Co-Chair, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group
Professor, Department of Medicine
Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, New York
Late relapses account for up to one-half of all breast cancer recurrences. The research of Drs. Sparano, Comis and Miller is focused on understanding the contributions of the tumor and patient-related factors on late recurrences of breast cancer with the goal of identifying possible pharmacologic and/or lifestyle interventions to reduce risk. In 2013, The Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups (CCG), a non-profit member organization of National Cancer Institute-sponsored Cooperative Groups, created the North American Breast Cancer Groups Biospecimen Bank for Determinants of Late Relapse in Operable Breast Cancer. It is a resource of archived primary and metastatic tumor tissue, blood and DNA collected from more than 15,000 women who participated in two large cooperative group cancer treatment trials, TAILORx and E5103. Drs. Sparano, Comis and Miller will use the biospecimen collection to identify any genetic differences that increase future risk of breast cancer relapse in previously treated patients, which could lead to the discovery of other new drugs and treatments. Importantly, the biorepository will be made available to researchers in the cooperative groups and across the scientific community, which will accelerate important discoveries that will improve breast cancer outcomes.
Joseph Sparano is Professor of Medicine & Women's Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Associate Chairman for Clinical Research in the Department of Oncology at Montefiore Medical Center, and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center. He also serves as Vice Chair of ECOG-ACRIN, Vice-Chairman of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium, and Vice-Chair of the NCI Breast Cancer Correlative Science Committee. Dr. Sparano's research has focused on developmental therapeutic approaches for breast cancer, lymphoma, and HIV-associated cancers, and therapeutic applications of genomic profiling in cancer. He is the chair of the TAILORx clinical trial in breast cancer, an NCI-sponsored trial designed that is integrating multi-parameter gene expression profiling in clinical practice (http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/noteworthy-trials/tailorx). He is also the recipient of funding from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation that is supporting creation of a biospecimen bank designed to identify determinants of late relapse.