009.
  20. Rice ZP, Weiss F, DeLong LK, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Chen SC. Utilization and rationale for use of total body photography and total body digital photography as an adjunct screening measure in patients at risk for melanoma. Submitted 2009.
  21. Hu S, Kim CC, Jessup C, Phung TL, Curiel-Lewandrowski C. Primary cutaneous melanomas presenting as inflamed pigmented lesions during adjuvant interferon treatment:an important diagnostic clue for clinicians Arch Dermatol. 2009 May;145(5):565-8.
  22. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, GomezML, Kadin M. Lymphomatoid papulosis prevalence in middle age women and the role of michrochinerism. Letterto the editor JID.  Submitted 2009.
  23. Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Gomez ML, Nijsten T, Stern RS. Case control study on melanoma chemoprevention: the role of statins and NSAIDS. Accrual completed 6/07 (400 cases/600 controls). Journal of Clinical Oncology. Submitted 7/09

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
2003 NCI/SPORE in Skin Cancer Grant Career Development Award
2005 Research Grant Award. Skin Cancer Foundation. “Expression of VEGF Receptors in Melanocytic Lesions”
2005 Masters in Academic Leadership. American Academy of Dermatology
2007 Included in 2007-2008 Best Doctors in America
2007 Certificate of Excellence for outstanding performance in the Professional Services Documentation and Coding Audit for Providers for Fiscal Year 2006-2007, University Physicians Healthcare.
2008 Best Doctors in America
2008 Arizona Clinical and Translational Research and Education Consortium Clinical Scholars Award
2009 Arizona Cancer Center Levin Family Endowed Chair for Excellence in Cancer Research
Board Certifications & Licenses: 
Massachusetts Medical Board: Medical License
American Academy of Dermatology: Board Certified
Arizona Medical Board: Medical License 

Academic Information

Boston University School of Medicine
Tufts University and Boston University
Medical School: 
Central University of Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela
Undergraduate School: 
Colegio “Los Campitos”, Caracas, Venezuela