It has long been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. At City of Hope, researchers are implementing this concept of imitation—of making one thing similar to another—in a leading-edge approach to treating difficult cancers.
City of Hope’s new chief of surgery and an enthusiastic researcher, Yuman Fong, M.D., has been developing a therapy that essentially makes resistant breast cancer respond like thyroid cancer, which is cured in 90 percent of patients.
Triple-negative breast cancer—named for its lack of three important receptors that can be targeted with common, effective therapies—remains a challenge for women, as well as for the oncologists who care for them. Fong is energized by this challenge and the promise of discovery. “If we can find something that can kill [these types of] cancer cells, it would be a big breakthrough for the field,” he says.