Vered Stearns, MD of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins discusses Taking an individualized approach to preventing and treating breast cancer, specifically metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer in African American Women.
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Vered Stearns, M.D., and Roisin Connolly, M.D., of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, obtained one such grant. Their team uses an individualized approach, specifically metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer, to prevent and treat breast cancer (TNBC). Compared to white women, African American women are more likely to get TNBC and more likely to get the most violent form and to die from it. Treatments for TNBC are less successful and have harsher side effects than other drugs for breast cancer, despite the strong need for cures, in part because many of the trials that have contributed to groundbreaking cancer treatments in the past have been tested mainly in white women.
By focusing on the minority patients who have traditionally faced the greatest risk, Stearns aims to change that and change the outlook for women facing a TNBC diagnosis.
A Fascinating Time
Most of the laboratory work for this project is being performed by Dr. Evanthia Roussos Torres and her team.
To introduce to these varied studies, Stearns has already found promising new therapies. A new combination therapy could be able to turn tumors that usually don't respond to immunotherapy into ones that do, her team's research suggests.
In TNBC patients, the researchers have started an early phase clinical trial. They will be looking to see if the combination therapy will reflect a new therapeutic route for patients left behind by previous treatment advances as they await results in the coming months.
Stearns said it's an exciting time for the industry, with various advanced tools now available to determine the characteristics of cancer, discover new therapies, and obtain useful knowledge from millions of individuals' medical records. She said she hopes that continued cooperation will continue to lead to fresh breakthroughs that can help everyone.
Together towards the end of inequalities
Thanks to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, researchers such as Stearns and her team continue to open doors for cancer sufferers with the greatest burden. And because we're never going to stop being inspired by the legacy of Stuart, we're going to continue "Fight Like Hell" to end cancer inequalities.