Shapiro to Lead Breast Cancer Research Program at Ohio State

November 30, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dr. Charles Shapiro has been named to lead the breast cancer research program at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James).

Shapiro will lead an interdisciplinary team of clinical and research scientists whose sole focus is the study of breast cancer.

"By integrating clinical and translational research, our research will lead to a greater understanding about the biology of breast cancer, the development of new treatments for breast cancer, better methods for early detection and how best to prevent it in the first place. Underlying and at the center of everything we do in this great effort is women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and their families," he said.

"As breast cancer research leader for a developing program within the OSUCCC, I look forward to bringing together teams of basic, population and clinical scientists to work together to achieve the latest in the prevention, detection and treatment of breast cancer," said Shapiro.

Creating success in the breast cancer program is a two-way street, he said.

"For research to be the most successful, there must be very strong collaboration between discoveries that are in made in the research lab and quickly tested in women with breast cancer, and equally important are the observations made in women with breast cancer that lead to questions that inform the next set of questions that are tested in lab," Shapiro said. He explained that Ohio State is uniquely positioned to discovery transformative ways to prevent, detect and treat breast cancers with an outstanding group of clinical scientists skilled to bring the new discoveries to the clinic, one of the country's highest rated National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Shapiro's efforts will focus on partnering with laboratory and population scientists in three key areas of research including efforts to use microRNAs to better understand the biology and classification of breast cancers, developing new drugs for breast cancer treatment, and how best to treat the breast cancer stromal tissue, which is the tissue that can exert anti-tumor effects on breast cancer.

"These key areas are very strong within OSUCCC and developing the means to enhance and expand these areas into early phase clinical trials is one of my primary goals. As these teams of scientists learn more about breast cancer, they will develop better methods for early detection and prevention," says Shapiro.

Shapiro will lead efforts to increase the number of breast cancer clinical trials and the number of patients on those trials as well as increasing the number of funded investigators who specialize in breast cancer research.

"Dr. Shapiro will oversee an infrastructure to foster breakthrough discoveries in breast cancer research that will allow the newest and best treatments to reach patients as quickly as possible," said Dr. Peter Shields, deputy director of Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

Shapiro came to Ohio State in 1998 and is a professor of internal medicine and also serves as director of breast medical oncology. He is a nationally known clinical investigator whose research interests include the development of novel treatments for breast cancer and treatment-related side effects of breast cancer, in particular the side effects of adjuvant chemotherapy in young women. He is currently overseeing major clinical trial and laboratory research efforts to develop new therapies that are effective for 'triple negative' breast cancer.

Shapiro serves as the vice chair of the Symptom Intervention Committee of the Alliance Cooperative Group, is a member of the Alliance Breast Committee, and a member of the NCI Symptom Management and Health-Related Quality of Life Steering Committee. He has been named among "America's Top Doctors for Cancer," "America's Top Doctors" and "Best Doctors in America."

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State's cancer program as "exceptional," the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program's 210-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a "Top Hospital" as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top 20 cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

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