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. Our particular emphasis is on “translational research”, bringing recent discoveries made in the laboratory to human clinical trials. UNC is also very active in the CALGB national clinical trials group and as such, participates in ongoing and upcoming large-scale,national clinical trials. Additional Details

Highlights of UNC breast clinical trials:


This trial follows on Dr. Carolyn 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.


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 other UNC cancer clinical trials