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Charles Loprinzi, MD
Regis Professor of Breast Cancer Research
Goal: To improve quality of life for breast cancer patients by reducing or avoiding treatment-related side effects.
Impact: People diagnosed with breast cancer may experience many burdensome symptoms related to their therapy that interfere with their daily functioning. Dr. Loprinzi is investigating ways to alleviate and ultimately prevent symptoms caused by cancer and/or cancer therapy.
What’s next: He and his team will continue their efforts to identify ways to treat and/or prevent chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, nasal symptoms related to paclitaxel chemotherapy, and skin toxicity associated with radiation therapy to the chest.
Patients being treated for breast cancer may experience a variety of side effects due to their therapy that can have a significant impact on their quality of life. Some are brief, but others may persist long after treatment ends; others may not appear until many years later. Dr. Loprinzi is conducting a series of investigations to identify ways to reduce these side effects and, in some cases, prevent them from occurring.
Full Research Summary
Research area: Reducing the side effects of breast cancer treatments in order to improve quality of life for patients during and after treatment.
Impact: Patients diagnosed with breast cancer may experience many distressing side effects and toxicities related to receiving therapy that can significantly interfere with their everyday activities. While some go away quickly, others persist long after therapy ends, while others may not appear until several years later. Dr. Loprinzi is conducting a series of studies aimed at reducing or avoiding treatment-related side effects so that patients are better able to live their lives while undergoing treatment and in the years that follow.
Current investigation: The focus of his current BCRF research includes clinical trials aimed at improving chemotherapy-induced nerve damage, bothersome nasal symptoms related to paclitaxel and other types of chemotherapy, and hot flashes.
What he’s learned so far: Results from ongoing trials supported the idea that cooling hands and feet with ice is a promising new way of decreasing chemotherapy-associated nerve damage and that the drug oxybutynin, which is commonly used for patients with bladder control problems, decreased hot flashes.
What’s next: With support from BCRF, Dr. Loprinzi and his colleagues will conduct three studies. In one investigation, they will use a thin film to try to prevent the commonly observed, prominent skin toxicity that is associated with radiation treatment for breast cancer. They will also continue to address nasal symptoms related to paclitaxel and other chemotherapy, and plan to conduct a placebo-controlled trial looking at a preparation that appears to alleviate these symptoms (tenderness, scabbing, bleeding). Lastly, the team will continue to evaluate a drug, fingolimod, as a means of preventing and/or treating chemotherapy-related nerve damage. They have just initiated two trials looking at this drug for preventing paclitaxel neuropathy and for treating established neuropathy that resulted from prior chemotherapy.
Dr. Loprinzi is currently the Regis Professor of Breast Cancer Research at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN where he is an emeritus chair of the Division of Medical Oncology and an emeritus Vice-Chair of the Department of Oncology.
He has run an active cancer control program directed toward both cancer prevention efforts and symptom control efforts, which has led to the publication of over 300 articles and book chapters, with over 100 publications in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Loprinzi served as the founding editor for the Art of Oncology section of the Journal of Clinical Oncology from 2000 through 2010. In addition, he edited two anthologies of articles from the Art of Oncology series that are available via the Kindle electronic book format.
His work has lead to him receiving two awards from the Susan G. Komen Foundation: the Komen Foundation Brinker award in 2002 and the 2005 Komen Foundation Professor of Survivorship. In 2005, he was awarded the 2006 Clinical Research Award by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC). In 2006, he was awarded the North American Menopausal Society (NAMS) Vasomotor Symptoms Research Award.
BCRF Investigator Since
The Ann Taylor and Loft Award (a subsidiary of ascena retail group inc.)