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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Estée Lauder Award

Area(s) of Focus

Patricia A. Ganz, MD

Distinguished University Professor
Schools of Medicine and Public Health
Director, Cancer Prevention & Control Research
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California
Los Angeles, California
Member, BCRF Scientific Advisory Board

Current Research

Dr. Ganz is conducting a range of research activities that are primarily focused on improving cognitive function in breast cancer survivors who have persistent memory and concentration problems.  Her work includes studies that may provide greater insight into the reasons why some women have ongoing difficulties with thinking and memory, as well as the identification of ways to help women improve their memory and concentration after breast cancer treatment. In the coming year she will focus on cognitive changes associated with endocrine therapy, including looking for evidence of brain changes that are similar to those found in Alzheimer’s disease. A new pilot study is examining whether the extent of breast cancer surgery (and anesthesia) may make women more susceptible to cognitive changes prior to starting chemotherapy and/or radiation.  This is a particular concern given the increasing numbers of women who are having bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, which is a much longer surgical procedure.

Dr. Ganz is also working with BCRF colleague, Norman Wolmark 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. Ganz and Wolmark 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.  


Patricia A. Ganz, MD, a medical oncologist, has been a member of the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine since 1978 and the UCLA School of Public Health since 1992. Since 1993 she has been the Director of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 1999 she was awarded an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship for "Enhancing Patient Outcomes across the Cancer Control Continuum." Dr. Ganz was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2007. She served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors from 2002-2007 and on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors from 2003-2006. She received the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor in 2010. Dr. Ganz is a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life in cancer patients, and has focused much of her clinical and research efforts in the areas of breast cancer and its prevention. At the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, she leads the scientific program focused on Patients and Survivors. Her major areas of research include cancer survivorship and late effects of cancer treatment, cancer in the elderly, and quality of care for cancer patients. Dr. Ganz currently serves as Vice Chair of the Institute of Medicine National Cancer Policy Forum, and Chaired the 2013 IOM consensus report entitled "Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis."

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