Nancy U. Lin, MD
Medical Oncologist in the Department of Medical Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
2013-2014 BCRF Project:
(The ANN INC. Award)
Co-Investigator: Eric P. Winer, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Among women with metastatic breast cancer, 10% to15% will eventually develop brain metastases (cancer that has spread to the brain). In patients with more aggressive tumor subtypes (for example, HER2-positive or triple negative), the risk of brain metastases may reach as high as 25 to 46 percent. Treatment options for patients with breast cancer and brain metastases are limited, and very few drugs have been tested in this setting. Over the past several years, with support from the BCRF, Drs. Nancy Lin, Eric Winer, and colleagues have completed multiple clinical trials to test potential new treatments for patients with advanced breast cancer, including patients with cancer that has metastasized (spread) to the brain. Recently, they reported data from a phase 2 clinical trial testing the role of bevacizumab (Avastin) given in combination with conventional chemotherapy. They found that that over 60% of patients experienced significant tumor shrinkage in the brain metastases and that many of the responses were long-lasting. Based on these promising results, Drs. Lin and Winer are planning a large phase 3 clinical trial to test the value of bevacizumab in this patient population who have few standard treatment options. They have also nearly completed enrollment to a clinical trial of the oral HER2-blocking medicine, neratinib, in patients with breast cancer brain metastases and anticipate the first results may be available within the next year. Finally, in collaboration with other researchers in the context of the EMBRACE (Ending Metastatic Breast Cancer for Everyone) cohort study, Drs. Lin and Winer have developed several new laboratory models for breast cancer brain metastases and are in the process of testing combinations of novel targeted treatments, with the goal of identifying the most promising combinations to push forward into clinical testing.
Dr. Nancy Uan-Tsin Lin is a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Center at Dana-Farber, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lin received her medical degree at Harvard Medical School and subsequently completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care. Dr. Lin’s focus is on developing novel targeted therapies for patients with advanced breast cancer and on exploring opportunities to overcome drug resistance. She is the Principal Investigator of numerous clinical trials for patients with metastatic breast cancer.
Dr. Lin’s honors include a Young Investigator and Career Development Awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the George Canellos Award for Excellence in Clinical Investigation and Clinical Care. She is a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC), and the European School of Oncology Metastatic Task Force.