Titles and Affiliations

Member, Breast Medicine Service
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York

Research area

Improving the treatment of high-risk triple-negative breast cancer 

Impact

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15-20 percent of all breast cancers but makes up 50 percent of metastatic breast cancers. Patients who complete chemotherapy before surgery and have significant residual disease at the time of surgery, are at highest risk for relapse. The only treatment options for these patients are chemotherapy with the drug capecitabine and radiation. There is an urgent need to develop new treatment strategies for TNBC to reduce relapse and improve survival. Dr. Vahdat is testing a novel treatment for TNBC by targeting copper, which plays an integral role in the process of metastasis, both within tumor cells and in the tumor microenvironment. The therapeutic depletion of copper has the potential to enhance standard chemotherapy and prevent metastasis in patients with high-risk TNBC.

What’s next

Dr. Vahdat is currently developing a phase II clinical trial to study the standard chemotherapy capecitabine versus capecitabine and tetra-thiomolybdate, a copper depletion compound, in patients diagnosed with TNBC who are at high risk of having their disease recur.
 

Biography

Linda Vahdat, MD, MBA is a senior member of the Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Evelyn Lauder Breast Center. She earned her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management.

She has performed clinical and translational research in breast cancer for 24 years with a focus on new therapies in patients with high risk of relapse and metastatic disease. Over the course of 15 years, Dr. Vahdat, directed and built an integrated Program at Weill Cornell Medicine whose strategy is not only to treat breast cancer metastases, but to try to prevent them through novel drugs targeting minimal residual disease. She has a particular research interest in triple-negative breast cancer and founded a clinic dedicated to the integrated research and treatment of triple-negative breast cancer at Weill Cornell Medicine in January 2014. Her major research focus is to understand the process of tumor metastases in breast cancer patients at high risk of relapse and to develop drugs to interrupt that process.

BCRF Investigator Since

2021

Donor Recognition

The Forrest & Frances Lattner Foundation Award

Areas of Focus