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Antonio C. Wolff, MD

Professor of Oncology
Member, Breast Cancer Program
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland
on behalf of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium

Current Research

Goal: To accelerate new treatments to benefit patients through focused clinical trials

Impact: TBCRC trials continue to provide insight into the development of more effective and individualized treatments for various subtypes of breast cancer. Funding from BCRF remains critical to bring together scientific resources and researchers to develop new strategies to reduce the burden of breast cancer. Results from these trials provide valuable insight that will guide personalized treatment for various subtypes of breast cancer.

What’s next: Over the next year, the TBCRC will continue enroll patients  on 15 active TBCRC trials, 2 additional clinical trials will be activated and analysis of the data from the completed trials will continue with subsequent reporting and publication of the results.

Clinical trials are the only way to improve patient outcomes, either through the approval of new drugs or different strategies with existing drugs. The process takes many years and a lot of patient volunteers to ultimately determine if patients are likely to do better with the experimental treatment compared to standard care. The Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) was formed to bring advances to patients in the shortest time possible and with a precision medicine approach. It does this by enabling small, specialized, biomarker-based trials that recruit patients from academic clinical research centers around the country. Biospecimens—tumor and blood—are collected and used to identify markers of response, or resistance, to the treatment so that in the end the researchers will know more about which patients are most likely to benefit from the treatment. 

Full Research Summary

Research Area: Advancing treatments to patients in the shortest time possible through focused clinical trials and identifying markers to improve clinical trial stratification and patient outcomes.

Impact: The Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) was formed to enable smaller specialized trials that are rich in correlative studies to advance treatments to patients in the quickest possible time. These studies typically require extensive biospecimen collection, often require specialized imaging, enroll fewer patients across a larger number of centers, and require coordinated planning among lab researchers, clinical trialists, biostatisticians, research coordinators, and advocates. 

Current research: The TBCRC, under the leadership of Dr. Wolff, is comprised of 19 major clinical centers and over 300 clinical, laboratory, bioinformatics, and administrative support staff. Each year, TBCRC holds two meetings to discuss new clinical design concepts, trial results and provide feedback to trialists to improve clinical trial design or patient recruitment. 

What they’ve accomplished so far: Since the inception of the consortium, 53 clinical trials involving over 5300 patients have been enrolled in TBCRC studies, 36 of which have been completed and/or closed to accrual. Results from the first 30 completed TBCRC trials have been presented at national meetings and 24 of these trials were published in peer-reviewed journals. Overall, TBCRC has had over 141 scientific peer-reviewed presentations and publications.

What’s next: The TBCRC continues to hold regular teleconferences among its five core working groups (WGs): Correlative Science WG, the Triple Negative WG, the HER2 Resistance WG, the Endocrine Resistance WG, and the Locoregional Disease WG. The WGs are designed to foster clinical trial concept development in a collegial, nurturing environment and to enhance cross-institutional collaborations. A Patient Advocacy working group works closely with each clinical working group to ensure that the patient voice is represented in clinical trial design. Over the next year, patient accrual will continue for 15 active TBCRC trials, 2 additional clinical trials will be activated and analysis of the data from the completed trials will continue with subsequent reporting and publication of the results. 

Biography

Dr. Antonio Wolff is a Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center (Baltimore, MD, USA). He received his medical degree at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and trained in medical oncology at Johns Hopkins. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Breast Cancer Committee, and Chief Operating Officer for the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC). He is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO) and past Chair of its Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee. His research interests include new treatment strategies, the development and implementation of prognostic and predictive biomarkers (tissue, blood, and imaging) in clinical practice, and on how to improve the survivorship experience of breast cancer patients and their caregivers. He is a Susan G. Komen Scholar, recipient of a Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award from the US National Cancer Institute, and has been recognized since 2017 by Clarivate Analytics (Thomson Reuters) as one of the world’s most highly cited researchers (top 1% in clinical medicine). He maintains an active clinical practice dedicated to the care of patients with breast cancer and was inducted in 2018 as a member of the JHU Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence. In 2018, Dr. Wolff was recognized as one of 125 Living the Hopkins Mission Honorees, who were selected for their outstanding dedication to the institution’s core values of excellence and discovery, leadership and integrity, diversity and inclusion, and respect and collegiality, as part of the 125th anniversary celebration of the JHU School of Medicine.

Grid Researcher Headshot - Wolff A

BCRF Investigator Since

2007

Area(s) of Focus