Posts tagged ‘Rahul Jandial’
Each study plays a role. Each adds to what we know about cancer. Each brings us closer to cures.
In Part 1, we explained ways in which researchers are seeking to fight cancer through basic science.
Part 2: Studies of risk and prevention
Addressing risk among Latinas
Jeffrey Weitzel, M.D., director of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics, has focused much of his research on understanding the role and prevalence of BRCA mutations in the Latin American population. Specific mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. » Continue Reading
“With the introduction of personalized medicines such as Herceptin, and many more on the way, women are living longer with breast cancer.”
So says Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in City of Hope’s Division of Neurosurgery. But the evolution of breast cancer therapy leaves doctors and patients with a troubling question: How to fight increasingly common breast cancer tumors that grow in the brain.
Herceptin battles breast cancers that have a mutated HER2 gene, and it’s improved survival for thousands of women. Many patients, though, develop breast cancer metastases in the brain even though medication is controlling the breast cancer in the rest of their body, he says, “and those patients are dying from their brain tumors.”
In one study, half of the breast cancer patients with a mutation to HER2 still developed brain metastases even though chemotherapy was suppressing cancer in the rest of the body. Of those diagnosed with brain metastases, half died from the brain tumors.
About 200,000 cancer patients in the U.S. each year get metastatic brain tumors. Jandial says that the metastatic brain tumors were not considered as immediate a concern for breast cancer patients in the past because the brain metastases occurred in the late stages of the disease, when breast cancer’s spread to other organs caused most of the complications and deaths.
Jandial recently received a $250,000 gift from an anonymous donor to support his research into breast cancers that metastasize to the brain. He plans to study tissue samples from breast cancer patients with HER2 mutations and brain metastases to better understand what makes these cells tick.