Director, Clalit National Israeli Cancer Control Center
Professor and Chairman, Department of Community Medicine
Carmel Medical Center
Breast cancer outcomes and response to treatment are affected by multiple factors, including demographic characteristics (such as age at diagnosis and ethnic group), environmental exposures (such as reproductive patterns and obesity) and biological/genetic characteristics of the patient. Dr. Rennert’s BCRF research aims to identify sub-sets of women with differing patterns of disease behavior, such as recurrence in the same or contralateral breast, metastases (and site of metastases) and death due to breast cancer. Dr. Rennert is studying these sub-groups for differences in their tumor molecular characteristics, inherited genetic mutations and environmental exposures in an effort to better understand the causes of breast cancer. Participants from this study are also part of the Game-On initiative of the National Cancer Institute where samples representing different populations will be studied for a large variety of genetic variations called SNPs that may be important in predicting breast cancer risk. Dr. Rennert and his colleagues expect to be able to study more than 2,000 women and gain understanding of the molecular underpinnings of these cases. They are particularly interested in understanding the reasons of different survival patterns in different population sub-groups such as young women compared to older ones, Jewish women compared to Arab women and more. For example, they can identify differences in survival that reflect the existence of a mutation in the BRCA genes, or differences in survival that are the result of the molecular type of breast cancer that developed in different women. In addition, they are seeking to understand if certain health habits are responsible for the development of a specific cancer sub-type. They have established a large cohort of more than 6000 women with breast cancer which have provided vast exposure information along with blood and tissue samples, which are being analyzed for a large variety of markers.
Gad Rennert has been chairman of the Carmel Medical Center Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology since 1992. He is a professor and the head of the public health and epidemiology teaching group at the Technion Faculty of Medicine.
Professor Rennert is also Director of the National Israeli Cancer Control Center and the Department of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention of Clalit and is leading its National Personalized Medicine Program offering testing, advice and policy on individualized molecular testing which dictates cancer risk and suitability for cancer treatments. He is responsible for the national breast and colorectal cancer detection programs in Israel and is a member of the National Oncology Council.
In 1984, Professor Rennert received his medical degree from Ben-Gurion Medical School. He received his PhD in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. He focuses his studies on understanding the behavioral and biological causes of cancer, with special emphasis on gene-environment interactions. He has been an invited speaker in key conferences, such as the Personalized Medicine World Conference, UPCP, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association of Cancer Research, St. Galen Cancer Prevention conference and San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
In addition to his activities at the Technion, Dr. Rennert is a reviewer for more than 30 international journals, an associate editor of two and serves on 10 editorial boards. He has published more than 200 papers in leading journals such as the NEJM, Science and Nature.