Kimberley Lee, MD, MHS
Assistant Member, Department of Breast Oncology
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
American Association for Cancer Research
Determining whether there are racial differences in patterns of use of endocrine therapy.
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 (HR)-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.
Dr. Lee has completed 12 of 30 planned interviews with Black women being treated with endocrine therapy to better understand from the patient perspective what makes it easier or harder to start taking endocrine therapy, to take it every day, and to continue taking the medication for the recommended five to ten years. Dr. Lee has also completed eight of ten planned interviews with medical oncologists and advanced practice providers to understand their perspectives on caring for Black women with HR-positive breast cancer. She also asked both patients and providers about planned interventions to improve use of endocrine therapy for Black women. Analysis of this data will be conducted once the planned interviews are completed.
Dr. Lee will use national data on breast cancer treatment over ten years to objectively evaluate racial differences in whether women start taking endocrine therapy at all, take it daily, or continue taking it for at least five years. The results of this study will be used to develop and test an intervention to improve the use of endocrine therapy. This intervention will be culturally tailored to ensure that the benefits are distributed equitably between racial groups. No patient with breast cancer should have worse outcomes because of factors associated with their race, and this work will bring us one step closer to eliminating this health disparity.
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.
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