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Elisa Port, MD, FACS

Chief of Breast Surgery
Director of the Dubin Breast Center,
Mount Sinai Hospital
Associate Professor of Surgery
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, New York

Current Research

  • Seeking to improve outcomes in patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
     
  • Laboratory studies are ongoing to confirm a potential therapeutic target to prevent the growth of TNBC and improve response to chemotherapies.
     
  • These studies could lead to novel combination approaches for the treatment prevention of metastasis in patients with triple negative breast cancer.

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive form of the disease with a high rate of metastasis. There are currently no targeted therapies for TNBC and resistance to chemotherapy is common. Drs. Port and Irie are looking for ways to improve response to therapies in TNBC as well as identifying new targets for drug development. They have identified a gene that not only controls the growth of TNBC cells but also suppresses the anti-tumor immune response. Experiments are ongoing to target this gene in laboratory models of TNBC.

Full Research Summary

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) remains a clinical challenge due to a lack of targeted therapies and widely disparate responses to standard chemotherapy.  Effective personalized treatments for patients with TNBC require novel therapeutic targets and combination approaches.

Drs. Port and Irie recently identified a gene called PRKCQ that not only regulates the growth and invasiveness of TNBC cells but could also impact immune cells that infiltrate the tumor, protect cells from chemotherapy treatment, and promote metastasis (spreading of cancer to other places in the body). Inhibition of PRKCQ enhances the effects of chemotherapy treatment and induces death of TNBC cells.

In the coming year, they will use novel patient-relevant laboratory models of treatment-resistant TNBC to determine the efficacy of pharmacological inhibitors that target these novel genes. They will carefully examine the role of PRKCQ both in the cancer, as well as in the immune environment surrounding the tumor.

These studies could support PRKCQ inhibition as a "double-hit" strategy to prevent TNBC growth and metastases.

Biography

Elisa Port, MD, FACS joined Mount Sinai Hospital and its Icahn School of Medicine in 2010.  She serves as Chief of Breast Surgery and Director of the Dubin Breast Center. After receiving her medical degree from Mount Sinai in 1992, Dr. Port was a general surgery resident at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles until 1994. She then joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for a breast cancer surgery research fellowship, and later completed a general surgery residency at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. In 1999 she joined the staff of Memorial Sloan Kettering Breast Surgery Service where she remained until her Mount Sinai appointment in early 2010.

Dr. Port performs hundreds of operations each year, and is a leading expert in sentinel-node biopsy, nipple sparing mastectomy, as well as the use of breast MRI.

Dr. Port is the author of “The New Generation Breast Cancer Book: How to navigate your diagnosis and treatment options-and remain optimistic- in the age of information overload”, recently published by Random House.

Dr. Port actively conducts both clinical and basic science research. With external grant support, Dr. Port researched PET scanning in the preoperative staging of patients with breast cancer, and also has conducted a trial investigating the role of COX-2 inhibitors in breast cancer.  Her BCRF-supported research is focused on the development of new strategies to prevent triple negative breast cancers from progressing and metastasizing.

Her research has been widely published in numerous journals, including the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Annals of Surgery, and Cancer Research. She is also a member of several professional associations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Breast Diseases, the Society of Surgical Oncology, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

BCRF Investigator Since

2014

Donor Recognition

The Women's Cancer Research Fund Award

Area(s) of Focus

Co-Investigators