You are here

BCRF Grantee Since

2012

Donor Recognition

The Holiday House Award

Area(s) of Focus

Arti Hurria, MD

Director, Cancer and Aging Research Program
Associate Professor of Medical Oncology
Member, Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Duarte, California

Current Research

Women 65 and older make up almost half of all new breast cancer diagnoses in the United States. However, limited data exist to guide chemotherapy treatment recommendations, including the risk of treatment-related side effects and long-term impact of treatment on daily functioning among older women with breast cancer. The goal of Dr. Hurria’s BCRF study is to understand how chemotherapy impacts the health and functioning of older adults with breast cancer and to design a tool to identify patients most at risk of developing chemotherapy-related side effects. To accomplish this goal, she and her group have initiated a multicenter study of 500 adults age 65 and older with stage I-III breast cancer who will receive chemotherapy. They are following these patients from pre-chemotherapy to end of treatment in order to examine the association between chemotherapy and changes in the patients’ ability to complete daily activities. In the coming year, they will expand the study to include additional timepoints (scheduled follow ups to collect patient information) in order to better understand how breast cancer and breast cancer treatment impact the daily functioning of older adults over time. Ultimately, these data could be used to inform shared decision-making regarding treatment in older adults with breast cancer and guide personalized methods to maintain or improve physical function.

In a second project aimed to improve treatment planning for patients with breast cancer, Dr. Hurria and her team propose to determine whether key biomarkers linked to poor health in older adults are applicable to patients with breast cancer of all ages. Research has found that elevated levels of three molecules called D-dimer, Interleukin-6 (IL-6), and C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with a variety of diseases and greater frailty in older adults. In her study, Dr. Hurria will determine whether levels of these biomarkers can identify, prior to chemotherapy, breast cancer patients of any age who are more likely to experience chemotherapy-induced side effects and who may require assistance with daily activities as a result of their prescribed therapy. This information will enable clinicians to more effectively customize treatment planning, minimize unnecessary toxic side effects, and improve patients’ quality of life.

Bio

Dr. Arti Hurria is a geriatrician and oncologist, focusing on care of the older patient with breast cancer. She completed a geriatric fellowship in the Harvard Geriatric Fellowship Program, followed by a hematology-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Hurria is the Director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program at City of Hope. She is a recipient of the Paul Beeson Career Development Award in Aging Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology-Association of Specialty Professors-Junior Development Award in Geriatric Oncology. Dr. Hurria is Vice Chair of the Alliance Cancer in the Elderly Committee, Chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Senior Adult Oncology Panel, President for the International Society of Geriatric Oncology, and Editor-in Chief of the Journal of Geriatric Oncology. In addition, Dr. Hurria is PI on a U13 grant in collaboration with the NIA and NCI to identify and develop research methodology that will lead evidence-based recommendations to improve clinical care for older adults with cancer. She also serves as national PI on an R01 funded grant evaluating clinical and biological predictors of chemotherapy toxicity in older adults with breast cancer. These grants are executed in collaboration with members from the Cancer and Aging Research Group, which Dr. Hurria founded and leads. Additionally, Dr. Hurria is multi-PI on a R01 funded study evaluating the cognitive function of long-term survivors of breast cancer and PI on a U13 grant which will focus on incorporating aging research across specialties and providing a forum to support the expanded pool of physician-scientists focused in aging research. In 2013, she received the ASCO B.J. Kennedy Award for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology.