Clinical Focus


  • Fellow
  • Hematology/Oncology

Professional Education


  • Master of Science, Stanford University, EPIDM-MS (2022)
  • Fellowship, Stanford University School of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology (2022)
  • Residency, University of California San Francisco, Internal Medicine (2018)
  • MD, Yale School of Medicine (2015)

All Publications


  • Identifying the Needs of Primary Care Providers Caring for Breast and Colon Cancer Survivors in the Safety-Net: a Qualitative Study. Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education Dixit, N., Rodriguez, G., Sarkar, U., Burke, N., Trejo, E., Devore, D. J., Couey, P., Napoles, A. M. 2022

    Abstract

    As the number of cancer survivors continues to increase and given the shortage of oncology clinicians in safety net health care settings, primary care providers (PCPs) in these settings will increasingly provide cancer survivorship care. In order to ensure equitable care for low-income and underserved breast and colon cancer survivors, it is essential to understand the safety-net PCPs' perspective. We conducted semi-structured, in-depth qualitative interviews with 11 PCPs working in a safety-net health care system to identify their needs in caring for cancer survivors. Interviews were audio-recorded and professionally transcribed. Two coders independently coded the interviews and conducted regular meetings until we reached consensus on the results. Analysis was based in grounded theory and performed using the constant comparative method. Thematic analysis identified six themes as follows: (1) Cancer survivorship care can be integrated with the whole person and chronic disease care management that occurs in primary care; (2) PCPs' perceptions regarding patients' survivorship care needs and their confidence in meeting those needs; (3) preference for a shared care model; (4) coordination of care; (5) PCPs' need for survivorship care education and training; and (6) unique issues involved in the care of older cancer survivors. PCPs in the safety-net believe that providing comprehensive survivorship care requires coordination of care through the cancer continuum. Tools like checklists, electronic health records-based communication, and convenient electronic consultations with cancer specialists would enhance the quality of survivorship care. Respondents advocate the inclusion of survivorship care education in medical education. The continuity of care with PCPs means that they play a particularly important role in the care of older cancer survivors.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13187-022-02195-3

    View details for PubMedID 35829986

  • CD20-Targeted Therapy Ablates De Novo Antibody Response to Vaccination but Spares Pre-Established Immunity. Blood cancer discovery Shree, T., Shankar, V., Lohmeyer, J. J., Czerwinski, D. K., Schroers-Martin, J. G., Rodriguez, G. M., Beygi, S., Kanegai, A. M., Corbelli, K. S., Gabriel, E., Kurtz, D. M., Khodadoust, M. S., Gupta, N. K., Maeda, L. S., Advani, R. H., Alizadeh, A. A., Levy, R. 2022

    Abstract

    To obtain a deeper understanding of poor responses to COVID-19 vaccination in lymphoma patients, we assessed blocking antibodies, total anti-spike IgG, and spike-specific memory B cells in the peripheral blood of 126 patients with lymphoma and 20 age-matched healthy controls 1 and 4 months after COVID-19 vaccination. Fifty-five percent of patients developed blocking antibodies post-vaccination, compared to 100% of controls. Evaluating patients last treated from days to nearly 18 years prior to vaccination, time since last anti-CD20 was a significant independent predictor of vaccine response. None of 31 patients who had received anti-CD20 treatment within 6 months prior to vaccination developed blocking antibodies. In contrast, patients who initiated anti-CD20 treatment shortly after achieving a vaccine-induced antibody response tended to retain that response during treatment, suggesting a policy of immunizing prior to treatment whenever possible.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/2643-3230.BCD-21-0222

    View details for PubMedID 35015688

  • Addressing cancer care needs for Latino adults: A formative qualitative evaluation Rodriguez, G. M., Leach, M., Osorio, J., Wood, E., Duron, Y., O'Brien, D. G., Zach, K., Rosas, L., Patel, M. I. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2021
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Patients With Cancer: A National Study of Patient Experiences. American journal of clinical oncology Rodriguez, G. M., Ferguson, J. M., Kurian, A., Bondy, M., Patel, M. I. 2021

