UCSF Fellow Wins Honors for Breast Cancer Research

By UCSF Today | December 14, 2005

UCSF Fellow Anjali Kumar, MD, MPH, is the 2006 recipient of the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) Foundation Fellowship and the AstraZeneca Young Investigator Award at the 28th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).

Kumar submitted three abstracts for the SABCS, the largest annual international, multidisciplinary breast cancer conference, all of which were accepted. One project, which she designed through UCSF's Training in Clinical Research course taught each summer by Stephen Hulley, MD, MPH, professor and chair of epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF, was chosen for oral presentation. Of the 43 abstracts selected for oral presentation, Kumar's was one of 18 presented by researchers from the United States - one of two from West Coast universities. Some 6,000 participants registered for the conference, and roughly 3,000 people attended her talk.

Kumar also was selected from a national pool of applicants for the AWS fellowship, which is granted to a female surgeon for an original research topic on breast cancer or minimal access surgical/endoscopic techniques. She received a $25,000 grant for her project titled "Randomized Phase II Pilot Trial of Statin Use in Women with Early Breast Cancer."

The AWS was founded in 1981 as an offshoot of the American College of Surgeons, the largest professional body of surgeons in the country. The AWS mission is to inspire, encourage and enable women surgeons to realize their professional and personal goals.

Research on Statins

Kumar is a fourth-year resident in surgery completing a two-year midresidency research fellowship under Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center. Kumar joined Esserman to research the possibility of breast cancer prevention by administering statins. Together, they wrote a proposal to give patients with the earliest form of breast cancer (DCIS) a statin for three to six weeks before their surgery to record possible anti-tumor effects.

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