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Larry Norton, MD
Senior Vice President, Office of the President;
Medical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center
Norna S. Sarofim Chair in Clinical Oncology
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York
BCRF Founding Scientific Director
In addition to serving as BCRF’s Scientific Director, Dr. Norton is also involved in collaborations with several BCRF investigators on the following projects aimed at improving treatments in breast cancer.
Improving immunotherapies in breast cancer: Collaborators: Drs. Jedd Wolchok and Taha Merghoub. Immunotherapy has re-emerged as a potential strategy for the treatment of breast cancer, but this approach has not achieved the same success in breast cancer as in melanoma, lung and some other cancers. This project, led by Dr. Wolchok, is investigating several strategies to potentially improve immunotherapy in breast cancer. A phase I clinical trial for a vaccine in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer is underway.
Understanding resistance: Collaborators: Drs. Sarat Chandarlapaty and Maurizio Scaltriti. One of the revolutionary advances of our current time is the ability to examine DNA in great depth, so that specific changes underlying cancer can be defined and provide new targets for drugs. The massive amounts of scientific data that is generated in cancer research has the potential to both unlock new discoveries that will advance our knowledge of cancer initiation, treatment, and control, and to change the course of cancer care for millions of people around the globe. The Memorial Sloan Kettering team is analyzing DNA from tumors, including those from patients with metastatic breast cancers, to determine molecular mechanisms of resistance so as to improve breast cancer outcomes.
Mathematics in cancer: Collaborators: Drs. Joseph Deasy with Allen Tannenbaum. A new Mathematical Oncology Initiative, supported by the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation Award in Memory of Sandra Taub, will bring together mathematicians, biologists, oncologists and other scientists to develop new tools to interpret, model, and understand scientific data. The mathematical methods derived from these efforts will be used to predict novel treatment approaches that can be tested in the laboratory and ultimately in the clinic.
Finding new targets to prevent metastasis: Collaborator: Rachel Hazan. Metastasis is the leading cause of breast cancer deaths and cancer stem cells are believed to be the drivers of metastasis. Dr. Hazan's research is focused on developing a targeted approach to eliminating cancer stem cells to make tumors more sensitive to drugs and prevent metastasis.
Dr. Larry Norton, Senior Vice President, Office of the President; Medical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is Professor of Medicine, Weill-Cornell Medical College. He is a founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and has served as its Scientific Director since the Foundation's inception in 1993.
Dr. Norton is the founding incumbent of the Norna S. Sarofim Chair of Clinical Oncology at MSKCC and a Professor of Medicine in the Weill Cornell Medical College. He received his AB with Highest Distinction from the University of Rochester and his MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He trained in medicine and medical research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Dr. Norton has dedicated his life to the eradication of cancer by activities in medical care, laboratory and clinical research, advocacy, and government. He was a U.S. Presidential appointee to the National Cancer Advisory Board (the board of directors of the NCI) serving as Chair of the Budget Sub-Committee. A former Director of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, he served as President of ASCO and subsequently Chair of the ASCO Foundation, now the Conquer Cancer Foundation. He has been Vice-Chair of the Lymphoma Committee and a long-serving Chair of the Breast Committee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (now the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology). He has served on or chaired numerous committees of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He is an editorial board member or reviewer for numerous medical journals and on the advisory boards of many advocacy and medical institutions including the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center and several Specialized Programs of Research Excellence.
Dr. Norton's personal research has focused on the use of medicines to treat cancer, particularly the application of mathematical methods to optimizing dose and schedule. He has been involved in the development of several effective agents including paclitaxel and trastuzumab. He co-invented the Norton-Simon Model of cancer growth which has broadly influenced cancer therapy, and more recently the self-seeding concept of cancer metastasis and growth. He is the Principal Investigator of an NCI Program Project Grant in Models of Human Breast Cancer and an author of more than 350 published articles and many book chapters.
For his work, Dr. Norton has received many honors, including election to Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha and recognition from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Society for MSKCC, the Italian-American Foundation for Cancer Research, the Don Shula Foundation, SHARE (NY), the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. He received ASCO's highest honor, the David A. Karnofsky Award, in 2004, and was a McGuire Lecturer at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. He has served as a visiting professor throughout the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, Israel, and Asia and has trained many cancer physicians and researchers. In 2010, Dr. Norton was one of three individuals honored for clinical excellence and presented with a National Physician of the Year Award by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. He also received the 2013 Gianni Bonadonna Award from ASCO, in recognition of his distinguished record of accomplishments in advancing the field of breast cancer.