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Mehra Golshan, MD, MBA

Dr. Abdul Mohsen and Sultana Al-Tuwaijri Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology
Director Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Associate Professor of Surgery
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Current Research

Goal: To improve success rates in breast cancer surgery and reduce repeat surgeries.

Impact: Dr. Golshan is investigating whether using advanced imaging techniques during surgery as well as tumor markers could help identify when a tumor has not been completely removed. If successful, this approach could reduce the need for additional surgeries, which will reduce time to breast cancer treatment and patient anxiety.

What’s next: He and his colleagues will continue conducting two phase II clinical trials aimed at improving surgical results for women with early stage breast cancer and determining the best technique of breast MRI in advanced breast cancers.

Breast conserving surgery is standard treatment for early-stage breast cancer and allows for less invasive breast reconstruction after surgery. It is not uncommon, however, for a patient to have to return to the operating room after initial surgery because the first surgery did not remove the entire tumor. Dr. Golshan is testing intraoperative imaging and molecular technology to improve surgery outcomes. The cornerstone of his BCRF funded research is improving patient surgical outcomes through translating intra-operative tumor assessment with mass spectrometry and breast MRI to operating rooms around the world.

Full Research Summary

Research area: Identifying ways to improve surgical outcomes in breast cancer patients.

Impact: For patients with early-stage breast cancer, breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) along with whole breast radiation is a standard approach in treatment and allows for better cosmetic breast reconstruction. Re-excision rates following breast conserving surgery, however range between 15-40 percent despite advances in surgical and imaging techniques. Dr. Golshan’s innovative approach of combining interoperative MRI (iMRI) with molecular analyses is already having an impact in reducing the need for breast re-excisions. Additional potential impact of this  is a timely initiation of cancer therapy after surgery, peace of mind for patients, reduced risk of infections, and potentially a reduction in elective mastectomy for patients with early stage breast cancer – all of which will lead to reduced health care costs.

Current investigation: Dr. Golshan is testing intraoperative imaging and molecular technology to improve surgery outcomes. The cornerstone of his BCRF funded research is improving patient surgical outcomes through translating intra-operative tumor assessment with mass spectrometry and breast MRI to operating rooms around the world.

What he’s learned so far: His studies have shown that iMRI is not only feasible for tumor margin assessment during  breast conserving therapy, but that it has the potential to reduce re-excision rates. In his own study, there were no cases resulting in tumor re-excision for invasive disease and the re-excision rate for DCIS was reduced from 40 percent to 17 percent. Dr. Golshan’s studies also revealed that the tumor position within the breast varied significantly when comparing the standard MRI position of the breast (women lying face down) with the operative position (women lying face up), which can impact surgical resection and tumor margins. These findings suggest the need for inclusion of supine (face up) imaging as part of standard pre-operative breast surgical planning and has the potential for being a practice-changing finding for diagnostic breast MRI.

What’s next: The clinical trials are ongoing, and recruitment continues.

Biography

Mehra Golshan, MD, a breast surgical oncologist and is the inaugural and incumbent Dr. Abdul Mohsen and Sultana Al-Tuwaijri Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology, Director of Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

His primary clinical research interest focuses on minimizing the extent of surgery required for women with breast cancer through the use of neoadjuvant therapies and novel intra-operative techniques. The focus of the preoperative therapy trials is to target treatment for breast cancer and develop tumor profiles that will in the future lead to individualized tailored therapies for patients with breast cancer.

The cornerstone of his BCRF funded research is improving patient surgical outcomes through translating intra-operative tumor assessment with mass spectrometry (Dr. Nathalie Agar lab) and breast MRI to operating rooms around the world. In the United States, up to 40 percent of women who undergo lumpectomy will need a second operation to achieve clear margins. He and his colleagues are studying the use of these intra-operative diagnostic biomarkers and tools in the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operative Suite (AMIGO) at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital to determine if they can identify and remove residual tumor while the patient is under anesthesia, with the aim to improve patient outcomes. 

Grid Researcher Headshot - Golshan M

BCRF Investigator Since

2014

Donor Recognition

The Hale Family Award

Area(s) of Focus