Dr. Michael R. Shafique handles mostly cases of lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma for Moffitt’s Thoracic Oncology Program, utilizing a background in hematology and clinical research.
“At Moffitt, I am passionate about helping guide patients through the complex care that is associated with a cancer diagnosis,” he said. “We develop a personalized plan of care, with the help of thoracic surgeons and radiologists, that fits each individual.”
Shafique is instrumental in evaluating targetable genetic mutations in each patient, then developing a personalized plan to attack the cancer.
“I see many patients with advanced-stage lung cancers,” he said. “The goal is finding how best to utilize immunotherapy to treat these diseases.”
In 2021, Moffitt Cancer Center highlighted Shafique’s treatment methods when determining considerations for selecting between selpercatinib and pralsetinib in RET fusion-positive non–small cell lung cancer patients.
Leader in Immunotherapy Research
Although chemotherapy remains the standard of care with most thoracic malignancies, novel immunotherapy drugs are now being utilized instead of, or alongside traditional treatment.
Immunotherapy involves activating a patient’s immune system to fight the cancer without the nasty side effects that often come with chemotherapy.
He often recruits patients to enroll in clinical trials, giving them access to cutting-edge treatments that otherwise would not be available.
He co-authored a 2019 study with Dr. Tawee Tanvetyanon — another Moffitt oncologist — that compared the use of the immunotherapy drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for lung cancer patients with a combination of the drug and chemotherapy.
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy published the study that concluded patients with higher levels of the cell-surface protein PD-L1 benefited from the immunotherapy alone. And patients with lower levels of PD-L1 were helped by the combination of the two.
Shafique co-authored a study in 2018 that examined the use of Imfinzi (durvalumab), another immunotherapy drug, as a maintenance therapy after chemotherapy for unresectable lung cancer.
The study also looked at the rationale for incorporating immunotherapy into existing treatment plans.
Graduate of University of Virginia
Before joining the Moffitt Cancer Center in 2017, Shafique did an oncology and hematology fellowship at the affiliated University of South Florida medical school.
He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Duke University Medical Center.
Shafique earned his degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.