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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

Tory Burch Award
The Fashion Footwear Charitable Foundation of New York Award

Area(s) of Focus

Larry Norton, MD

Medical Director of Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York
BCRF Scientific Director

Current Research

In addition to serving as BCRF’s Scientific Director, Dr. Norton is also involved in collaborations with BCRF grantees, Taha Merghoub, Jedd Wolchok, Sarat Chandarlapaty, Maurizio Scaltriti and José Baselga on projects aimed to improve treatments in breast cancer. Immunotherapy has re-emerged as a potential strategy for the treatment of breast cancer. Effective immunization against breast cancer is difficult, however  because breast cancer arises from cells that were once normal and the body has elaborate controls to stop the immune system from attacking “host” tissues. However, research by Drs. Merghoub, Norton and Wolchok has revealed a way to trick the immune system by using a vaccine from a different species. This research has moved from the laboratory to patients and in the last year, the researchers completed a clinical trial to test the safety and feasibility of the vaccine against breast cancer. In addition to these studies, the research team is pursuing other strategies to improve tumor response to immunotherapy including radiation therapy, which has been shown to activate the immune system, and several targeted combination approaches.  The investigators are also collaborating with Dr. Heather McArthur, to test the effects of immunotherapy in combination with cryoablation, a technique that uses freezing temperatures to kill tumor cells and activate a local immune response in patients with early stage breast cancer. Collectively, these studies will have a significant impact on advancing immunotherapy, which has been successful for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, to improve breast cancer outcomes.

One of the revolutionary advances of our current time is the ability to examine DNA in great depth, so that specific changes underlying cancer can be defined and provide new targets for drugs. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has initiated a massive effort to analyze the DNA from tumors, including those from patients with metastatic breast cancers, in order to find these targets, treat patients with drugs directed at the targets and monitor response to therapy. The goal of the BCRF research led by Drs. Chandarlapaty, Scaltriti, Norton and Baselga is to determine molecular mechanisms of resistance so as to eliminate these impediments and improve breast cancer outcomes.


Dr. Larry Norton is Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and has served as its Scientific Director since the Foundation's inception in 1993.

Dr. Norton is the founding incumbent of the Norna S. Sarofim Chair of Clinical Oncology at MSKCC and a Professor of Medicine in the Weill Cornell Medical College. He received his AB with Highest Distinction from the University of Rochester and his MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He trained in medicine and medical research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Dr. Norton has dedicated his life to the eradication of cancer by activities in medical care, laboratory and clinical research, advocacy, and government. He was a U.S. Presidential appointee to the National Cancer Advisory Board (the board of directors of the NCI) serving as Chair of the Budget Sub-Committee. A former Director of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, he served as President of ASCO and subsequently Chair of the ASCO Foundation, now the Conquer Cancer Foundation. He has been Vice-Chair of the Lymphoma Committee and a long-serving Chair of the Breast Committee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (now the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology). He has served on or chaired numerous committees of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He is an editorial board member or reviewer for numerous medical journals and on the advisory boards of many advocacy and medical institutions including the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center and several Specialized Programs of Research Excellence.

Dr. Norton's personal research has focused on the use of medicines to treat cancer, particularly the application of mathematical methods to optimizing dose and schedule. He has been involved in the development of several effective agents including paclitaxel and trastuzumab. He co-invented the Norton-Simon Model of cancer growth which has broadly influenced cancer therapy, and more recently the self-seeding concept of cancer metastasis and growth. He is the Principal Investigator of an NCI Program Project Grant in Models of Human Breast Cancer and an author of more than 350 published articles and many book chapters.

For his work Dr. Norton has received many honors including election to Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha and recognition from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Society for MSKCC, the Italian-American Foundation for Cancer Research, the Don Shula Foundation, SHARE (NY), the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. He received ASCO's highest honor, the David A. Karnofsky Award, in 2004, and was a McGuire Lecturer at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. He has served as a visiting professor throughout the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, Israel, and Asia and has trained many cancer physicians and researchers. In 2010, Dr. Norton was one of three individuals honored for clinical excellence and presented with a National Physician of the Year Award by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. He also received the 2013 Gianni Bonadonna Award from ASCO, in recognition of his distinguished record of accomplishments in advancing the field of breast cancer.