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Dawn Hershman, MD, MS

Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Division of Medical Oncology
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, New York
Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO

Current Research

  • Seeking to improve quality of care, reduce overuse or expensive drugs and improve quality of life for breast cancer survivors.
  • Current research is focused on identifying barriers to cancer therapy initiation. Studies are planned to assess patterns and predictors of non-adherence to oral cancer drugs.

  • These studies address many of the issues around inequity of care and overuse of expensive drugs and will inform evidence-based solutions to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

The quality of cancer care is a major national concern. Not all patients receive the most advanced treatments, while others receive costly treatments that may not help.

The goal of Dr. Hershman's patient-oriented, interventional studies is to integrate findings from population-based research to improve the quality of cancer care, reduce overuse of expensive drugs, and improve quality of life for breast cancer survivors.

This year, Dr. Hershman and her team will evaluate barriers to initiation of oral anticancer medications, assess patterns and predictors of non-adherence to oral antineoplastic therapies, and study the cost-effectiveness of interoperative radiation therapy in women with ductal carcinoma in situ.

Dr. Hershman is also a 2015 awardee of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Comparative Effectiveness Research Professorship in Breast Cancer sponsored by BCRF. During the course of this five-year award, she will continue her work in addressing quality of care focusing her efforts in the following areas: 1) Reducing the costs of cancer care by reducing overuse of medical therapies; 2) Increasing the value and quality of care by developing interventions to improve adherence to cancer therapies; 3) Improving cancer care delivery through interventions to increase generalizability and dissemination of clinical trial results.

The CER Professorship will provide Dr. Hershman with additional resources to focus on these research efforts, to mentor and train young investigators, and to participate in national efforts to improve quality and reduce health care disparities.


Dr. Hershman is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Columbia University and is Leader of the Breast Cancer Program of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. She completed her medical degree at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she was Alpha Omega Alpha, and completed her internal medicine residency and oncology fellowship training at Columbia University Medical Center, where she served as Chief Resident. During that time, she completed a Master’s degree in Biostatistics/Patient Oriented Research at the Mailman School of Public Health.

She was appointed a faculty position at Columbia University in 2001 and since that time has developed an expertise in the areas of breast cancer treatment, prevention, survivorship, late-effects of cancer therapy, health outcomes and health disparities research. She has published over 250 scientific articles and has received numerous awards including the Ewig Award for Teaching Excellence, the AVON Foundation Medical Advancement Award, the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Advanced Clinical Research Award and the ASCO/BCRF Comparative Effectiveness Professorship. She has national leadership positions in the Southwest Oncology Group, where she serves as co-chair of the Cancer Care Delivery Committee and Co-PI of the NCORP Research Base. She has served as primary mentor for numerous medical students, graduate students, fellows and junior faculty.

She has received grant funding from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Department of Defense, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, PCORI, the Irving Center for Clinical Research and the Avon Foundation for Women.

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The ANN INC. Award
ANN INC. is a division of ascena retail group inc.

Area(s) of Focus