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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Play for P.I.N.K. Award

Area(s) of Focus

Edith A. Perez, MD

Deputy Director At Large, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
Serene M. and Frances C. Durling Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Group Vice Chair, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
Mayo Clinic
Jacksonville, Florida

Current Research

About 15-20% of breast tumors are characterized by very high levels of the HER2 protein. About 75-80 percent of HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer patients respond well to HER2-targeted therapies like trastuzumab (Herceptin®). The challenge now is to figure out how to treat the 20-25% of women who don’t. Dr. Perez and her colleagues have taken on this challenge. Using genomic data from a clinical trial of HER2+ patients, they have identified a set of genes that are associated with favorable outcome after trastuzumab. They built an assay based on these genes that allows them to identify the individuals who are unlikely to benefit from the drug and will therefore require other therapeutic options. The assay was very robust in early testing, but in order to bring it into the clinic, they must test it in at least one more set of patients. Therefore, the primary object of Dr.Perez’s 2014-2015 BCRF project is to use patient samples from a major international trial of trastuzumab in HER2+ patients, the ALTTO trial, to further validate this potentially powerful screening tool so that it can be integrated into the clinical management of HER2+ breast cancer and improve outcomes in this disease.


Edith A. Perez, MD, a hematologist/oncologist at Mayo Clinic, is Deputy Director at Large for the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Florida. She is Chair of the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program, Group Vice Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, and a Serene M. and Frances C. Durling Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology at Mayo Medical School. She is a cancer specialist and an internationally known translational researcher at Mayo Clinic. Her roles include positions within Mayo Clinic, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Perez has developed, and is involved in, a wide range of clinical trials exploring the use of new therapeutic agents for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. She leads and has helped develop basic research studies to evaluate the role of genetic markers in the development and aggressiveness of breast cancer. She has authored more than 700 research articles and abstracts and is invited frequently to lecture at national and international meetings.

Dr. Perez earned her medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan and completed her residency in internal medicine and specialty training at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California and the University of California, Davis.

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