Weill Cornell Medicine
New York, New York
Chief, Division of Breast Surgery
Director, Interdisciplinary Breast Program
New York Presbyterian Hospital Network
Addressing racial and ethnic disparities in breast cancer while also providing a platform to increase engagement of African American physicians in research.
African American women are underrepresented as patients and as clinicians in breast cancer research, even though breast cancer mortality rates are 40 percent higher in African Americans compared to White American women. Socioeconomic disadvantages that create barriers to healthcare access are more prevalent in the African American community but do not fully explain this disparity in survival rates. Dr. Newman aims to engage African American breast surgeons in the collection of clinically annotated breast tissue samples from their diverse African American patient populations. This biobank will provide an essential resource for genetic and tumor research in the biology of breast cancer in African American women.
In the first year of the project, Dr. Newman introduced the project to African American members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. They expressed enthusiastic support for participating in the project and provided productive suggestions for strengthening the collaboration.
Dr. Newman continues her pilot study that will address breast cancer disparities related to race and ethnicity while also providing a platform for African American physicians to increase their engagement in research. She aims to create a network of African American breast surgeons to work collaboratively for biobanking specimens and clinical data suitable for genetic studies, tumor analyses, and assessment of social determinants of health. This biobank will be incorporated into ongoing genomic and genetic research conducted through the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes (ICSBCS), a global program headquartered at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, that has a major focus on evaluating the breast cancer burden of women of African ancestry in the United States compared to those residing on the continent of Africa.
Lisa Newman, MD is a surgical oncologist with a practice dedicated to breast cancer management. She oversees the breast program for the Weill Cornell Medicine-New York Presbyterian Hospital Network, serving its Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn sites. She is the Founding Medical Director for the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes, currently headquartered at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Dr. Newman previously served as breast program director for the Henry Ford Health System, covering multiple hospitals throughout Michigan. She was a professor of surgery and Director of the Breast Care Center for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and served as Program Director for the Breast Fellowship from 2002 to 2015. Dr. Newman attended medical school and completed her general surgery residency training at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. She did her fellowship training in surgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, followed by joining the faculty as an Assistant Professor. She continues to hold an adjunct professorship with MD Anderson.
Dr. Newman’s primary research has focused on race/ethnicity-related variation in breast cancer risk and outcome and the evaluation and management of high-risk patients. She is credited with broadening the applications for neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and surgical techniques such as the skin-sparing mastectomy and lymphatic mapping/sentinel lymph node biopsy. Her extensive research related to disparities in breast cancer risk and outcome has been published in numerous peer-reviewed medical journals.
Dr. Newman oversees an international breast cancer research and training program involving a network of physicians and facilities in Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
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