Breast Cancer Research Group [BREW]

Bill Schiemann, Ruth Keri and I have conferred on the best next steps for the breast cancer research group and the broad effort in breast cancer and clinical investigation across the institutions within the Cancer Center. We are reflecting on the advice of our recent EAB meeting, whose members noted "the core of exceptional investigators who have the potential to lead the program to national prominence." Moreover, our advisors strongly recommended that we continue to maintain the group and support the focused research in breast cancer prevention, etiology, evolution and metastasis, treatment and interruption of recurrence.

Despite their enthusiasm for the breast cancer program, our advisors noted several weaknesses that require the program to remain in the developmental phase as we enter the P30 renewal season. For this reason, we will continue to have the BREast Cancer Working group as the BREW group.  Bill will continue to lead this group and we will add a clinical leader over the next few months. Bill has worked hard to synthesize the various capabilities of the group and will continue to bring the group together and to build strong collaborations across areas of basic and clinical research interest.

Importantly, the Cancer Center will continue to strongly encourage and support collaborative breast cancer research, such as the development and use of a breast biorepository, the expansion of the clinical trials portfolio, and the growth of breast cancer genomics initiatives, including the ongoing high-risk breast cancer genomics at both hospitals.

In the meantime and solely for the purposes of the P30 renewal application, BREW members will be redeployed and divvied up into other Case CCC programs, particularly Molecular Oncology, Cancer Imaging, Developmental Therapeutics, Hematopoietic Neoplasia, and Prevention. Bill, Ruth, and I have made initial program reassignments with the understanding that inappropriate assignments will be amended as you bring them to our attention. But our intention is for the programs to note your involvement in BREW and to comment on the impact this is having on the program as a whole. There is no need to "hide" breast cancer research.

In an effort to help facilitate this transition and to discuss the vision moving forward, Bill, Ruth, and I have scheduled a working group meeting to discuss the EAB review and what these changes mean to BREW members over the course of the upcoming P30 renewal efforts. Feel free to call visit or email if you have a topic to discuss now!

Finally, it is important to stress that we are extremely optimistic that the BREW will ferment into a formal program in due course, and plan to fully support that process. We also thank you for your prior and continued involvement and commitment to the program, the research it engenders, and its goal of impacting patient care.

Stan Gerson, MD
Ruth Keri, PhD
William Schiemann, PhD