Tag Archives: Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers

The Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber: Creating Powerful Possibilities

A clinician and a scientist meet on the bridge that connects the research and patient-care buildings to discuss how a laboratory finding might benefit patients. A young woman, newly diagnosed with breast cancer, finds solace in a support program of her peers. A young investigator identifies molecular subtypes of ovarian cancer.
These are just a few of the powerful possibilities the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber creates by bridging compassionate care and world-class basic and clinical research. This edition of Turning Point shares stories like these, and others. Innovators in Women’s Cancers Innovation occurs when experts in …


A New Center, an Ongoing Mission by Robert Levy

The Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers began with an insight into the nature of cancer – and of human psychology. Researchers were discovering that cancers of the breast and female reproductive tract were more closely related at a basic biological level than had been thought. It was also clear that women’s cancers – wherever they originate – unite patients in a kind of sisterhood of shared concern and experience.
Bringing research and clinical programs in all women’s cancers under a single umbrella would, it was thought, create a natural alliance for better care and smarter science. That goal proved …


Executive Council Spurs Tissue-banking Effort

In 2010, the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers Executive Council announced a $5 million initiative that will significantly expand the center’s tissue-banking capabilities. The commitment will fund the creation of the Tissue Resource for Research (TRR), a state-of-the-art bank to collect and store tissues that will be used for vital research into breast and gynecologic cancers.
“The TRR will help us stay true to a key part of Dana- Farber’s mission, which is to ensure that discoveries made in the laboratory are quickly translated into clinical applications that can help patients,” says J. Dirk Iglehart, MD, director of the …


Solving a Puzzle in BRCA1-caused Breast Cancers

Research Roundup
Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers
Women who carry a mutant BRCA1 gene are at high risk of developing aggressive breast cancers. Most of the tumors are “ER-negative,” meaning they aren’t driven by the estrogen hormone and thus don’t respond to estrogen-blocking agents.
But about 20 percent of breast cancers in BRCA1 carriers are ER-positive. Research by Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers scientist Daniel Silver, MD, PhD, is exploring this puzzling minority.
“We were wondering about these ER-positive tumors,” says Dr. Silver, “Where do they come from? Are they caused by the mutant BRCA1 gene, or are they sporadic, …


Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers Breast Cancer Program

Eric Winer, MD
Research into improving the effectiveness of therapies for breast cancer continues at a rapid pace in the Breast Cancer Program. More than 40 clinical trials for breast cancer are taking place at Dana-Farber or our affiliated institutions. Researchers are working to develop new agents for drug-resistant cancers, identify additional subtypes of tumors that respond to targeted treatments, uncover the biochemical signs of a tumor’s aggressiveness and vulnerability to therapy, and devise new approaches to cancer prevention and      supportive care.
Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers (SSC) investigators are tackling cancer on multiple fronts, including triple-negative breast cancers (so …


Exploring the Molecular Workings of Breast and Gynecologic Cancers

J. Dirk Iglehart, MD
By exploring the molecular workings of breast cancer and gynecologic cancers, researchers and clinicians at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers (SSC) are gaining new insights into the many subtypes of these diseases. Under the leadership of J. Dirk Iglehart, MD, they are also studying how genetic similarities among different cancers can be exploited to develop more effective therapies.
The center’s many clinical trials – about 65 are currently open and a comprehensive list is available at www.dana-farber.org/ clinicaltrials – provide patients with the latest treatments and therapeutic developments. Many trials evaluate treatments prior …


Breast cancer patients benefit from telephone-monitored exercise

Home-based activity program can prevent treatment-related weight gain
Getting more exercise may be the last thing a breast cancer patient feels like doing while undergoing the rigors of chemotherapy and radiation. However, new research by scientists in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers has found that weekly phone consultations enabled patients to step up their physical activity, improve their quality of life, and prevent weight gain that often occurs during breast cancer treatment.
Jennifer Ligibel, MD, and colleagues are studying the impact of exercise in breast cancer patients with the eventual …