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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The ANN INC. Award

Nancy U. Lin, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Clinical Director, Breast Oncology Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts

Current Research

Although significant advances have been made in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, nearly all women with stage IV breast cancer will die of their disease. Drs. Lin and Winer are actively pursuing new and promising alternatives for advanced breast cancer.  Over the past several years, with support from BCRF they have completed multiple clinical trials to test new treatments for advanced breast cancer, including trials for patients with cancer that has metastasized (spread) to the brain.  Drs. Lin and Winer have also developed several new laboratory models for breast cancer brain metastases, which they are using to test new drug combinations to identify the most promising combinations for future clinical use. They have completed the first part of a trial testing the HER2-directed drug neratinib in patients with brain metastases, and are continuing to test the drug in combination with chemotherapy, as well as evaluating the activity of several novel agents in the brain.  Dr. Lin has also co-led an international multidisciplinary effort to improve the design of clinical trials in patients with brain metastases across different types of solid tumors. In addition, the investigators have expanded their efforts more broadly through the EMBRACE (Ending Metastatic Breast Cancer for Everyone) study, which collects blood, tumor tissue, and clinical data and will speed collaborations between the laboratory and clinic. EMBRACE has now enrolled over 800 women and men with advanced breast cancer, with the goal of learning from the experience of each patient in order to provide education and support specific to the needs of patients with metastatic breast cancer. Overall, the team’s work represents the largest broad-based effort to evaluate new systemic options in patients with brain metastases from breast cancer.


Dr. Lin is a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lin received her medical degree at Harvard Medical School and subsequently completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham & Women's Hospital and a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care. Since 2012, she has served as Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Center at DFCI.

Dr. Lin's focus is on developing novel targeted therapies for patients with advanced breast cancer and exploring mechanisms of drug resistance, with a particular interest in patients with breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain. Dr. Lin is leading multiple ongoing and planned clinical trials evaluating a variety of targeted approaches in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Her work is highly collaborative and involves close working relationships with clinicians, laboratory investigators, and patient advocates. Dr. Lin's honors and awards include a Young Investigator Award and Career Development Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She is a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, and Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium.