Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA

Professor, Departments of Surgery and Radiology, and Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF
Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center; Co-Leader, Breast Oncology Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Phone: (415) 353-7111 (appts)
Box 1710, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-1710

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Cancer Center Membership

Program Member » Breast Oncology» Cancer Genetics

Research Summary

My work in breast cancer spans the spectrum from public policy issues to basic science and the impact of both on the delivery of clinical care. In addition to being the Director of the Breast Care Center and the Clinical Leader of the NCI-designated Breast Oncology Program, I direct (as Principal Investigator) two large multicenter collaborations in my areas of interest. The I-SPY TRIAL (Investigating Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response using Imaging And molecular analysis) is a correlative science study for women with stage II/III breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, where women receive serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and core biopsies during the course of their therapy. This role led to the development of the I-SPY 2 Trial (PI), a large-scale trial that involves a unique collaboration by scientists from the NCI, the FDA, and nearly 20 major cancer research centers across the country. A distinctive feature of the trial is that it will screen multiple drugs from multiple companies—up to 12 different cancer drugs over the course of the trial. I-SPY 2 has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of drug development and speed the process of screening drugs with the goal of bringing safe and effective new drugs to market more efficiently. We are developing tools to tailor treatment for fast and slow growing tumors.

My role as former PI of the Biomarker Discovery Laboratory for the Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) led to the development of the ATHENA Breast Health Network, an integrated breast health network across the University of California campuses and the Sanford Medical Center. In this ambitious project, we are recruiting 150,000 women who are undergoing screening, and will follow them through any biopsy, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. Importantly, this effort will serve to create an engine to provide and improve breast cancer prevention services.

Education

Harvard University, A.B., 1977, History of Science
Stanford University, M.D., 1983, Surgery
Stanford University, School of Business, M.B.A., 1993, Health Policy


Professional Experience

  • 1985-1988
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • 1988-1990/1983-1985
    Resident in General Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • 1990-1991
    Chief Resident in General Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • 1991-1993
    Consultant, Stanford University Hospital, Cost Benefit Issues in the ICU
  • 1992-1993
    Staff General Surgeon, Palo Alto VeteranOs Administration
  • 1991-1993
    Trauma Surgeon, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
  • 06/92-8/93
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, Stanford University Department of Surgery
  • 09/93-present
    Co-Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, UCSF/Mount Zion Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA
  • 09/93-5/04
    Assistant Professor of Surgery, UCSF/Mount Zion Medical Center
  • 06/96-present
    Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 07/96-present
    Co-Director, High-Risk Program for Breast and Ovarian Cancer, UCSF/Mount Zion Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA
  • 04/97-present
    Joint Appointment, Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 06/97-present
    Executive Committee, Integrative Medicine Program, UCSF/Mount Zion Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA, Associate Professor, Surgery & Radiology
  • 07/97-present
    Director, UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at Mt. Zion, San Francisco, CA
  • 06/98-present
    Clinical Program Leader, Breast Oncology Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at Mt. Zion, San Francisco, CA
  • 6/04-present
    Professor of Surgery and Radiology, UCSF/Mount Zion Medical Center
  • 2008-present
    Associate Director (Translational Informatics), Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF/Mount Zion Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA

Honors & Awards

  • 1974 Harvard University-Sophomore Standing
  • 1974, 75, 77 John J. Fomon Research Fellowship (American Cancer Society)
  • 1975 Harvard University-Susan B. Anthony Potter Prize
  • 1977 Harvard University-Magna Cum Laude
  • 1992 Certification: Board Certified, American College of Surgeons
  • 1998-2008 Breast Cancer Research Foundation Award
  • 2003 Showcase for Biotechnology
  • 2003 Landmark Lecture Award Windber Research Institute
  • 2005 SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence) Outstanding Investigator of the Year
  • 2007 Best Poster – Breast Oncology Program
  • 2008 Best Poster – Breast Oncology Program

Selected Publications

  1. Neoadjuvant as Future for Drug Development in Breast Cancer-Response. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Jan 1; 22(1):269.
    View on PubMed
  2. The Impact of Radiation, Lymph Node Dissection, and Hormonal Therapy on Outcomes of Tissue Expander-Implant Exchange in Prosthetic Breast Reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Sep 10.
    View on PubMed
  3. Rethinking the Standard for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Treatment. JAMA Oncol. 2015 Aug 20.
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  4. Negative Genetic Testing Does Not Deter Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy in Younger Patients with Greater Family Histories of Breast Cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Oct; 22(10):3338-45.
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  5. Association of tamoxifen use and ovarian function in patients with invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Aug; 153(1):173-81.
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  6. Standardization of pathologic evaluation and reporting of postneoadjuvant specimens in clinical trials of breast cancer: recommendations from an international working group. Mod Pathol. 2015 Sep; 28(9):1185-201.
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  7. How to use magnetic resonance imaging following neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer. World J Clin Cases. 2015 Jul 16; 3(7):607-13.
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  8. In Regard to Hepel and Wazer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Aug 1; 92(5):953-4.
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  9. Expanding the Indications for Total Skin-Sparing Mastectomy: Is It Safe for Patients with Locally Advanced Disease? Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Jul 14.
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  10. Preventing Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment: Just the Next Step in the Evolution of Breast Cancer Care. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2015 Jun; 13(6):737-43.
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  11. Serial expression analysis of breast tumors during neoadjuvant chemotherapy reveals changes in cell cycle and immune pathways associated with recurrence and response. Breast Cancer Res. 2015; 17(1):73.
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  12. Tumor Involvement of the Nipple in Total Skin-Sparing Mastectomy: Strategies for Management. Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 May 29.
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  13. Coaching patients in the use of decision and communication aids: RE-AIM evaluation of a patient support program. BMC Health Serv Res. 2015; 15(1):209.
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  14. Recommendations for standardized pathological characterization of residual disease for neoadjuvant clinical trials of breast cancer by the BIG-NABCG collaboration. Ann Oncol. 2015 Jul; 26(7):1280-91.
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  15. Comparison of Mammographic Findings Following Oncoplastic Mammoplasty and Lumpectomy Without Reconstruction. Ann Surg Oncol. 2016 Jan; 23(1):65-71.
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  16. Approaches to microvascular breast reconstruction after total skin-sparing mastectomy: a comparison of techniques. Ann Plast Surg. 2015 May; 74 Suppl 1:S46-51.
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  17. Rates of Reconstruction Failure in Patients Undergoing Immediate Reconstruction With Tissue Expanders and/or Implants and Postmastectomy Radiation Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Jul 1; 92(3):634-41.
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  18. Pride, Prejudice, or Science: Attitudes Towards the Results of the TARGIT-A Trial of Targeted Intraoperative Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Jul 1; 92(3):491-7.
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  19. The impact of breast mass on outcomes of total skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate tissue expander-based breast reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Mar; 135(3):672-9.
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  20. The Neoadjuvant Model Is Still the Future for Drug Development in Breast Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Jul 1; 21(13):2911-5.
    View on PubMed

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