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Charles Loprinzi, MD
Professor of Oncology
Regis Professor of Breast Cancer Research
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
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 decrease the untoward effects of breast cancer treatment including chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and nasal irritation, radiation-associated skin toxicity, heart damage, hair loss due to anti-estrogen treatment, nausea and hot flashes.
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, and 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: Dr. Loprinzi is conducting several clinical trials designed to test methods to improve several untoward symptoms arising from breast cancer and/or breast cancer treatment.
What he’s learned so far: Dr. Loprinzi and his colleagues have made the following observations from ongoing clinical trials:
- Cryotherapy (tissue freezing) is a promising novel way to decrease paclitaxel-induced neuropathy
- Oxybutynin, a drug commonly used to treat bladder control problems, decreases hot flashes
- Unpleasant nasal symptoms are common side effect of taxane or VEGF-targeted therapies that can be alleviated with a nasal spray of rose geranium in sesame oil.
What’s next: Dr. Loprinzi’s team will continue to expand clinical trials to test ways to alleviate symptoms that arise from various breast cancer treatments. In the coming year, his team will also test interventions to alleviate breast cancer-related nausea and treatment-induced alopecia (hair loss).
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 500 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 a Kindle electronic book format.
His work has led 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