Augusto E. Villegas, MD
Dr. Augusto E. Villegas is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine. He practices at the Cancer Specialists of North Florida Fleming Island office.
His areas of interest are in the immunological treatment of melanoma and renal cell carcinoma as well as in the treatment of lung and breast cancer.
Dr. Villegas trained with Dr. Troy Guthrie who is considered an expert in the treatment of melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. “I learned to treat patients with high dose intereleukin 2, which is only delivered in specialized centers. I saw the results and became interested in this field,” he said.
Major advancements in cancer treatment in recent years include the growth of molecular target and molecular treatments, which, he said are currently offering the best options for patients with both solid and hematological malignancies. “In the next 10 years these options will probably expand, and we will be able to treat patients more efficiently and with less toxicity,” he said.
“I think the molecular treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia turned a uniformly fatal disease into a chronic illness with excellent long-term survival,” he added.
Dr. Villegas received his undergraduate degree from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico and his medical degree from Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the Damas Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program, where he was chief medical resident. He completed a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Florida Health Science Center in Jacksonville where he served on the Institutional Medical Ethics Committee.
The son of a doctor, Dr. Villegas grew up in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where his mother worked in the public relations department of a small cancer hospital. “My father was a family doctor who died of metastatic colon cancer. I knew I wanted to be a doctor from a young age but was not sure of what kind. Eventually I learned that treating patients with cancer was the right specialty for me,” he said.
Dr. Villegas is bilingual, making him better able to connect and form relationships with all his patients. He says that trying to help patients through all stages of their disease is a very satisfying part of his work. “Even when the patients are not doing well and their disease is progressing there is satisfaction when you are doing your best to provide comfort.”
Dr. Villegas is on the board of The Blood Alliance. He is also a speaker for Celgene, and is featured on the Proleukin website.
Dr. Villegas is married to Dr. Nilmarie Guzman, a physician who specializes in infectious diseases. They are the parents of an 11-year-old son and a nine-year-old daughter.
When not working, Dr. Villegas enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.
Catholic University of Puerto Rico - Ponce, PR
Ponce School of Medicine - Ponce, PR
Damas Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program - Ponce, PR
University of Florida Health Science Center - Jacksonville, FL
American Board of Medical Oncology
Board of Directors for The Blood Alliance