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Carlos L. Arteaga, MD

University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas

Titles and Affiliations

Director, Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center
Associate Dean for Oncology Programs
Professor of Internal Medicine

Research area

Developing new approaches to combat drug resistance and improve clinical outcomes.


Estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer continues to be a major cause of mortality because some of these cancers become resistant to anti-estrogen (endocrine) therapies, such as tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors, and fulvestrant. Dr. Arteaga is conducting studies to identify the mechanisms of resistance to these drugs, which he hopes will provide the basis for the development of new approaches to improve clinical outcomes in patients with ER-positive breast cancer.

Progress Thus Far

Dr. Arteaga has identified a molecule found on the surface of ER-positive breast cancer cells that can enter the cell nucleus and regulate the genes responsible for tumor progression and resistance to endocrine therapies. He has also identified three novel resistance mechanisms to CDK4/6 inhibitors palbociclib (IBRANCE®) and abemaciclib (Verzenio®). Dr. Arteaga has investigated whether the genes FGFR1 and ATR play a role in resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors breast cancer, and determined that they do not.

What’s next

Dr. Arteaga will now work on an alternative approach to combat resistance focused on drug-tolerant persisters (DTPs), a reservoir of cells surviving after treatment from which drug resistance eventually emerges. He will investigate mechanisms by which DTPs develop after treatment with CDK4/6 inhibitors and target their vulnerabilities to prevent or delay drug resistance.


Dr. Arteaga is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Simmons Cancer Center at University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. He was formally Associate Director for Clinical Research, Director of the Breast Cancer Program, and Director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, where he also held the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer Research and Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology. Dr. Arteaga trained in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology at Emory University and the UT Health Sciences Center San Antonio, respectively. He has over 250 publications in the areas of signaling by growth factor receptors and oncogenes, targeted therapies and biomarkers of drug resistance, and investigator-initiated clinical trials in breast cancer. Since 2002, he has directed the NCI-funded Vanderbilt Breast SPORE. He is a member of the ASCI and the Association of American Physicians. He received the AACR Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Award, a 2007-2017 ACS Clinical Research Professor Award, the 2009 Gianni Bonadonna Award from ASCO and the 2011 Brinker Award from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. He has served as AACR co-chair of the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium since 2009. He is Deputy Editor of Clinical Cancer Research and member of the Editorial Board of Cancer Cell and six other peer-reviewed journals. He is immediate past President of the AACR in 2015.

Through our research, we are committed to making a big difference in the lives of women with breast cancer and/or at risk of the disease. If not for BCRF, we may not have such an opportunity. Thus, my sincere thanks to the BCRF for their support and partnership in our fight to end breast cancer as we know it.

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The Play for P.I.N.K. Award

Areas of Focus

Treatment Tumor Biology