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NJ Experts Discuss Genetics, Latest Treatments and Prevention Methods During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Released: 13-Sep-2012 9:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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CINJ Experts Available for Comment on Latest in Prevention, Treatment, and Research

Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J., September 14, 2012 – The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) is making experts available to discuss the risks, and options for treatment and prevention surrounding breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society 227,000 women nationwide will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and while the disease affects mostly women, men also can be diagnosed with breast cancer. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

CINJ experts available for comment include:

Deborah Toppmeyer, MD, director of both the Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center and the LIFE (Ladies Professional Golf Association In the Fight to Eradicate breast cancer) Center at CINJ. She also is the chief medical officer at CINJ and an associate professor of medicine and at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Toppmeyer can discuss the molecular characteristics of breast cancer and how targeted therapies are helping breast cancer patients improve their quality of life. She also specializes in young women with breast cancer.

Thomas Kearney, MD, FACS, director, breast care services; and chief, section of breast surgery, at CINJ; and associate professor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Kearney is a surgical oncologist who can discuss the multidisciplinary approach taken at CINJ to removing breast cancer through surgery and the options for breast conservation.

Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at CINJ, and an assistant professor of medicine and pharmacology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Ganesan specializes in the treatment of breast cancer and conducts research on the mechanisms behind the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene, which when mutated can cause women and men to be at a higher risk for developing breast cancer. He also studies the role DNA plays in breast cancer.

Sharad Goyal, MD, is a radiation oncologist at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and an assistant professor of radiation oncology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Along with treating patients, Dr. Goyal is part of a research team that is examining cancer incidence rates in South Asian Indians in the U.S. and comparing them to non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks in the U.S. He and colleagues also are comparing cancer incidence rates in U.S. South Asian Indians with those of the Indian subcontinent.

Bruce G. Haffty, MD, chief of radiation oncology at CINJ and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and professor and chair, Department of Radiation Oncology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Haffty has a special research interest in radiation therapies targeting breast cancer and leads a comprehensive team of specialists, who are exploring more rapid ways of delivering radiation and investigating novel drugs which may enhance the effects of radiation in breast cancer and other cancers.

Atif Khan, MD, radiation oncologist at CINJ and assistant professor of radiation oncology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Khan leads the department’s brachytherapy unit and has a special interest in breast brachytherapy. Brachytherapy involves the placement of radioactive “seeds” directly into or around tumors, allowing for a high dose of radiation where it is needed while sparing other normal tissues.

Laurie J. Kirstein, MD, FACS, surgical oncologist at CINJ and assistant professor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She is the director of CINJ’s Breast Fellowship Program and can discuss her role in training surgeons in the specialty of breast cancer and breast disease. Dr. Kirstein also has conducted research on how to maintain breast preservation for larger breast cancers, while also employing oncoplastic techniques to maintain good cosmetic outcomes.

Aparna Kolli, MD, surgical oncologist at the Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center at CINJ, and instructor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Kolli’s research interests include health care disparities focusing on the South Asian population. Among Asian Indian and Pakistani women in particular, breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer, and the leading cause of cancer death in women in this group, according to recent statistics from the National Cancer Institute.

Antoinette R. Tan, MD, MHSc, director, Phase I/Developmental Therapeutics Program at CINJ and associate professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Tan is responsible for identifying and developing new clinical trial opportunities and bringing those ideas to the clinic in a rapid fashion. Clinical trials test new treatments and new ways of using existing treatments for cancer. Phase I clinical trials in particular test metabolic and pharmacologic reaction of drugs in small groups of humans and help scientists measure safe dosing levels. Tan can discuss the benefit of Phase I clinical trials as they pertain to the development of new therapies for breast cancer.

Serena Wong, MD, medical oncologist at CINJ and assistant professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Wong can discuss the difficulties that survivors of breast cancer face, often as a direct result of their cancer treatment. She is currently collaborating with colleagues to investigate the effects of chemotherapy on cognitive and functional behavior in patients who have completed therapy for early-stage breast cancer (a phenomenon commonly referred to as “chemo-brain”).

Dorothy Pierce, APN, advanced practice nurse at CINJ. Ms. Pierce educates her patients on the importance of, and how to do, breast self-examinations. In women who have had breast cancer, this practice is considered a proactive approach to identifying recurrence at an earlier stage. She also can discuss how breast self exams play a vital role in a woman’s overall health and how they should be incorporated into a woman’s regular routine.

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