Women’s Cancers: Helping Women Thrive During, and After Cancer Treatment

ArtiHurria, M.D., director of City of Hope’s Cancer and Ag­ing Research Program and associate professor of medical oncology, is collaborating with researchers from across the country on several important projects. In one ongoing na­tionwide collaborative study with more than 15 institutions, and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Hurria is evaluating risk factors for toxicity in older women receiving cancer treatment.

The team’s goal is to develop questionnaires and blood tests that will give the physicians insight into a patient’s risk for side effects, so that care can be tailored accordingly. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation awarded Hurria and her team additional funds to enable them to understand the impact of breast cancer and its treatment on a patient’s physical function, comparing patients with breast cancer to an age-matched group who does not have breast cancer.

Tackling obesity after treatment

Joanne Mortimer, M.D., director of the Women’s Cancers Program, is studying a group of women with breast cancer, before and after treatment, to understand whether their risk is related to treatment or other factors, like aging or meno­pause. This research could drive treatment decisions so that physicians can help women with breast cancer avoid the risk for metabolic syndrome.

In related research, Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., professor and chair of cancer biology, has shown that using aromatase in­hibitors, an important and effective therapy for women with breast cancer, can put women at risk for obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. He is now studying the side effects of aromatase inhibitors to find ways to combat obe­sity and insulin resistance before they occur.

Chen’s research promises to heal women fighting cancer while also addressing serious risk for diabetes and other life-threatening conditions.

Click here to learn how to address “chemo brain” and acquire support not just for the patient—but also for their partners.

 

*This is an excerpt from Women’s Cancers: Helping Women Thrive During, and After Cancer Treatment by City of Hope as seen in NAWRB Magazine.

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