A Little Breast Cancer History

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

JUNE 19, 2017

Not infrequently, I am embarrassed by what I don't know. There is so much that I don't know! This is an example of just learning about Dr. Angela Brodie who is credited with the development of the AIs (aromatase inhibitors) that are used to treat ER positive breast cancers. Dr. Brodie died at 82, and the accolades are pouring in. And I am wondering why and how I never before heard her name.

If you have had breast cancer, you surely are familiar with these anti-estrogen/hormonal medications that are used to treat post-menopausal women. Some younger women are also treated with a combination of an AI and another drug to close down their ovaries. Generally speaking, women receive about the same benefit from AIs that they do from chemotherapy, so most certainly Dr. Brodie saved many, many lives.

Here is her story from Medscape:

'Unparalleled' Contribution to Breast Cancer: Angela Brodie

Kristen Jenkins

Praise has been flowing in for Angela Hartley Brodie, PhD, professor emeritus in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, after her recent death.
Dr Brodie is credited with pioneering the development of aromatase inhibitors, which are now a mainstay for the treatment for hormone positive breast cancer.

In the world of breast cancer treatment, Dr Brodie's contribution is "unparalleled," commented E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland.

"It is because of her work that a disease that was once almost a certain death sentence can now, for many, be successfully treated and managed," Dr Reece said in a statement on the university's website. "She never gave up on her vision of finding a new treatment with fewer side effects, and many women around the world have benefitted from her perseverance."

"Dr. Brodie's pioneering research is equal to the greatest advances in treating breast cancer in the last 150 years," added Kevin J. Cullen, MD, distinguished professor of oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Her work with aromatase inhibitors has saved the lives of thousands of women worldwide."

Read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/881599_print

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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