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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Housewares Charity Foundation Award

Stuart J. Schnitt, MD

Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
Director, Division of Anatomic Pathology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
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).


Stuart J. Schnitt, MD, is the Director of the Division of Anatomic Pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, co-leader of the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center Breast Program, a Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in breast pathology. He did his internship and residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston followed by a fellowship in surgical pathology, also at Beth Israel Hospital. Dr. Schnitt has published over 300 original articles, review articles, editorials, commentaries, and book chapters, primarily in the area of breast disease. He has authored a popular breast pathology textbook entitled "Biopsy Interpretation of the Breast", now in its second edition; this book has also been published in Chinese. In addition, he is one of the editors of the 4th Edition of the "World Health Organization Classification of Tumours of the Breast", published in 2012. He has been cited in multiple editions of "The Best Doctors in America" and "America’s Top Doctors". Dr. Schnitt is a Past President of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (2010-2011). His research interests have focused primarily on risk factors for local recurrence in patients with invasive breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ treated with breast conserving therapy, benign breast disease and breast cancer risk, and stromal-epithelial interactions in breast tumor progression.