Robert B Livingston, MD

Professor of Medicine and Hematologic Oncology
Phone Number: 
(520) 6264175
FAX: 
(520) 6263754
Patient Appointments: 
(520) 6942873
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Livingston is professor of medicine and hematologic oncology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, specializing in breast cancer.

Dr. Livingston completed his medical degree and his residency in internal medicine at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in developmental therapeutics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Livingston has more than 30 years of international clinical research experience in both breast and lung cancer. He formerly chaired the Breast Cancer Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group and is one of the country's strongest advocates and experts on clinical trials and clinical research.

Dr. Livingston is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, subspecialty of Medical Oncology.

Dr. Livingston's scientific contributions to date have occurred in both lung cancer and breast cancer.  They include :

1) introduced the use of concurrent, combined modalities (chemotherapy and radiation) for limited small cell lung cancer, which produced acceptable toxicity and results superior to use of either alone, in a scientific context where they had been previously given alone or administered sequentially;

2) introduced the use of concurrent, combined modality therapy for stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer, using both chemotherapy and radiation, which produced acceptable toxicity, better long-term survival,  and became a widely accepted standard of care in good risk patients;

3) made the laboratory observation that a decline in thymidine labeling index after chemotherapy accurately predicted for subsequent objective response, foreshadowing the development and use of ki67 in the analogous modern context;

4)  showed the superiority of combined hormonal therapy with fulvestrant and anastrozole over anastrozole alone in the setting of recurrent and metastatic, hormone receptor positive, HER 2 neu negative breast cancer, setting the stage for multi- rather than unifocal approaches to hormonal agents in this subset; and

5) showed a lack of benefit from delivery of continuously dosed chemotherapy over a dose dense one, in the context of anthracycline/cyclophosphamide based adjuvant treatment for breast cancer.  These contributions were primarily made (with the exception of the lab observations) in the context of multi-institutional efforts through the Southwest Oncology Group, where he first chaired the Lung Committee, and then the Breast Committee.

Dr. Livingston's current research interest is to assist Dr. Chalasani in development of a promising new methodology for the definition of BRCAness in breast cancer, which they believe may have practical application to treatment selection for definable biologic subgroups, based on criteria that involve the loss of homologous recombinant DNA repair as an exploitable therapeutic target.

Specialty: 
Medical Oncology

Clinical Information

Clinical Focus: 

Breast Cancer; Breast Cancer and Pregnancy; Medical Oncology

Laboratory/Office: 
Disease or Clinical Specialty: 
Breast Cancer

Research Information

Research Program: 
Therapeutic Development
Member Status: 
Research Member
Selected Publications: 
  1. Dunnwald LK, Doot RK, Specht JM, Gralow JR, Ellis GK, Livingston RB, Linden HM, Gadi VK, Kurland BF, Schubert EK, Muzi M, Mankoff DA. PET tumor metabolism in locally advanced breast cancer patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy: value of static versus kinetic measures of fluorodeoxyglucose uptake. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Apr 15;17(8):2400-9. Epub 2011 Mar 1.
  2. Livingston RB, Barlow WE, Kash JJ, Albain KS, Gralow JR, Lew DL, Flaherty LE, Royce ME, Hortobagyi GN. SWOG S0215: a phase II study of docetaxel and vinorelbine plus filgrastim with weekly trastuzumab for HER2-positive, stage IV breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Sucheston LE, Zhao H, Yao S, Zirpoli G, Liu S, Barlow WE, Moore HC, Thomas Budd G, Hershman DL, Davis W, Ciupak GL, Stewart JA, Isaacs C, Hobday TJ, Salim M, Hortobagyi GN, Gralow JR, Livingston RB, Albain KS, Hayes DF, Ambrosone CB. Genetic predictors of taxane-induced neurotoxicity in a SWOG phase III intergroup adjuvant breast cancer treatment trial (S0221). Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Jul 16.
  4. Linden HM, Kurland BF, Peterson LM, Schubert EK, Gralow JR, Specht JM, Ellis GK, Lawton TJ, Livingston RB, Petra PH, Link JM, Krohn KA, Mankoff DA. Fluoroestradiol positron emission tomography reveals differences in pharmacodynamics of aromatase inhibitors, tamoxifen, and fulvestrant in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Jul 15;17(14):4799-805. Epub 2011 Jul 12.
  5. Livingston RB, Barlow WE, Kash JJ, Albain KS, Gralow JR, Lew DL, Flaherty LE, Royce ME, Hortobagyi GN. SWOG S0215: a phase II study of docetaxel and vinorelbine plus filgrastim with weekly trastuzumab for HER2-positive, stage IV breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Volume 130, Number 1, 123-131
  6. Schott AF, Barlow WE, Albain KS, Chew HK, Wade JL 3rd, Lanier KS, Lew DL, Hayes DF, Gralow JR, Livingston RB, Hortobagyi GN. Phase II Trial of Simple Oral Therapy with Capecitabine and Cyclophosphamide in Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer: SWOG S0430. Oncologist. 2012;17(2):179-87
  7. Kurland BF, Gadi VK, Specht JM, Allison KH, Livingston RB, Rodler ET, Peterson LM, Schubert EK, Chai X, Mankoff DA, Linden HM.. Feasibility study of FDG PET as an indicator of early response to aromatase inhibitors and trastuzumab in a heterogeneous group of breast cancer patients. EJNMMI Res. 2012 Jun 25;2(1):34.
  8. Mehta RS, Barlow WE, Albain KS, Vandenberg TA, Dakhil SR, Tirumali NR, Lew DL, Hayes DF, Gralow JR, Livingston RB, Hortobagyi GN. Combination anastrozole and fulvestrant in metastatic breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2012 Aug 2;367(5):435-44. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1201622.
  9. Nokes BT, Cunliffe HE, Lafleur B, Mount DW, Livingston RB, Futscher BW, Lang JE. In Vitro Assessment of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Cell Line SUM 149: Discovery of 2 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the RNase L Gene. J Cancer. 2013;4(2):104-16. doi: 10.7150/jca.5002. Epub 2013 Jan 10.
  10. Gralow JR, Barlow WE, Lew D, Dammann K, Somlo G, Rinn KJ, Vogel SJ, Wong L, Livingston RB, Hortobagyi GN. A phase II study of docetaxel and vinorelbine plus filgrastim for HER-2 negative, stage IV breast cancer: SWOG S0102. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Jan;143(2):351-8. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2797-2. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 

2008-current: Chosen by his peers to be among the "Best Doctors in America."

Dr Livingston is one of the country's strongest advocates and experts on clinical trials and clinical research. He has more than 30 years of international clinical research experience in both breast and lung cancer.

He formerly chaired the Breast Cancer Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group.

Board Certifications: 
  • American Board of Internal Medicine
  • ABIM - Subspecialty of Medical Oncology

Academic Information

Fellowship: 
University of Texas (Developmental Therapeutics) 1973
Residency: 
National Institutes of Health 1970; University of Oklahoma (Internal Medicine) 1971
Medical School: 
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, 1967