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic abruptly disrupted cancer care. The impact of these disruptions on patient experiences remain relatively understudied. The objective of this study was to assess patients' perspectives regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their experiences, including their cancer care, emotional and mental health, and social determinants of health, and to evaluate whether these outcomes differed by cancer stage.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a survey among adults with cancer across the United States from April 1, 2020 to August 26, 2020 using virtual snowball sampling strategy in collaboration with professional organizations, cancer care providers, and patient advocacy groups. We analyzed data using descriptive statistics, chi2 and t tests.RESULTS: Three hundred twelve people with cancer participated and represented 38 states. The majority were non-Hispanic White (n=183; 58.7%) and female (n=177; 56.7%) with median age of 57 years. Ninety-one percent spoke English at home, 70.1% had health insurance, and 67% had access to home internet. Breast cancer was the most common diagnosis (n=67; 21.5%). Most had Stage 4 disease (n=80; 25.6%). Forty-six percent (n=145) experienced a change in their care due to COVID-19. Sixty percent (n=187) reported feeling very or extremely concerned that the pandemic would affect their cancer and disproportionately experienced among those with advanced cancer stages compared with earlier stages (P<0.001). Fifty-two percent (n=162) reported impact of COVID-19 on 1 or more aspects of social determinants of health with disproportionate impact among those with advanced cancer stages compared with earlier stages.CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 impacted the care and well-being of patients with cancer and this impact was more pronounced among people with advanced cancer stages. Future work should consider tailored interventions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on patients with cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/COC.0000000000000865

    View details for PubMedID 34519677

  • Family History of Gastric Cancer and Helicobacter pylori Treatment NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Rodriguez, G. M., Hernandez, M. C., Lin, A. Y. 2020; 382 (22): 2170–71
  • Knowledge and self-efficacy for caring for breast and colon cancer survivors among safety net primary care providers SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER Dixit, N., Burke, N., Rodriguez, G., Sarkar, U., Cicerelli, B., DeVore, J., Napoles, A. 2020; 28 (10): 4923-4931

    Abstract

    Primary care providers (PCPs) are critical to the provision of comprehensive care for cancer survivors, yet there is very little data on the practices and quality of survivorship care occurring in safety net primary care settings. This study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of PCPs and preferences for care models for breast and colon cancer survivors in a safety net health network.A modified National Cancer Institute Survey of Physician Attitudes Regarding the Care of Cancer Survivors was sent electronically to 220 PCPs in 12 primary care clinics in the San Francisco Health Network affiliated with Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.The response rate was 50% (110/220). About half of PCPs strongly/somewhat agreed (vs. strongly/somewhat disagreed) that PCPs have the knowledge needed to provide follow-up care related to breast (50%) and colon cancer (54%). Most providers (93%) correctly reported recommended frequency of mammography, however, frequency of blood tests and other imaging surveillance were not as well recognized for breast or colon cancer. Recognition of long-term side effects of chemotherapy drugs ranged from 12% for oxaliplatin to 44% for doxorubicin. Only 33% of providers reported receiving any survivorship training. The most preferred model for survivorship care was shared care model (40%).Safety net PCPs prefer a shared care model for care of cancer survivors but are limited by lack of training, poor communication, and poor delineation of roles. Patient-centered survivorship care can be improved through effective oncologist-PCP-patient partnerships and coordination.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00520-019-05277-z

    View details for Web of Science ID 000515739700001

    View details for PubMedID 32016600

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7396282

  • Novel technique for delayed sternal closure: Soft tissue approximation with substernal bridge JOURNAL OF THORACIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY Rajakaruna, C., Rodriguez, G. M., Rajbanshi, B. G., Ziganshin, B. A., Elefteriades, J. A. 2014; 148 (5): 2427-2429

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.08.048

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345132600138

    View details for PubMedID 25282657