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Patricia A. Ganz, MD

Distinguished University Professor
Schools of Medicine and Public Health
Director, Cancer Prevention & Control Research
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California
Los Angeles, California
Member, BCRF Scientific Advisory Board

Current Research

  • Seeking to improve quality of life in breast cancer patients and survivors. 
     
  • Several efforts are ongoing aimed at understanding the causes of therapy-induced cognitive impairment.
     
  • A better understanding of effects of chemotherapy on patient quality of life will inform interventions that can reduce these effects.

Patients are living longer after breast cancer, because of more effective therapies. These lifesaving therapies, however, can have long-term side effects that diminish quality of life after therapy ends. Dr. Ganz is conducting a series of studies aimed at understanding how cancer therapies affect cognitive function and other factors related to quality of life.

Full Research Summary

Dr. Ganz is conducting research that is primarily focused on improving cognitive function in breast cancer survivors who have persistent memory and concentration problems.

In ongoing research, her team is studying a group of women for up to 6 years after they have completed treatment. They are collecting data from patient questionnaires, blood work and conducting detailed testing of cognitive function to understand the long-term effects of treatment.  Reports from this study have provided a rich source of information that has been helpful to patients and clinicians in understanding what to expect after treatment.

In the coming year Dr. Ganz will continue to examine the impacts of breast cancer treatments on symptoms and quality of life, including analyses of the effect of inflammation on cognitive changes after anti-estrogen therapy.  

In addition, she will conduct a survey with oncologists to determine how they can better inform breast cancer patients about what to expect from the treatment so that they can improve the recovery process in their patients.

Biography

Patricia A. Ganz, MD, a medical oncologist, has been a member of the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine since 1978 and the UCLA School of Public Health since 1992. Since 1993 she has been the Director of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 1999 she was awarded an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship for "Enhancing Patient Outcomes across the Cancer Control Continuum." Dr. Ganz was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2007. She served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors from 2002-2007 and on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors from 2003-2006. She received the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor in 2010. Dr. Ganz is a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life in cancer patients, and has focused much of her clinical and research efforts in the areas of breast cancer and its prevention. At the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, she leads the scientific program focused on Patients and Survivors. Her major areas of research include cancer survivorship and late effects of cancer treatment, cancer in the elderly, and quality of care for cancer patients. Dr. Ganz currently serves as Vice Chair of the Institute of Medicine National Cancer Policy Forum, and Chaired the 2013 IOM consensus report entitled "Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis."

BCRF Investigator Since

2001

Donor Recognition

The Estée Lauder Award

Area(s) of Focus