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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The ULTA Beauty Award

Area(s) of Focus

Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO

Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs
Professor of Radiation Oncology
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Current Research

Dr. Pierce is leading an early-phase clinical trial combining the drug, veliparib, with radiation therapy to help improve patient outcome. The study opened at the University of Michigan in early 2012. Several partner institutions (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Duke University) have also joined and are ready to contribute patients. Enrollment to the study is anticipated to complete within the next year. Dr. Pierce’s group will also complete the analysis of patient tumor samples for biomarkers of sensitivity to PARP inhibition so they can determine markers for future patients potentially sensitive to PARP inhibition.

Mid-Year Summary

Dr. Pierce’s group has made significant progress in a trial of veliparib with radiation therapy. The study opened in January 2012 at the University of Michigan, and subsequently at four other sites: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and recently Duke. We plan to enroll 30 patients; 22 patients have been enrolled through December 2013 and 4 patients are already projected for enrollment in January 2014. However, 2 of the 26 enrolled patients will need to be replaced due to withdrawal prior to study enrollment. Thus we anticipate needing to accrue 6 additional patients. Abbott is providing drug and distribution services, and TBCRC and the University of Michigan are also providing some supplemental funding.


Dr. Lori Pierce received her medical degree from Duke University in 1985 and completed residency in Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. Pierce was a senior investigator in the Radiation Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of Michigan in 1992. She is currently Professor of Radiation Oncology and Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs. In 2010 she was chosen as an inaugural member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and was elected to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors.

She has published more than 100 papers and book chapters on aspects of radiotherapy in the treatment of breast cancer, and her work has been funded by the NCI, Department of Defense Funds for Breast Cancer Research, and private industry.

Dr. Pierce’s research focuses on the use of radiotherapy in the multi-modality treatment of breast cancer, with an emphasis on contemporary radiotherapy treatment planning techniques, the use of radiation in women with breast cancer and a breast cancer susceptibility gene, and potential radio-sensitization with PARP inhibitor drugs.

Honors awarded to Dr. Pierce have included travel grants from the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and the European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, teaching awards, the American Medical Association (AMA) Women Physician Mentor Award, the Sara Goddard Power Award, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Scholar, Morton M. Kligerman Award, League of Educational Excellence Award, and yearly listings in "America’s Top Doctors," "Who’s Who in Medical Sciences Education," and "Best Doctors in America."