Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Flash Section

Breast Cancer

Understanding the biology, genetics and biochemistry of breast cancer, and applying this knowledge towards diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive strategies.

Leader: Dawn Hershman, MD, MS

Program Meeting Schedule

The Breast Cancer Program fosters interactions among basic, clinical, and population scientists who study and treat breast cancer and its effects. The program aims to stimulate translation of basic research discoveries into clinical advances in patient care. In addition, the interactions flow in the reverse direction with clinicians providing new research questions for the basic scientists that are relevant to the disease.

Major Themes

The members of the program come from three basic-science departments and six clinical departments, and one public-health department, as well as the department of Dental Medicine. They work together under the following themes:

  • Pathogenesis — Studying the function of the major tumor suppressor and oncogenic genes and the related molecular signaling pathways that cause breast tumors
  • Translational therapeutic studies — Developing clinical trials that assess the biological and signal-transduction effects of agents with known or potential therapeutic properties
  • Long-term effects of therapy — Assessing the side effects of cancer therapy, and developing strategies to ameliorate them

Researchers in the Breast Cancer Program have a special interest in understanding the special needs of minorities and underserved women.

With a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, members worked with members of the Prevention, Control and Disparities Program to establish a Breast Cancer Center of Excellence to study why black women are less likely than white women to receive important follow-up care.

The Avon Foundation Breast Imaging Center opened on the first floor of the Irving Cancer Research Center in 2005 to provide access to screening and diagnostic services to underserved and uninsured women.