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BCRF Grantee Since

2012

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 the need for dose adjustments among older women with breast cancer. The goal of Dr. Hurria’s 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, Dr. Hurria has initiated a multicenter study of 500 adults age 65 and older with stage I through III breast cancer who will receive chemotherapy. The trajectory of general health and daily functioning of these individuals will be compared to that of 100 healthy controls (age 65 and older, no history of cancer) and 100 breast cancer controls (age 65 and older, stage I-III breast cancer, who will not be receiving chemotherapy). Now 130 total participants across 13 collaborating institutions have enrolled. Dr. Hurria’s team has also analyzed 31 blood samples from patients before and after chemotherapy to begin evaluating how treatment impacts organ function and biological markers of aging. Ultimately, their data will serve as the basis for future intervention studies aimed at decreasing the risk of chemotherapy toxicity and maintaining the functioning and health of older adults with breast cancer.

Mid-Year Summary

Dr. Hurria’s team has now enrolled 256 total participants across 13 collaborating institutions in a multicenter study of 500 adults age 65 and older with stage I-III breast cancer who will receive chemotherapy. In the last three months, they have accrued 54 participants (17 breast cancer cases, 7 breast cancer controls, and 30 healthy controls) on the study. In this period, BCRF funding has enabled accrual of 37 participants to the control groups. Ultimately, the data from the study will serve as the basis for future intervention studies aimed at decreasing the risk of chemotherapy toxicity and maintaining the functioning and health of older adults with breast cancer.

Bio

Dr. Arti Hurria is a leader in the field of geriatric oncology and nationally recognized for her research and clinical work focusing on optimizing care for older adults with cancer. Since 2006, she has held the position of Director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center where she is also Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research. Dr. Hurria received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Northwestern University. Following a residency in medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, she completed a geriatric fellowship in the Harvard Geriatric Fellowship Program, and a hematology-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). She subsequently joined the faculty at MSKCC, where she served as Co-Principal Investigator on the institutional NIH P20 grant “Development of an Aging and Cancer Center at MSKCC.” In 2007, Dr. Hurria helped found the Cancer and Aging Research Group, a national organization whose mission is to study the biology, treatment, and survivorship issues unique to older adults with cancer, and to develop a national network of healthcare providers dedicated to improving research, treatment and mentoring of young investigators in geriatric oncology.

Dr. Hurria is a recipient of the Paul Beeson Career Development Award in Aging Research (K23 AG026749-01) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology-Association of Specialty Professors-Junior Development Award in Geriatric Oncology. In addition, 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 Chair of the Cancer and Aging Research Group. She is co-editor of three books in geriatric oncology (Springer, Cambridge University Press, Informa), is on the editorial board for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Geriatric Oncology. In 2013, she received the American Society of Clinical Oncology B.J. Kennedy Award for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology.