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  • Overview

    Cancer Focus:
    Basal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Skin Cancer (Nonmelanoma), Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Dr. Lilit Karapetyan is an Assistant Member in the Department of Cutaneous Oncology, Immuno-oncology program as well as an assistant professor in the Department of Oncologic Sciences at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Karapetyan received her MD degree from Yerevan State Medical University, Armenia, and her Master of Science degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis at the University of Michigan. She completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Michigan State University and a Hematology/ Oncology Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Hillman Cancer Center. Dr. Karapetyan’s clinical interest is in melanoma with the emphasis on cell therapy in advanced melanoma. Her clinical research is focused on investigating novel clinical trials of adoptive cell therapy employing ex vivo expanded tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in patients with advanced melanoma. Dr Karapetyan’s translational research is focused on immunobiology of tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) as these relate to melanoma progression, prognostic impact of TLE-related cytokines/chemokines and tumor elaborated factors associated with the development and maturation of TLS and the shaping of therapeutic anti-tumor immune responses in situ. She is a member of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Society of Immunotherapy in Cancer (SITC), the recipient of an ASCO Young Investigator Award in 2022, and Melanoma Research Foundation Career Development Award in 2023.     

    Education & Training


    • University of Pittsburgh - Hematology/Oncology


    • Yerevan State Medical University - Oncology
    • Michigan State University - Internal Medicine

    Medical School:

    • Yerevan State Medical University - MD
  • Participating Trials

    Clinical Trial 22505
    Cutaneous Adverse Events (irCAEs) Associated with Immunotherapy in Patients with Melanoma
    Condition: Cutaneous
    Status: Open

    Clinical Trial 22536
    Immune Profiling of Relatlimab and Nivolumab Combination Immunotherapy for Advanced Stage Metastatic Melanoma
    Condition: Cutaneous
    Status: Open

    If you believe you are eligible for one of these trials or studies, please call
    813-745-6100 or toll-free 1-800-679-0775.

  • Publications

    • Filderman JN, Taylor JL, Wang J, Zhang Y, Singh P, Ross MA, Watkins SC, Nedal Al Bzour A, Karapetyan L, Kalinski P, Storkus WJ. Antagonism of regulatory ISGs enhances the anti-melanoma efficacy of STING agonists. Front Immunol. 2024 Jan.15:1334769. Pubmedid: 38312842. Pmcid: PMC10835797.
    • Dugan MM, Perez MC, Karapetyan L, Zager JS. Management of acral lentiginous melanoma: current updates and future directions. Front Oncol. 2024 Feb.14:1323933. Pubmedid: 38390259. Pmcid: PMC10882087.
    • Karapetyan L, Iheagwara UK, Olson AC, Chmura SJ, Skinner HK, Luke JJ. Radiation dose, schedule, and novel systemic targets for radio-immunotherapy combinations. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2023 Nov.115(11):1278-1293. Pubmedid: 37348864. Pmcid: PMC10637035.
    • Kashani-Sabet M, Leachman SA, Stein JA, Arbiser JL, Berry EG, Celebi JT, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Ferris LK, Grant-Kels JM, Grossman D, Kulkarni RP, Marchetti MA, Nelson KC, Polsky D, Seiverling EV, Swetter SM, Tsao H, Verdieck-Devlaeminck A, Wei ML, Bar A, Bartlett EK, Bolognia JL, Bowles TL, Cha KB, Chu EY, Hartman RI, Hawryluk EB, Jampel RM, Karapetyan L, Kheterpal M, Lawson DH, Leming PD, Liebman TN, Ming ME, Sahni D, Savory SA, Shaikh SS, Sober AJ, Sondak VK, Spaccarelli N, Usatine RP, Venna S, Kirkwood JM. Early Detection and Prognostic Assessment of Cutaneous Melanoma: Consensus on Optimal Practice and the Role of Gene Expression Profile Testing. JAMA Dermatol. 2023 May.159(5):545-553. Pubmedid: 36920356.
    • Korpics MC, Onderdonk BE, Dadey RE, Hara JH, Karapetyan L, Zha Y, Karrison TG, Olson AC, Fleming GF, Weichselbaum RR, Bao R, Chmura SJ, Luke JJ. Partial tumor irradiation plus pembrolizumab in treating large advanced solid tumor metastases. J Clin Invest. 2023 May.133(10). Pubmedid: 37183819. Pmcid: PMC10178837.
    • Karapetyan L, Luke JJ. Interferon Biology and LAG-3 Shedding in PD-(L)1 plus LAG-3 Immunotherapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2023 Mar.29(5):835-837. Pubmedid: 36534010. Pmcid: PMC9992241.
    • Karapetyan L, AbuShukair HM, Li A, Knight A, Al Bzour AN, MacFawn IP, Thompson ZJ, Chen A, Yang X, Dadey R, Karunamurthy A, De Stefano DV, Sander C, Kunning SR, Najjar YG, Davar D, Luke JJ, Gooding W, Bruno TC, Kirkwood JM, Storkus WJ. Expression of lymphoid structure-associated cytokine/chemokine gene transcripts in tumor and protein in serum are prognostic of melanoma patient outcomes. Front Immunol. 2023 Jun.14:1171978. Pubmedid: 37435077. Pmcid: PMC10332263.
    • Knight A, Karapetyan L, Kirkwood JM. Immunotherapy in Melanoma: Recent Advances and Future Directions. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Feb.15(4). Pubmedid: 36831449. Pmcid: PMC9954703.
    • Yang X, Karapetyan L, Huang Z, Knight AD, Rajendran S, Sander C, Minnier CP, Wilson MJ, Kirkwood JM. Multiple primary melanoma in association with other personal and familial cancers. Cancer Med. 2023 Feb.12(3):2474-2483. Pubmedid: 35932099. Pmcid: PMC9939182.
    • Phadke MS, Li J, Chen Z, Rodriguez PC, Mandula JK, Karapetyan L, Forsyth PA, Chen YA, Smalley KSM. Differential requirements for CD4+ T cells in the efficacy of the anti-PD-1+LAG-3 and anti-PD-1+CTLA-4 combinations in melanoma flank and brain metastasis models. J Immunother Cancer. 2023 Dec.11(12). Pubmedid: 38056899. Pmcid: PMC10711842.
    • Perez MC, Messina JL, Karapetyan L, Neves RI, Sondak VK. Acral melanoma: clinical advances and hope for the future. Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2023 Aug.21(8):400-409. Pubmedid: 37530614.
    • Karapetyan L, Gooding W, Li A, Yang X, Knight A, Abushukair HM, Vargas De Stefano D, Sander C, Karunamurthy A, Panelli M, Storkus WJ, Tarhini AA, Kirkwood JM. Sentinel Lymph Node Gene Expression Signature Predicts Recurrence-Free Survival in Cutaneous Melanoma. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Oct.14(20). Pubmedid: 36291758. Pmcid: PMC9599365.
    • Karapetyan L, Yang X, Knight AD, Huang Z, Wang H, Sander CA, Minnier CP, Wilson M, Li A, Karunamurthy A, Storkus WJ, Kirkwood JM. Poorer survival outcomes in patients with multiple versus single primary melanoma. Cancer. 2022 Jun.128(11):2098-2106. Pubmedid: 35319783.
    • Lemoine C, Giacobbe AG, Bonifacino E, Karapetyan L, Seaman C. A case of acquired haemophilia A in a 70-year-old post COVID-19 vaccine. Haemophilia. 2022 Jan.28(1):e15-e17. Pubmedid: 34708898. Pmcid: PMC8652744.
    • Andrews LP, Cillo AR, Karapetyan L, Kirkwood JM, Workman CJ, Vignali DAA. Molecular Pathways and Mechanisms of LAG3 in Cancer Therapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Dec.28(23):5030-5039. Pubmedid: 35579997. Pmcid: PMC9669281.
