Titles and Affiliations

Rob and Karen Hale Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

Research area

Improving outcomes for patients with triple-negative breast cancer receiving immunotherapy.


Metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) is one of the most aggressive and fatal forms of breast cancer. The first immunotherapy drug was recently approved for its treatment. While it extended the lives of some patients, most patients did not benefit. TRIBUTE is a novel study, designed to collect clinical data and biospecimens from participants with mTNBC treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs). The goal of the study is to identify biomarkers of response from blood, tissue, and microbiome samples, which will inform future immunotherapy studies.

What's next

This collaborative effort, led by Dr. Elizabeth Mittendorf, will follow patients treated with immunotherapy agents and collect clinical data, tissue, blood, and stool samples. The study criteria are currently being broadened to include more patients. This unique repository—a first-of-its-kind resource—will help provide the catalyst for further advancements in immunotherapy treatment for triple-negative breast cancer patients.


Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD is the Robert and Karen Hale Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is also the Director of the Breast Immuno-Oncology program and Co-Director of the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center. Dr. Mittendorf received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine where she also completed a residency in General Surgery. She then served on active duty in the United States military before completing a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Mittendorf also holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. She is board certified by the American Board of Surgery.

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The Hale Family Award

Areas of Focus