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Maria Alice Franzoi, MD

Institut Gustave Roussy
Villejuif, France

Titles and Affiliations

Medical Oncologist/Researcher, Breast Cancer Survivorship Group

Conquer Cancer, The ASCO Foundation

Research area

Improving quality of life after breast cancer treatment.


Fifty percent of patients with breast cancer suffer from at least one persistent and severe symptom, 30 percent face emotional or social difficulties, and over 20 percent struggle to return to work after diagnosis. The follow-up and treatment of survivors of breast cancer could be improved by 1) personalizing care plans that consider a patient’s long-term quality of life and independence, 2) increasing patient empowerment, so that patients have greater control over decisions affecting their health, and 3) using digital technology to reach and deliver self-management strategies and information to patients. For her Conquer Cancer Advanced Clinical Research Award supported by BCRF, Dr. Franzoi aims to address these challenges with the help of digital technology and a more efficient use of healthcare resources.

Progress Thus Far

Dr. Franzoi is conducting an analysis to identify common factors associated with deterioration in quality of life in a large French database of more than 12,000 survivors of breast cancer that included prospective data on quality-of-life for several years after the end of treatment. Her work has helped identify patients at risk for quality-of-life deterioration after diagnosis. She is also piloting a care plan offered to survivors of breast cancer in France that includes informational materials to facilitate communication with healthcare providers, an invitation to attend educational seminars with healthcare providers and peers, access to a mobile application offering personalized education, empowerment and self-management advice, and decision aids for physicians on treating common problems faced by survivors. Finally, she is currently conducting a qualitative study by interviewing patients and clinicians to evaluate the best approach to communicate individual risk of long-term toxicity.

What’s next

Dr. Franzoi will continue to refine the supportive care plans as more patient data and feedback become available to ensure a better quality of life for every patient. The team is also refining the mobile application to support patients and clinicians in communicating risk and empowering self-management in patients.


Maria-Alice Franzoi, MD is a Latin American medical oncologist focused on the care of breast cancer. She received her medical degree in her native Brazil, at the University of the South of Santa Catarina. She completed her residencies in Internal Medicine and Oncology in Porto Alegre, Brazil, before completing a clinical research fellowship at the Jules Bordet Institute in Belgium, under the mentorship of Professor Martine Piccart and Dr. Evandro de Azambuja. Dr. Franzoi is a past Conquer Cancer International Development Award (IDEA) recipient.

She is currently a faculty member of the Breast Cancer Survivorship Group at Gustave Roussy where she leads the development of a clinical research program aiming to use digital health to achieve personalized care pathways targeting high-quality care and quality of life improvement for survivors of breast cancer. The importance of this work relies on the fact that over 50 percent of patients suffer from at least one severe post-treatment symptom and there is suboptimal management of long-term toxicities after breast cancer. Her project under the mentorship of Dr. Ines Vaz-Luis aims to advance personalized survivorship care through i) patient stratification, building on the individualized risk of post-treatment toxicities and medical complexity, and ii) deployment of scalable behavioral strategies for symptom management, leveraging patient empowerment and technology. This project will integrate analyses of psychological and behavior, biological data, and the use of digital technologies, and it will design a clinical trial to validate and refine a prototype survivorship care pathway facilitated by digital technology, which should be ready for wider clinical deployment afterward. Members from distinct countries, including low-middle income countries will be part of the mentoring & advisory committee to avoid building a care model not realistic for implementation in lower resource settings or other cultures.

BCRF Investigator Since


Areas of Focus