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Goal: use a team approach to review cases before treatment begins, rather than after treatment decisions have been made.

UNC’s multidisciplinary breast cancer program has been a thriving example of true multidisciplinary care for the past 15 years.  Unlike many programs that have multidisciplinary tumor boards that meet to review cases after treatment decisions have been made, UNC takes a true “team approach”.  Patients are seen on the same day as the tumor board by all disciplines, and the multidisciplinary treatment recommendations are made by the group.  This allows co-ordination of treatment care, consensus recommendations, and fosters interdisciplinary treatment trials.

UNC’s breast program is nationally renowned.  We have been designated as a SPORE for the past 20 years.  Radiation oncologist Dr. Sartor is Co-Director of the breast program, and leads two of five SPORE research projects.  Our emphasis is on “translational research”, bringing bench laboratory research to clinical trials.  Dr. Sartor’s active laboratory research has led to a number of exciting and innovative clinical trials that are available only at UNC.  UNC is also very active in the CALGB national clinical trials group; Dr. Sartor is Vice-Chair of the Radiation Oncology Committee, a core member of the Breast Committee, and serves on the Executive Committee.  As such, UNC also participates in ongoing and upcoming large-scale CALGB clinical trials, with Dr. Sartor serving the role of directing radiotherapy aspects of these national trials. Additional Details

Highlights of UNC breast clinical trials:

LCCC0411:  This trial follows on Dr. Sartor’s laboratory studies of the EGFR/HER2 inhibitor, lapatinib (Tykerb), that indicate that lapatinib may be an effective radiosensitizer for locally advanced breast cancer.  It is a Phase I study for patients with locally recurrent breast cancer (prior radiation allowed) that tests the dose of lapatinib that is tolerated with radiation.  An important aspect of the trial is that samples of the tumor are obtained to study the biological basis of how lapatinib makes breast cancer more sensitive to radiation.

LCCC0218:  This trial is for patients with very favorable early stage breast cancer, and tests whether a single dose of radiation delivered at the time of surgery in the operating room (intraoperative radiotherapy or IORT) is effective and well tolerated.  The goal of this Phase II study is to determine the feasibility of decreasing the radiation therapy from 5-6 weeks to a single day.  An important aspect of this trial is that samples of the tumor are obtained before and after irradiation to study how radiation affects breast cancer at the molecular level.

All UNC cancer clinical trials