Eric P. Winer, MD has been awarded the 2018 Susan G. Komen® Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research. The award was presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Winer, who serves as Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Chief of the Division of Breast Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, was honored for his devotion to applying the advances from clinical trials to daily practice to improve breast cancer patient care and quality of life.
Throughout his career, Winer has designed and conducted clinical trials that have changed clinical practice or paved the way towards more personalized treatment of breast cancer. Winer’s clinical research has included multimodality studies to determine optimal drug doses and treatment durations, the best treatment sequence and the most effective drug combinations to treat early, locally advanced and metastatic breast cancers.
Winer’s attention has always been directed to the aspects of the disease that remain challenging, such as advanced breast cancer or metastatic breast cancer that accounts for virtually all the estimated 41,000 lives lost to breast cancer in the U.S. every year. He and his team have conducted a range of studies to improve the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. In the laboratory, they have developed new models derived from patients’ tumor tissues to test novel drug combinations. In the clinic, they have developed and directed clinical trials to assess different targeted combinations of drugs, such as atezolizumab, pertuzumab and trastuzumab.
He has also championed the concept of “more is not necessarily better” when it comes to breast cancer treatments, reminding oncologists that both the benefits and risks of treatments must be assessed when considering treatment options. Some of his more recent work has demonstrated the benefits of treatment de-escalation – the approach of identifying patients who will do as well with less or no treatment.
Winer is a strong advocate for and leader of research collaborations. From 2003 through 2016, he held the position of co-chair of the Breast Committee for the Alliance for Clinical Trials. Since 2016, he has served as the co-chair of the NCI Breast Cancer Steering Committee that oversees the breast cancer clinical trials sponsored by the NCI. Winer is the co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium. This organization represents collaboration across 18 major breast cancer programs that are focused on the conduct of early phase clinical trials with translational endpoints. He is also a respected mentor of over 30 fellows and junior faculty, many of whom have gone on to assume positions in major cancer academic cancer centers.
In addition to serving as the Director, Breast Oncology Program and Senior VP for Medical Affairs, Winer is also the Chief Clinical Strategy Officer at Dana-Farber, the Thompson Chair in Breast Cancer Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also leads the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Breast SPORE.