Late Recurrence and Tumor Dormancy: Presenter Profile


Estimated Read Time:

1 minute

Wednesday, December 7 • 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CT • Stars at Night Ballroom 1&2

Presentation: Implications for clinical care

Alexandra Thomas, MD, FACP
Alexandra Thomas, MD, FACP

Alexandra Thomas, MD, FACP
Professor, Hematology and Oncology
Williams Family Professorship in Breast Oncology
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, NC

What is your presentation about? 
I will talk about the complex problem of tumor dormancy and late recurrence in breast cancer, which is one of the most critical challenges in our field.

What makes this topic important in 2022? 
Given the prevalence of breast cancer, many millions of women in the U.S. alone are at risk of late recurrence, which is generally defined as recurrence beyond 5 years. Emerging tools, including circulating biomarkers of minimal residual disease could allow us to target therapies to patients who are at ultra-high risk for recurrence. Identifying and treating only patients at elevated risk could also allow us to spare many others, who are not destined to recur, from adjuvant therapies which may be of minimal to no help to them.

How/why did you become involved with this area of breast cancer research or care? 
These questions represent a complex problem, where advances could impact many lives and markedly diminish suffering from cancer. Not only could we decrease macroscopic late recurrence, but we could impact the fear of recurrence, diminishing this in many cases. We could also diminish the need for therapies of minimal to no benefit in those who are exceptionally low risk for distant recurrence. The work here also has implications for other solid tumors and could improve outcomes across cancer more broadly.