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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Housewares Charity Foundation Award

Nadine M. Tung, MD

Director, Cancer Risk and Prevention Program
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Current Research

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) comprises approximately 15 percent of all breast cancer and is the most common cancer caused by mutations in the BRCA genes. The clinical management of TNBC and other BRCA-related breast cancers is challenging due the often aggressive behavior and lack of targeted therapies. Many triple negative breast cancers that are not caused by BRCA mutations often have deficient DNA repair processes, making cisplatin, a DNA damaging agent,  a promising targeted therapy for TNBC as well as BRCA-induced breast cancers. Cisplatin causes a type of DNA damage that cannot be repaired by tumor cells that harbor mutation in the BRCA genes, leading to tumor cell death. While not typically used to treat breast cancer,  cisplatin has demonstrated good activity in clinical trials of BRCA mutation carriers with breast cancer. The INFORM trial  is a randomized clinical trial designed to compare the relative effectiveness of cisplatin and standard chemotherapy (e.g., doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, “AC”) in women with early stage breast cancer who have inherited BRCA mutations. The trial is being conducted at Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center (Drs. Nadine Tung, Judy Garber and Stuart Schnitt) in collaboration with several other BCRF-funded investigators at other institutions. The investigators are in the process of collecting research biopsies that will be used to determine which patients respond better to each therapy. The study has now enrolled 56 patients towards target accrual of 170 patients. An additional five centers are in the process of opening the trial through the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC).



Nadine Tung, MD is the Director of the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) which she established in 1997 to evaluate patients and families with hereditary cancer syndromes. She is also a breast medical oncologist and a member of the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center as well as an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Princeton University in 1980 and Harvard Medical School in 1984.

Dr. Tung's research focuses on hereditary causes of breast cancer as well as effective strategies for breast cancer prevention and treatment. Much of her research has focused on women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, studying the genetic and environmental factors that influence cancer development as well as the biology and prognosis of the breast cancers they develop. Through BCRF, she is overseeing a multi-center, national trial evaluating whether cisplatin is superior to standard chemotherapy for women with BRCA1/2 mutations and newly diagnosed breast cancer. Her research also focuses on identifying other inherited gene mutations that predispose to breast cancer. Other areas of Dr. Tung’s research include evaluating the prognosis and optimal treatment of triple negative breast cancer. Dr. Tung serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Prevention Committee and Cancer Genetics Subcommittee.