    • Yang X, Karapetyan L, Kirkwood JM. Safety and Efficacy of Checkpoint Inhibition in Patients With Melanoma and Preexisting Autoimmune Disease. Ann Intern Med. 2021 Sep.174(9):1345. Pubmedid: 34543597.
    • Storkus WJ, Maurer D, Lin Y, Ding F, Bose A, Lowe D, Rose A, DeMark M, Karapetyan L, Taylor JL, Chelvanambi M, Fecek RJ, Filderman JN, Looney TJ, Miller L, Linch E, Lowman GM, Kalinski P, Butterfield LH, Tarhini A, Tawbi H, Kirkwood JM. Dendritic cell vaccines targeting tumor blood vessel antigens in combination with dasatinib induce therapeutic immune responses in patients with checkpoint-refractory advanced melanoma. J Immunother Cancer. 2021 Nov.9(11). Pubmedid: 34782430. Pmcid: PMC8593702.
    • Goodman AE, Karapetyan L, Pugliano-Mauro M, Levenson JE, Luke JJ. Case Report: Single Dose Anti-PD1 in a Patient With Metastatic Melanoma and Cardiac Allograft. Front Immunol. 2021 Mar.12:660795. Pubmedid: 33828564. Pmcid: PMC8019780.
    • Karapetyan L, Yang X, Wang H, Sander CA, Moyer A, Wilson M, Karunamurthy A, Kirkwood JM. Indoor tanning exposure in association with multiple primary melanoma. Cancer. 2021 Feb.127(4):560-568. Pubmedid: 33170961.
    • Karapetyan L, Kirkwood JM. State of Melanoma: An Historic Overview of a Field in Transition. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2021 Feb.35(1):1-27. Pubmedid: 33759768.
    • Karapetyan L, Luke JJ, Davar D. Toll-Like Receptor 9 Agonists in Cancer. Onco Targets Ther. 2020 Oct.13:10039-10060. Pubmedid: 33116588. Pmcid: PMC7553670.
    • Yoon H, Karapetyan L, Choudhary A, Kosozi R, Bali GS, Zaidi AH, Atasoy A, Forastiere AA, Gibson MK. Phase II Study of Irinotecan Plus Panitumumab as Second-Line Therapy for Patients with Advanced Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. Oncologist. 2018 Sep.23(9):1004-e102. Pubmedid: 29769385. Pmcid: PMC6192615.
    • Alkharabsheh O, Kannarkatt P, Kannarkatt J, Karapetyan L, Laird-Fick HS, Al-Janadi A. An overview of the toxicities of checkpoint inhibitors in older patients with cancer. Geriatr Oncol. 2018 Sep.9(5):451-458. Pubmedid: 29567089.
    • Hassanein M, Karapetyan L, Khan A, Rayamajhi S. Sarcoidosis and Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS): A True Association or Just a Coincidence?. Case Rep Hematol. 2018 Sep.2018:3790760. Pubmedid: 30356364. Pmcid: PMC6176294.
    • Isaac D, Karapetyan L, Tamkus D. Association of Germline PALB2 Mutation and Response to Platinum-Based Chemotherapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Case Series. JCO Precis Oncol. 2018 Nov.2:1-5. Pubmedid: 35135128.
    • Karapetyan L, Dawani O, Laird-Fick HS. End-of-Life Care for an Undocumented Mexican Immigrant: Resident Perspective. J Palliative Care. 2018 Apr.33(2):63-64. Pubmedid: 29512426.
    • Karapetyan L, Rai M, Dawani O, Laird-Fick HS. Metastatic Sarcomatoid Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Cervix Presenting with Chest Mass. Case Rep Oncol Med. 2017 Oct.2017:5264564. Pubmedid: 29062577. Pmcid: PMC5618741.
    • Awan MJ, Lavertu P, Zender C, Rezaee R, Fowler N, Karapetyan L, Gibson M, Wasman J, Faulhaber P, Machtay M, Yao M. Post-treatment PET/CT and p16 status for predicting treatment outcomes in locally advanced head and neck cancer after definitive radiation. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017 Jun.44(6):988-997. Pubmedid: 28091733.
    • Karapetyan L, Laird-Fick H, Cuison R. Metastatic Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer Presenting Clinically with Esophageal Dysphagia. Case Rep Oncol Med. 2017 Feb.2017:7065674. Pubmedid: 28191357. Pmcid: PMC5278185.
    • Salehi N, Nasiri M, Bianco NR, Opreanu M, Singh V, Satija V, Jhand AS, Karapetyan L, Safadi AR, Surapaneni P, Thakur RK. The Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator in Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy: A US National Database Analysis. Can J Cardiol. 2016 Oct.32(10):1247.e1-1247.e6. Pubmedid: 26975224.
  • Grants

    Title: Tumor-associated adipogenesis as a promoter of local lymphoid aggregate and tertiary lymphoid structure development
    Sponsor: Moffitt Cancer Center
    PI: Karapetyan, L.
    Title: CD40L-augmented tumor infiltrating lymphocyte growth from core biopsy samples
    Sponsor: Melanoma Research Foundation
    PI: Karapetyan, L.
    Title: Deciphering the role of APRIL/TNFSF13 in melanoma – associated TLS formation
    Sponsor: Melanoma Research Foundation
    PI: Karapetyan, L.
  • Patient Comments

    Overall Satisfaction


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