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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Westchester Women's Award

Area(s) of Focus

Jose Baselga, MD, PhD

Physician in Chief
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York
Member, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program
Attending, Department of Medicine

Current Research

At least 70% of breast cancers are classified as estrogen receptor positive (ER+), meaning that the tumor cells make the estrogen receptor and that tumor growth requires estrogen. Inhibiting estrogen-driven pathways with anti-estrogen drugs such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors can stop the growth of these tumors. However, not all ER+ breast cancers respond to these targeted therapies. Research suggests that the increased activity of a growth pathway called PI3K in ER+ breast cancers may play a role in resistance of these cancers to anti-hormone therapies. Work by Dr. Baselga’s team has shown that inhibition of both PI3K and the estrogen receptor dramatically inhibits tumor cell growth in laboratory models of breast cancer, but the precise reason for this is not well understood. The focus of his 2014-2015 BCRF research is to characterize the coordinated events between the PI3K pathway and estrogen receptor signaling that lead to drug resistance, to identify possible therapeutic targets that mediate this process and to validate them in laboratory models.


José Baselga, MD, PhD, is a researcher and clinician focusing primarily on breast cancer. His laboratory focuses on mechanisms that limit the sensitivity to targeted therapy in solid tumors, in particular to PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibitors and anti-HER2 agents. He has also been involved in the development of several molecularly targeted agents including trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and lapatinib (Tykerb®).

Latest from Jose Baselga