Funded: DiNome Research on Limiting Lymph Node Surgery in Breast Cancer
The John Wayne Cancer Foundation has granted $100,000 to Duke Cancer Institute breast surgical oncologist and professor Maggie DiNome, MD, to "fund research to more accurately identify breast cancer patients with limited lymph node disease for whom complete lymph node removal would be overtreatment."
DiNome is medical director of Duke Cancer Institute's Wake County Breast Cancer Services and a professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Breast Section. She served as director of the Margie Peterson Breast Center at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Los Angeles, then joined UCLA where she served as chief of Breast Surgery and director of UCLA Breast Health before joining DCI in October 2021.
According to a press release by the Foundation, DiNome is "seeking to create a molecular-based, clinically reliable means of predicting lymph node disease in patients with breast cancer without the morbidity of surgery."
"Dr. DiNome is building upon research that increasingly shows that operating on lymph nodes for patients with breast cancer is not necessary to improve one’s survival chances and can lead to disabling arm swelling as a consequence of the surgery. In this era of precision medicine, molecular profiling of one’s primary tumor is becoming more common to determine chemotherapy and radiation therapy benefit for patients with breast cancer. In Dr. DiNome’s early research, her team used machine-learning to generate molecular signatures based on the DNA methylation status of only a few gene regions in the primary tumor that can accurately predict for lymph node disease. With this grant, Dr. DiNome hopes to validate these epigenetic signatures so that oncology practitioners have the ability to provide more reliable treatment plans for their patients."