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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Pink Promises Award in honor of Sharon Lord Greenspan

Area(s) of Focus

Lisa A. Carey, MD

Physician-in-Chief, North Carolina Cancer Hospital
Chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology, UNC School of Medicine
Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research
Medical Director, UNC Breast Center
Lineberger Cancer Center
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Current Research

Breast cancer is widely recognized as a collection of diseases comprised of different subtypes. Scientists are now discovering that the major subtypes of breast cancer can be further sub-classified, and this information will ultimately lead to better treatments. Dr. Carey's research is focused on understanding the impact of these subtypes on how tumors respond to treatment. Through BCRF support, Dr. Carey and her colleagues have acquired blood and tissue samples from breast cancer patients participating in clinical trials, and studies from these samples have provided great insight into the molecular determinants of treatment response. Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer is the most common kind of breast cancer, and one in which many years of endocrine therapy are key to preventing relapse. In the coming year, Dr. Carey and her team will examine gene expression in 300 tumors from patients treated with tamoxifen alone to identify which gene changes may contribute to tamoxifen resistance. They will also examine gene expression in hormone receptor-negative tumors from patients treated with neoadjuvant (pre-surgical) therapy to compare markers of immune cell infiltration and immune cell activation in tumors that responded to therapy versus those that did not. These studies will advance our understanding of tumor heterogeneity and its impact on breast cancer behavior and response to therapy.


Lisa A. Carey, MD is an experienced clinician-scientist, Division Chief of UNC Hematology/Oncology and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Associate Director for Clinical Research. She has developed and been PI of multiple clinical and translational trials and has a particular interest in the clinical implications of different molecular subtypes of breast cancer. She was the lead author of a seminal JAMA article examining racial disparities among breast cancer molecular subtypes and the Clinical Cancer Research article that first explained the paradox of high chemosensitivity but poor outcomes among certain types of breast cancer. She was also PI of CALGB 40601, a randomized phase III trial of dual versus single HER2-directed therapy with mandatory research biopsies to identify predictive biomarkers. She serves as the mentor for medical students, medicine residents, and oncology fellows as well as two of the junior faculty in Medical Oncology. Dr. Carey serves on the NCI’s CTAC’s Breast Cancer Steering Committee. She was awarded a Doris Duke Clinician Scientist Award in 1999, a Career Development Award from the NCI in 2000, was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2008, and was awarded the NCI Director’s Service Award in 2011.