Director, Clalit National Israeli Cancer Control Center
Professor and Chairman, Department of Community Medicine
Carmel Medical Center
Seeking to understand the causes and variable behavior of breast cancers in different populations.
Efforts are ongoing to identify differences in tumor molecular characteristics, inherited genetic mutations, and environmental exposures in an ethnically diverse group of breast cancer patients.
This work is providing new insight into the causes of breast cancer that influence outcomes in Middle Eastern populations and may lead to new prevention and treatment strategies.
Breast cancer outcomes and response to treatment are affected by multiple factors, including demographic characteristics (such as age at diagnosis and ethnic group), environmental exposures (such as reproductive patterns and obesity), and biological/genetic characteristics of the patient.
Dr. Rennert's BCRF research aims to identify sub-sets of women with differing patterns of disease behavior, such as recurrence in the same or contralateral (opposite) breast, metastases (and site of metastases), and death due to breast cancer.
He is studying these sub-groups for differences in tumor molecular characteristics, inherited genetic mutations, and environmental exposures in an effort to better understand the causes of breast cancer.
The study population of more than 8,000 women with breast cancer includes Jewish women of many different origins (Ashkenazi, Sephardi) as well as Arab women of different origins, religions (Moslem, Christian, Druze) and different dwelling types (representing different risk exposure patterns).
The high degree of variability in the rates of cancer between these groups, as well as a different distribution of tumor types will potentially enable us to understand the biological or behavioral background of the variation.
Gad Rennert has been chairman of the Carmel Medical Center Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology since 1992. He is a professor and the head of the public health and epidemiology teaching group at the Technion Faculty of Medicine.
Professor Rennert is also Director of the National Israeli Cancer Control Center and the Department of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention of Clalit and is leading its National Personalized Medicine Program offering testing, advice and policy on individualized molecular testing which dictates cancer risk and suitability for cancer treatments. He is responsible for the national breast and colorectal cancer detection programs in Israel and is a member of the National Oncology Council.
In 1984, Professor Rennert received his medical degree from Ben-Gurion Medical School. He received his PhD in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. He focuses his studies on understanding the behavioral and biological causes of cancer, with special emphasis on gene-environment interactions. He has been an invited speaker in key conferences, such as the Personalized Medicine World Conference, UPCP, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association of Cancer Research, St. Galen Cancer Prevention conference and San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
In addition to his activities at the Technion, Dr. Rennert is a reviewer for more than 30 international journals, an associate editor of two and serves on 10 editorial boards. He has published more than 200 papers in leading journals such as the NEJM, Science and Nature.