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Poorni M. Manohar, MD

Medical Oncology Fellow
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington
Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation 

Current Research

Goal: To formulate treatment guidelines to improve adherence and accurate treatment selection for metastatic breast cancer patients.

Impact: Dr. Manohar is investigating the re‐assessment of biomarkers, such as hormone receptor status, in patients with breast cancer recurrence. By determining the biopsy and biomarker testing trends in the diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, she and her team hope to formulate solutions to inform treatment guidelines and improve adherence to guidelines through accurate treatment selection.

What’s next: Dr. Manohar and her colleagues will continue to evaluate practice patterns that can help reveal variations in trends of treatment choice and inform future investigative efforts and guideline updates. 

In early breast cancer, hormone receptor status is a defining factor in choosing appropriate therapy however, hormone receptor status changes in approximately 20-40 percent of metastatic breast cancers compared to the primary tumor. Therefore, national guidelines recommend biopsy of suspected metastases to re‐establish hormone receptor status. Practice patterns may not reflect guidelines due to challenges in obtaining biopsies and determining hormone receptor status at different tumor sites. Dr. Manohar is investigating patterns in the re‐assessment of biomarkers, such as hormone receptor status, in patients with breast cancer recurrence.

Full Research Summary

Research area: Identifying the key areas in diagnosis and treatment of metastatic breast cancer patients where interventions may help to advance the standard of care and improve outcomes.

Impact: In early breast cancer, hormone receptor status is a defining factor in choosing appropriate therapy however, hormone receptor status changes in approximately 40 percent of metastatic breast cancers compared to the primary tumor. Therefore, national guidelines recommend biopsy of suspected metastases to re‐establish hormone receptor status. Practice patterns may not reflect guidelines due to challenges in obtaining biopsies and determining hormone receptor status at different tumor sites. Dr. Manohar is investigating the re‐assessment of biomarkers, such as hormone receptor status, in patients with breast cancer recurrence. By determining the biopsy and biomarker testing trends in the diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, she and her team hope to formulate solutions to inform treatment guidelines and improve adherence to guidelines through accurate treatment selection. 

Current research: As part of her Conquer Cancer study, supported by BCRF, Dr. Manohar is analyzing the health information of cancer patients in Washington State to determine the factors that influence practice patterns such as setting - urban versus rural clinic - type of insurance and patient co‐morbidities. She will use a database created by the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) which is uniquely poised to address knowledge gaps in patient care. This information platform houses patient characteristics linked to insurance claims and provides the advantage of including private insurance carriers as well as Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Manohar investigations will help to reveal variations in trends of treatment choice and inform future investigative efforts and guideline updates. She hopes to identify potential reasons for non‐adherence from national guidelines and to develop ways to ensure the best quality care for all patients.

 

Biography

Poorni Manohar, MD is a fellow in medical oncology at the University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She received a BA in Biology at Case Western Reserve University and an MD at Wright State University. She completed her residency at University of Michigan then served on their faculty as a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Internal Medicine. During her fellowship at the University of Washington, she was awarded the Clinical Scholar Award at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in 2018. She took an active leadership role in her fellowship program, serving as a Chief Fellow in 2019‐2020 and creating the Women in Hematology/Oncology group. Dr. Manohar envisions a career that makes meaningful differences for patients with breast cancer and hopes her research sheds light on relevant issues such as value and costs in breast cancer care and treatment.

BCRF Investigator Since

2020

Area(s) of Focus