Titles and Affiliations

Assistant Member, Department of Breast Oncology
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Tampa, Florida
American Association for Cancer Research

Research area

Determining whether there are racial differences in patterns of use of endocrine therapy

Impact

A Black woman is 42 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than a white woman. This racial difference in survival persists for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer—a form of breast cancer that responds to endocrine therapy. Achieving the full benefit from endocrine therapy involves several steps to ensure daily adherence over five years. Dr. Lee aims to identify whether there are racial differences in patterns of use of endocrine therapy, which may help to account for survival differences. 

What’s Next

Dr. Lee will examine: 1) whether women ever begin endocrine therapy (initiation), 2) the extent to which women take endocrine therapy every day (adherence), and 3) whether women continue taking endocrine therapy for at least 5 years (persistence). She will interview breast cancer providers and, most importantly, patients with breast cancer who identify as Black, to get their opinions about what makes it harder or easier to initiate, adhere to, and persist with endocrine therapy. Dr. Lee will also solicit advice from providers and patients about the need and acceptability of certain interventions. Dr. Lee’s research will develop and test a multi-level intervention to improve the use of endocrine therapy. For example, if initiation is suboptimal, Dr. Lee and her team will intervene to ensure that providers are prescribing endocrine therapy appropriately and address barriers to women filling the prescription. If adherence or persistence is suboptimal, they will intervene to provide feedback to patient and provider to prompt a conversation to address barriers of adherence or persistence. Finally, this intervention will be culturally tailored to ensure that the benefits seen are distributed equitably between racial groups.

Biography

Kimberley Lee, MD, MHS is a medical oncologist and assistant member of the Department of Breast Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. Dr. Lee earned both her MD and MHS at Johns Hopkins University and her BS in biological sciences at Florida International University. Her long-term research interests involve the development of interventions to significantly reduce health care disparities seen among minority patients with breast cancer. Dr. Lee works with a multi-disciplinary team to care for patients with breast cancer. She has also completed training in pharmacoepidemiology and plans to merge these two fields of interests by addressing the utilization of evidence-based pharmaceutical agents as a mediator of disparities in outcomes in oncologic care.

BCRF Investigator Since

2021

Donor Recognition

The von Mandl Family Foundation Awards