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Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director of the Adult Survivorship Program
Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Goal: To advance the understanding of the medical and emotional problems facing young women with breast cancer.
Impact: Dr. Partridge has been working on a web-based platform that will allow her to study the experiences of young breast cancer patients and provide participants with resources and support. Her work will provide insight into the challenges these patients face and lead to improvements in their care.
What’s next: They plan to launch three new cohorts of young women across their ongoing studies in efforts to enhance the care of young women with breast cancer and accelerate accrual to other studies relevant to this vulnerable population.
While breast cancer is rare in women age 40 and under, it is the most common type of cancer in young women. Compared to older breast cancer survivors, young survivors have an increased risk of experiencing emotional distress, as well as treatment-induced sexual dysfunction, and concerns about future pregnancies. Dr. Partridge’s goal is to advance the understanding of the complex medical and emotional problems young breast cancer patients face and develop interventions that address these challenges.
Full Research Summary
Research Area: To improve understanding of the complex medical and emotional problems facing young women with breast cancer with additional focus on intervention.
Impact: Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in women age 40 years and younger. Despite young women conventionally receiving more intensive treatment than older women, they are at higher risk of breast cancer recurrence and death. Young women living with breast cancer are also at increased risk of emotional distress compared with older breast cancer patients s and have other unique concerns. Dr. Partridge and her team are conducting studies to examine the complex medical and emotional problems facing young women with breast cancer, as well as providing education, support and research opportunities for participants who are interested.
Current investigation: Her team will launch a new web-based platform (YES platform: Young, Empowered & Strong) to better study young women with breast cancer based on a pilot study completed in the last year. Through this platform, young breast cancer patients can be followed over time to assess the impact of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment at a young age.
What she’s accomplished so far: Dr. Partridge has designed and tested an innovative web-based platform that can be utilized to support young breast cancer patients. Through initial testing of the platform, her team has demonstrated that participants can access information about additional research opportunities and optimize their supportive and survivorship care and education on an ongoing basis.
What’s next: Dr. Partridge will continue to develop the YES platform and will launch three new cohorts of young patients using the YES portal. These will include patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer, young breast cancer survivors and young women living with metastatic disease. Using this innovative approach, her team will provide additional support and self-management care opportunities directly to participants and accelerate accrual to studies relevant to young women with breast cancer. In addition, they hope to optimize supportive and survivorship care and education on an ongoing basis for these young women.
Ann Partridge, MD, MPH is a medical oncologist and clinical researcher focused on improving the care and outcomes of patients with cancer, with a focus on treatment, survivorship, and psychosocial issues facing women with breast cancer. She founded and directs the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer, and serves as the Director of the Adult Survivorship Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She serves on several committees including as co-Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials Breast Committee and Chair for the Federal Advisory Committee to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on Breast Cancer in Young Women. Dr. Partridge has published numerous manuscripts and lectures both nationally and internationally on issues of cancer survivorship and young women with breast cancer, in particular and has received grants and awards recognizing her work in this area. Dr. Partridge graduated from Georgetown University, earned her MD at Cornell University, trained in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and completed hematology and medical oncology fellowships at DFCI. She received a master’s degree in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health.