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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Housewares Charity Foundation Award

Area(s) of Focus

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% of all breast cancer and is defined by lack of expression of the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2). The clinical management of TNBC is challenging due its aggressive behavior and lack of targeted therapy. Some TNBCs express a receptor for the male hormones, androgens (AR+), which may be a target for treatment with anti-AR therapies. The majority of breast cancers that develop in women with inherited BRCA1 mutations are TNBC, but the frequency of AR positivity in BRCA1-associated TNBC has not been well studied. In their 2014-2015 BCRF project, Drs. Tung and Schnitt will compare the frequency of AR positivity in TNBC with and without an inherited BRCA1 mutation and evaluate whether AR is associated with any clinical factors or tumor pathologic factors. Determining the frequency of AR positivity in BRCA1+ TNBC could have significant clinical implications including the likelihood that AR inhibitors would be effective in this patient population.


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. 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.