Ann Partridge, MD, MPH,a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, today accepted the 2018 AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, supported by The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The award, which recognizes a scientist whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of breast cancer. Partridge was honored at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, where she presented a lecture titled “Breast Cancer in Young Women: Understanding Differences to Improve Outcomes.”
Partridge is Vice Chair of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she also serves as Director of the Adult Survivorship Programand leads the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer. As a medical oncologist and clinical researcher, she has sought to improve the care and outcomes of patients with cancer by conducting research, and by developing innovative clinical programming.
Partridge's most substantial research contributions focus on the clinical epidemiology of breast cancer in young women, conducting seminal work aiming to understand and improve their care and outcomes. In her lecture at the Symposium today, Partridge said, “In 2018, there remain disparities in outcomes for young women with breast cancer and addressing behavioral issues and psychosocial concerns is likely to improve not only quality of life and survivorship, but actual survival.”
Partridge established and serves as Principal Investigator for the Young Women's Breast Cancer Study (YWS), a multi-institutional cohort of young women with breast cancer which enrolled 1300 women age 40 and young at diagnosis.
From the cohort, Partridge has been able to characterize a whole range of issues, including the impact of treatment on fertility, the psychological adaptation of young patients to the diagnosis, the impact of treatment on sexual functioning, the biologic characteristics of tumors in young women, the differences in treatment in young women, and the factors that play an important role in patient decision-making.
She has written extensively about the recent trend among young breast cancer patients to opt for bilateral mastectomies and has attempted to understand these choices. In her research, Partridge has worked with psychologists, social work researchers, health service researchers, geneticists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and nurses in her studies. More recently, she has collaborated with basic investigators to identify molecular differences in tumors found in young patients.
Partridge’s research extends far beyond her Young Women’s Cohort. She has worked with investigators in the Breast International Group to demonstrate that young women with HER2+ breast cancer have a similar outcome as their older counterparts. Additionally, she is presently collaborating with colleagues in the International Breast Cancer Study group and co-leading the “POSITIVE” trial, which seeks to determine the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer.
She co-leads the Breast Committee for the Alliance for Clinical Trials, and in this capacity, she is designing, implementing, and analyzing prospective therapeutic trials. Dr. Partridge was chair of the scientific program committee for the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, co-chairs the biennial ESMO-ESO sponsored Breast Cancer in Young Women Conference and served as Chair of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women from 2010-17. She has received prior awards and grants including a Champions of Change award from the White House, an ASCO Improving Cancer Care Grant, the CDC Carol Friedman Award, and the Edward J. Benz Jr. Award for Advancing the Careers of Women Faculty.