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December 19, 2008


Tomorrow, DC will be the center of college football! The start of bowl season happens at RFK, at the first-ever EagleBank Bowl. Navy v. Wake Forest. Be there! Please see ad at right for details.


Breast cancer is not one disease, but many, all originating in the breast. To learn about a new grant to study this area, we had to find Washington Hospital Center’s Sandra Swain because she’s also many things: a researcher, a breast oncologist, and the Medical Director of the Washington Cancer Institute at WHC.


Sandra, left, tells us her latest target is Triple-Negative breast cancer, a variety that accounts for 15% of all breast cancer cases.  Her concern is that it yields poorer outcomes in the demographics where it’s most prevalent: African-American and Hispanic women. She just landed a $413K, three-year grant from the MedStar Research Institute with funding from the Eastern Division of Safeway. (We think that means she pays out of pocket and Safeway gives her a coupon for her next study.) With help from NCI Medical Oncology Fellow Sarah Sinclair, right, the grant will fund investigations that may allow physicians to predict which treatments are best for individual patients with Triple-Negative. Sandra also just helped launch a study to test several treatments in women in an earlier stage of the disease than previously researched.


Sandra discovered a loophole in the doctors-too-busy-for-quality-family-time lifestyle. She changed the definition of family to include all her teaching fellows (she says they’re “like my children”), and just last month added another from Brazil. (All these children make her the Angelina Jolie of medical directors.) She’s recently back from trips to Hanoi and Angkor Wat. How does she wrangle such a large family? Luckily, when necessary, Sandra possesses the great unifying skill: she’s a gourmet cook.

To those celebrating on Sunday, happy first night of Hanukkah. Send story ideas and leftover potato latkes to Curtis@Bisnow.com

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Zegna Adrian Jules Dormeuil email Medical Bisnow Sent Using iContact