Ann Partridge, MD, MPH
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
Enhancing the care, support, and community of young women with breast cancer.
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.
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. This work recently garnered additional funding from the National Institutes of Health so that it can be expanded into a randomized controlled trial—the gold standard for assessing how helpful interventions like the YES portal are for patients.
Patients in the YWS study now average over nine years from diagnosis, and the study will continue to explore their experience and clinical care, as well as disease and biologic characteristics. The longevity of the YWS study also makes it uniquely positioned for investigations of age-related tumor biology, as well as studies evaluating the impact of genetic risk, post-diagnosis pregnancy, premature menopause, and other factors. The team is also working on The Young Women’s Breast Cancer Study 2, a cohort study and supportive care program. As of spring of 2022, over 122 out of a goal of 400 patients have joined the study, and that includes patients with metastatic disease as well as patients newly diagnosed with early-stage disease. In the coming year, Dr. Partridge and her team will also continue to build on current collaborations with scientists that explore the unique biology of breast cancer in young patients, which includes international studies that recruited patients in from 30 sites across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Israel.
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.
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