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Mariya Rozenblit, MD

Hematology-oncology Fellow
Yale Cancer Center
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation 

Current Research

Goal: Developing a model to predict breast cancer risk to improve outcomes for patients

Impact:  Our understanding of the heritability of breast cancer remains incomplete. Studies suggest that breast cancer is not due to a single mutation but several different mutations that lead to the transformation of a normal cell to a cancer cell. Single nucleotide variants (SNVs) occur within every individual’s DNA. While individual single changes are most likely too small to predispose someone to cancer, Dr. Rozenblit is investigating whether the incidence of several SNVs within genes known to be important in cancer may increase the risk of developing cancer. 

What’s next: Dr. Rozenblit will utilize the data obtained from her analysis to develop a mathematic model to predict the risk of an individual developing breast cancer and thereby hopes to improve current risk assessment tools to improve patient outcomes.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women worldwide with women under 50 having more aggressive tumors and a higher rate of metastatic recurrence. worse outcomes. Although these women may have a family history of breast cancer, our understanding of the heritability of breast cancer remains incomplete. Dr. Rozenblit is investigating whether the incidence of several small changes within genes known to be important in cancer may increase the risk of developing cancer. Specifically, she and her team are investigating whether women under 50 with breast cancer, a strong family history of cancer and negative upon genetic screening have a high number of SNVs in cancer related genes.

Full Research Summary

Research area: Using single nucleotide variants to predict the risk of developing breast cancer in young women with a high-risk family history 

Impact: Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women worldwide with women under 50 having worse outcomes. Dense breast tissue of younger women makes it difficult to visualize tumors on mammograms and can lead to late diagnosis. Additionally, young women tend to have more aggressive tumors and a higher rate of metastatic recurrence and mortality. These women may have a family history of breast cancer but our understanding of the heritability of breast cancer remains incomplete. A minority of women with a family history of breast cancer test positive on genetic screens but, many patients without these known genetic mutations still develop breast cancer. This suggests that breast cancer is not due to a single mutation but several different mutations that lead to the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell. Single nucleotide variants (SNVs) occur within every individual’s DNA.  When these differences are found in the portion of the DNA that codes for proteins, small variations can affect protein function. While single changes are most likely too small to predispose someone to cancer, Dr. Rozenblit is investigating whether the incidence of several SNVs within genes known to be important in cancer may increase the risk of developing cancer. Specifically, she and her team hypothesize that women under 50 with breast cancer, a strong family history of cancer and negative upon genetic screening have a high number of SNVs in cancer related genes. 

Current research: As part of her Conquer Cancer study, supported by BCRF, Dr. Rozenblit is sequencing the DNA from blood samples from women under 50 with breast cancer and a strong family history of cancer to identify SNVs within genes known to be involved in cancer pathways. Breast cancer is most likely due to several different mutations in key pathways resulting in transformation from a normal cell into a cancer cell. Differences in DNA sequences within the portion of DNA that codes for proteins can affect protein function. Dr. Rozenblit will utilize the data obtained from her analyses to develop a mathematical model to predict the risk of an individual developing breast cancer and thereby hopes to improve current risk assessment tools to improve patient outcomes.

Biography

Mariya Rozenblit, MD is a second-year fellow in hematology and oncology at Yale Cancer Center. She received her MD from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with distinction in research and completed her residency in internal medicine at NYU where she also received a certificate in translational research methodologies. She graduated from Columbia University with a major in Biology. Her interest in breast cancer research began during medical school when she assisted with a retrospective chart review that was published in the Journal of Oncology. She then received a seed grant from the AMA during her residency to study the immune microenvironment of breast cancer chest wall recurrences treated with imiquimod. She continues to study the efficacy of everolimus and exemestane following prior treatment with CDK4/6 inhibitors.

BCRF Investigator Since

2020

Area(s) of Focus