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Rita Nanda, MD

The University of Chicago Medicine
Chicago, Illinois

Titles and Affiliations

Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Breast Oncology Program

Research area

Targeting alternative steroid receptors in triple negative breast cancer.


Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) refers to a diverse group of breast cancers that lack the typical hormone receptors found in most breast cancers, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor, as well as the HER2 protein—and are thus not candidates for endocrine or anti-HER2 therapies. The standard of care for TNBC remains chemotherapy-based treatment. In search of other therapeutic targets, studies found that 12 to 50 percent of TNBC harbor the androgen receptor (AR) or signs of AR activation. When AR-positive TNBC recurs they are likely to also have high levels of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which may work with AR to drive tumor growth. With this information, Drs. Rita Nanda and Tiffany Traina, and their teams designed a clinical trial to test the use of AR and GR-targeting drugs on patient with AR-positive, metastatic TNBC.

Progress Thus Far

The study is now open at MSKCC and will be followed by University of Chicago and other collaborating sites throughout the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium—a consortium of leading academic clinical sites across the United States.

What’s next

The study will ultimately enroll 201 patients. It will assess the ability of the AR-targeting enzalutamide alone or in combination with a GR-targeting agent, mifepristone, to extend progression free survival when compared with chemotherapy.


Rita Nanda, MD, is an associate professor of medicine and director of the breast medical oncology program at The University of Chicago. Her research interests include identifying new treatments for breast cancer, with a focus on triple-negative disease. She leads the University of Chicago’s clinical and translational breast cancer research efforts and serves as a principal investigator for the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) and the ISPY2 Clinical Trial Network.

She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association of Cancer Research, and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Dr. Nanda has authored many scientific publications and book chapters, including one of the first reports of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for triple-negative breast cancer. She presents her research often at national and international conferences. She has earned several awards, including the 2014 NCI Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. Recently, Dr. Nanda and a team of 7 researchers at the University of Chicago won the 2023 Ullman Family Team Science Award to support novel breast cancer research.

BCRF Investigator Since


Areas of Focus



Tiffany A. Traina, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York