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Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH

Medical Oncology

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Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH


  • Chief, Division of Breast Oncology, Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers
  • Associate Director, Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers
  • Senior Physician
  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Clinical Interests

  • Breast oncology
  • Immuno-oncology
  • Novel therapeutics

Diseases Treated

Contact Information

  • Appointments617-632-2175 (new)
    617-632-3800 (follow-up)
  • Office Phone Number617-632-3800
  • Fax617-632-1930


Dr. Tolaney received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1998 and her medical degree from UC San Francisco in 2002. She subsequently completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and fellowships in hematology and medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She obtained a Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2007. In 2008, she joined the staff of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she is a medical oncologist and clinical investigator in the Breast Oncology Center. Her research focuses on the development of novel therapies in the treatment of breast cancer.

Board Certification:

  • Hematology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Medical Oncology


  • Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, Hematology & Oncology


  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Internal Medicine

Medical School:

  • University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine


Sara Tolaney, MD, MPH is a breast medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Dr. Tolaney has earned both a strong national and international reputation as a talented clinical investigator and is key opinion leader in breast oncology. She has done extensive work on de-escalating therapy for patients with low-risk HER2-positive breast cancer, having developed a less toxic treatment regimen associated with a clinically low event rate.  This regimen is incorporated into national and international treatment guidelines, and she has follow-up multi-institutional studies ongoing to evaluate if even less toxic therapies may have a role in these patients.  She also been instrumental in the development of cdk 4/6 inhibitors in breast cancer, and served as the international co-PI for the first randomized study of cdk 4/6 inhibitors in HER2-positive breast cancer.  Moreover, she has played a pivotal role in developing a series of investigator initiated clinical trials in immunotherapy, with strong translational endpoints, and serves as the Director for Breast Immunotherapy Clinical Research at DFCI.  Dr. Tolaney has also been instrumental in overseeing the Breast Oncology Clinical Trials program, one of the largest clinical research programs at DFCI.  Additionally, she serves as the Associate Director of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, and chairs the Scientific Steering Committee for this group.  Importantly, Dr. Tolaney is also an outstanding clinician, recognized by her peers for her excellent patient care with the “Lee Nadler Extra Mile Award”  and is a Senior Physician at DFCI.   

Dr. Tolaney welcomes your support of her research.  Gifts of any size make a significant difference and enable Dr. Tolaney and her team to pursue innovative research studies that do not qualify for grant funding. 


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