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BCRF Grantee Since


Area(s) of Focus

Norman Wolmark, MD

Chairman and Principal Investigator, National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP)
Professor and Chairman of Human Oncology
Drexel University School of Medicine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Current Research

Dr.Wolmark is Chairman and Principal Investigator of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP). The NSABP has a 50-year-plus history of conducting large randomized clinical trials designed to improve the treatment and prevention of breast and colorectal cancers and quality of life for cancer patients. The Group has produced practice-changing clinical research in the surgical management of breast cancer, in the use of adjuvant therapies for breast and colorectal cancer, and in the prevention of these diseases. Dr. Wolmark and his BCRF colleague, Dr. Patricia Ganz, are working together on a cost of care/quality of life data collection study that is part of a SWOG/NSABP Phase III clinical treatment trial testing the combination of endocrine therapy with everolimus, a new targeted breast cancer treatment. With funding from BCRF, Drs. Wolmark and Ganz are collecting data on quality of life measures as well as assessing the costs that are likely to occur with the everolimus treatment. This will facilitate an examination of both the extended survival benefits, quality of life impact, and value (costs) of this targeted treatment at the end of the trial.  Without the real time collection of data concerning side effects that may require additional tests and medical treatments, it would not be possible to estimate the additional cost of this new treatment.  The increased cost of care includes the drug itself, which is considerable, along with additional costs that can be incurred due to increased toxicities resulting in additional office visits, prescribed medications to manage toxicities, as well as increased hospitalizations.


Norman Wolmark, MD is Chairman and Principal Investigator of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), which is primarily funded by the NCI and is based on the campus of Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also Professor and Chairman of Human Oncology, Drexel University School of Medicine, and Chairman of the Department of Human Oncology, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As chair of the NSABP, Dr. Wolmark has overseen the design and implementation of the group’s breast and colorectal cancer trials since 1994. In the coming five years the group plans to continue its work in these areas, with increased focus on molecularly-driven research using the resources of its biospecimen bank and in concert with the Radiation Therapy Oncology (RTOG) and the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) legacy Groups as part of the new NRG Oncology Foundation, Inc.

Dr.  Wolmark earned his MD at McGill University, Montreal, Canada and he subsequently completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wolmark was then appointed to the position of Cancer Expert at the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Wolmark is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Surgical Association (ASA).

Dr.Wolmark is a reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the New England Journal of Medicine, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Women’s Cancer and Clinical Breast Cancer. He also serves on numerous boards and as an advisor to oncology programs, societies and institutes throughout the United States and Europe.