Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York
Senior Vice President, Office of the President
Medical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center
Norna S. Sarofim Chair in Clinical Oncology
Senior Research Advisor, Larry Norton Institute
Soroka Medical Center
BCRF Founding Scientific Director
In addition to serving as BCRF’s Founding Scientific Director, Dr. Norton is also involved in collaborations with BCRF investigators on projects aimed at improving treatments for breast cancer and advancing our understanding of metastatic breast cancer. Most notable of these is the Mathematical Oncology Initiative, underwritten through generous support from the Simons Foundation.
The Mathematical Oncology Initiative brings together mathematicians, biologists, oncologists, and other scientists to develop new tools to interpret, model, and understand scientific data. In collaboration with Drs. Joseph Deasy and Alan Tannenbaum at Memorial Sloan Kettering Center and teams at the Soroka Medical Center in Israel, Dr. Norton oversees efforts that utilize advanced mathematical tools to gain a deeper understanding of the overall picture of cancer, including areas such as disease evolution, treatment response, identifying subtypes, patient risk of toxicity, and more. This collective work will contribute to the advancement of precision medicine in cancer.
The team at Soroka have developed a breast cancer model system that mimics a natural breast tumor environment. Using this realistic setting, they are studying patient samples to characterize tumor biology and evolution and to test new therapies. To date, 52 patients have been enrolled in the study. In the upcoming years of the project, the team will use their model system to understand resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors, what drives cancer aggressiveness, identify prognostic biomarkers, evaluate the ability of mathematical models to predict treatment success, and ultimately facilitate the translation of new therapies from preclinical studies to patients.
This project conducted in the laboratory of BCRF investigator Dr. Rachel Hazan seeks to uncover how cancer cells acquire the ability to spread to develop new therapeutic strategies to prevent metastasis from occurring. The team has revealed a subset of cells in both the primary breast tumors and metastases that drive aggressive behavior through activation of specific genes and promote metastasis.
No topic in cancer medicine is more pressing and no opportunity more significant than understanding and stopping metastasis. The “Founder’s Fund”, an international, multi-year collaboration, is the cornerstone of BCRF’s overall investment in metastatic breast cancer. Established in 2013 under the leadership of Dr. Larry Norton and former Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Clifford Hudis., the Founder’s Fund is comprised of two landmark studies, AURORA US, conducted through the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium based at Johns Hopkins University and AURORA EU, conducted through the Breast International Group based in Brussels. Dr. Norton continues to serve on the steering committees for both AURORA projects. Read more here.
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 received the 2013 Gianni Bonadonna Award from ASCO, in recognition of his distinguished record of accomplishments in advancing the field of breast cancer. In 2021, Dr. Norton was elected to one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies: the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
The Simons Foundation Award
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