Vladimir A. Valera Romero M.D., Ph.D.
A surgeon-scientist by training, Dr. Valera specializes in providing compassionate and comprehensive genitourinary cancer care using a contemporary, multidisciplinary approach. He is particularly interested in the treatment of high-risk and locally-advanced prostate cancer and bladder cancer as well as rare urologic malignancies such as penile and testicular cancers. Dr. Valera accomplishes his goal of providing comprehensive patient treatment by combining his extensive surgical experience in open, endoscopic and minimally invasive/robotic surgery with a basic science understanding of cancer at the molecular and cellular level.
1) urologic oncology, 2) prostate cancer, 3) bladder cancer, 4) penile cancer, 5) testis cancer
Dr. Valera serves as an Associate Investigator on prostate, bladder and kidney cancer clinical trials at the NCI. His research endeavors include the identification of genetic predisposition for prostate cancer, the identification and evaluation of predictive biologic markers for prostate cancer progression in patients with clinically localized disease, and the investigation of clinical oncologic and functional outcomes after surgical treatment for high-risk prostate cancer.
His basic science/translational research efforts include the analysis of tissue biomarkers such as microRNA, proteomics and metabolic pathways that can be used as therapeutic targets for prostate cancer patient care.
Selected Key Publications
- Journal of Cancer. 4(5): 350-7, 2013. [ Journal Article ]
Regulatory Effects of microRNA-92 (miR-92) on VHL Gene Expression and the Hypoxic Activation of miR-210 in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma.Journal of Cancer. 2: 515-26, 2011. [ Journal Article ]
Inactivation of the FLCN tumor suppressor gene induces TFE3 transcriptional activity by increasing its nuclear localization.PloS One. 5(12): e15793, 2010. [ Journal Article ]
Homozygous loss of BHD causes early embryonic lethality and kidney tumor development with activation of mTORC1 and mTORC2.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 106(44): 18722-7, 2009. [ Journal Article ]
Prognostic groups in colorectal carcinoma patients based on tumor cell proliferation and classification and regression tree (CART) survival analysis.Annals of Surgical Oncology. 14(1): 34-40, 2007. [ Journal Article ]
Dr. Valera obtained his B.S. and M.D. from the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas followed by a complete General Surgery Residency at the same institution. He then underwent a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Niigata University, Japan, sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbusho). Upon completion, he joined the Graduate School for a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Pathology. This was followed by a Colorectal Surgery Fellowship at the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, Italy (Italian National Cancer Institute). He then came as a Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow to the Translational Surgical Pathology Section of the Laboratory of Pathology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health under Dr. Maria Merino’s mentorship.
Dr. Valera then completed his clinical training in the U.S. with a Urology Residency at New York Medical College, which included a Urologic Oncology rotation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center also in New York, NY. He came back to the NCI as a Urologic Oncology Fellow and remained as staff upon completion of his fellowship there. He has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on topics spanning general surgery, molecular pathology, and colorectal, kidney, prostate and bladder cancers.