Together We’re Finding a Cure!

Breast cancer research continues to be an integral part of the Saint John’s Cancer Institute. Cancer research allows us to understand breast cancer, find minimally invasive treatment options, and ultimately find a cure. Many of the physicians and surgeons who are treating and caring for patients in the Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s are also faculty, adjunct faculty, or physicians in a fellowship program affiliated with the Saint John’s Cancer Institute.

Our physicians work directly with our research scientists to advance patient care. By studying the mechanism of breast cancer, our researchers can translate lab-based discoveries into personalized bedside treatment. This approach fosters a truly beneficial experience for our patients, as they lead to novel findings and new directions for therapeutic interventions.

Breast Research Studies

Saint John’s Cancer Institute Biospecimen & Research Data Repository

(PI: Dr. Jennifer Linehan)

This study involves collection of biological specimens (primarily leftover tissue) from cancer patients and non-cancer controls as part of their routine medical management. The study aims to advance care by allowing for better prediction of outcomes and optimization of personalized treatments. The objective of this registry includes:

  • Performing multi-modality analysis of specimen for biomarker discovery.
  • Allowing for data analysis involving individual data or relationships between biologics, imaging, and clinical data.
  • Making specimens and data available to collaborating investigators performing IRB-approved research of cancer and systemic disease.

Multidisciplinary Research Registry for Malignant and Benign Breast Disease

(PI: Dr. Janie Grumley)

This registry involves developing and maintaining a Breast Program Research Registry to critically assessing diagnostic and treatment procedures for both benign and malignant breast disease. The main objectives of this project includes:

  • Assessing short and long term outcomes based on disease sub-types and diagnostic and treatment modalities in patients with breast disease.
  • Collecting patient health information into a database of searchable fields that will allow future research studies to be performed.
  • Facilitating reporting for yearly program accreditation.

Research Registry for Intra-Operative Radiotherapy (IORT) after breast conserving therapy in the treatment of in situ and early stage breast cancer

(PI: Dr. Janie Grumley)

The objective of this study is to retrospectively evaluate short and long term patient outcomes of early-stage breast cancer patients who were treated with Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT). We aim to collect IORT data into a database of searchable fields that will aid in the conducting of future research studies. The purpose of the registry includes:

  • Assessing short and long term local and distant disease recurrence in patients who received IORT.
  • Evaluating disease free survival and overall survival of patients treated with IORT.
  • Determining perioperative and long term complications associated with IORT.

Perioperative Pain Management Strategies in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery

(PI: Janie Grumley)

The purpose of this study is to assess perioperative pain associated with breast surgery. We aim to determine effective pain management strategies and evaluate the need for pain-relieving medications, particularly opioids, in patients undergoing breast surgery. The objective of this study includes:

  • Assessing patient reported pain after mastectomy, mastectomy with reconstruction or partial mastectomy with oncoplastic surgery.
  • Evaluating the post-operative use and/or need of medication for pain management.

Molecular and Histopathologic Changes Associated with Breast Intraoperative Radiation Therapy

(PI: Janie Grumley)

This retrospective observational study involves examining primary surgical excision and re-excision specimens from breast cancer patients who have undergone a partial mastectomy and Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT). The objectives of this study include:

  • Assessing the histopathologic and molecular changes in the microenvironment of breast tumor bed tissue associated with IORT
  • Potential differences in histopathologic and molecular changes associated with the time interval from IORT administration.

A Prospective Registry Study to Evaluate the Effect of the DCISionRT Test on Treatment Decisions in Patients with DCIS Following Breast Conserving Therapy

(PI: Dr. Janie Grumley/ Co-PI: Dr. Robert Wollman)

This prospective cohort study for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) aims to create a database of patients, test results, treatment practices, and outcomes for patients undergoing therapy and genomic testing. Patients included receive the Prelude DCISionRT Test, a prognostic for 10-year recurrence risk and predicts radiation therapy treatment benefit. The main objectives of this study include:

  • Determining the clinical utility of the DCISionRT Test in the management of DCIS
  • Identifying a significant difference in treatment recommendations for DCIS patients based on the availability of the DCISionRT test results
  • Assessing the differences in recommended treatment based on clinical factors and tumor characteristics before and after DCISionRT results.
  • Identifying key drivers of treatment recommendations

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are scientific studies that find a better way to prevent, screen, diagnose, and treat diseases. Most advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with cancer have occurred because of clinical trials.

Our clinical trials are designed to evaluate:

  • Modifications to existing or “standard” treatment for specific cancers
  • New experimental drugs or agents
  • New experimental ways to care for people with cancer as they receive treatment
  • Experimental methods of identifying cancer