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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The ULTA Beauty Award

Area(s) of Focus

Lyndsay N. Harris, MD

Diana Hyland Chair in Breast Cancer
Director, Breast Cancer Program
Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology and Oncology
University Hospitals - Seidman Cancer Center
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Cleveland, Ohio

Current Research

Determining which breast cancer patients receive the most benefit from targeted therapy is critical to the success of personalized medicine. The focus of Dr. Harris’s BCRF research is to define which patient benefits from a particular therapy, using biomarkers that are measured in the tumor tissue or blood of patients undergoing those treatments. With BCRF support, her laboratory has developed a novel system to predict what treatment a patient needs. Her group was the first to demonstrate in two completely independent clinical trials that immune activity modulation after a single-dose of trastuzumab can predict response to preoperative combination chemo/anti-HER2 therapy. They have also shown that certain genes are associated with resistance to this combination and that they change after one dose of therapy, suggesting that these changes may be early events that allow the tumor to become resistant during therapy. In the coming year, Dr. Harris will continue this work to further delineate the role of immune pathways that are modulated by the anti-HER2 drugs trastuzumab and pertuzumab and determine if immune signatures predict response to dual-targeted preoperative therapy using data from three multicenter clinical trials. She will also determine how newer HER2 targeted therapies and other biologics can overcome the resistance induced by certain gene alterations. These studies will lead to a better understanding of the mechansims of resistance and how to design personalized treatment for HER2 breast cancer patients.


Dr. Harris' research has focused on the development of biomarkers and targeted therapeutics to improve outcome for breast cancer patients. Her laboratory uses genomic technologies to develop breast cancer signatures that can be used to optimize selection for therapy. She is Director of the Seidman Breast Cancer Program at UH/Case Western Reserve with 20 years experience as a clinician, clinical-trialist and translational researcher. She has published more than 100 scientific research articles and made contributions to the understanding of the molecular subtypes of breast cancer and the implication of gene, gene expression, and protein expression profiles on treatment response and resistance. She serves on a variety of national and international committees for American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Cancer and Leukemia B (CALGB), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), Pan American Cancer Trials Network, (Neo) ALTTO International Adjuvant Breast Cancer Clinical Trial and Novartis and serves on scientific review committees for the U.S. Department of Defense, Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, National Cancer Institute and ASCO. Her career goal is to help patients by better understanding biomarkers of response and resistance to therapy to make better choices when selecting treatment for breast cancer.