Titles and Affiliations

Professor of Medicine
Director, Adult Survivorship Program, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center
Vice Chair, Department of Medical Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Research area

Enhancing the care, support, and community of young women with breast cancer.

Impact

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women aged 40 years and younger in the United States. Although young women typically receive more intensive treatment than older women, they have a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence and death. Young women are also more prone to psychosocial distress. Dr. Ann Partridge is dedicated to improving our understanding of the unique and complex medical and psychosocial issues facing young women with breast cancer. To do so, she launched Helping Ourselves, Helping Others: The Young Women’s Breast Cancer Study (YWS), which from 2006-2016 enrolled more than 1,300 women whose breast cancer began at age 40 or younger. This work will ultimately capture 20 years of follow-up data, and patients provide insights into their health—from diagnosis, through treatment, into survivorship—by sharing blood and tumor samples, as well as survey results. 

Progress Thus Far

Dr. Partridge and her team transformed early insights from YWS into an intervention program, Young Empowered and Strong (YES). Her team designed and launched YES as an internet-based portal that follows and supports patients over time, navigates them to education and supportive care resources, and informs them of other research opportunities to improve how they fare. Recruitment began in September of 2020, and 48 women are currently enrolled. 

What’s Next

There are two projects currently underway as a part of the interventions provided through the YES portal, which will continue enrolling patients: 1) Young, Empowered & Strong Study (YES): The Young Women’s Breast Cancer Study 2, a study and supportive care program for young women with newly diagnosed breast cancer; 2) YES EMBRACE: a study and supportive care program to engage young women living with metastatic disease to meet their supportive care needs and match them with relevant research opportunities. In addition, the YWS study patients are now average 8 years from diagnosis, and the team will continue to learn about their experience and clinical care, as well as disease and biologic characteristics.

Biography

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.