University of Michigan experts in anesthesiology and radiation oncology are among the new members of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies.
Lori J. Pierce, M.D., FASTRO, FASCO, attended Duke University School of Medicine and completed a Radiation Oncology residency and chief residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She then was appointed as a Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. In 1992, Dr. Pierce joined the faculty of the University of Michigan. Since coming to Michigan, she has served as residency director and clinical director in the Department of Radiation Oncology. In August 2005, Dr. Pierce was appointed by the University of Michigan Board of Regents to be Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs.
Her research focuses on the use of radiotherapy in the multi-modality treatment of breast cancer, with emphasis on intensity modulated radiotherapy in node positive breast cancer, the use of radiosensitizing agents, and the outcomes of radiation in women with breast cancer who carry a BRCA1/2 breast cancer susceptibility gene. She is also Director of the Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium (MROQC), a quality consortium of radiation oncology practices across the state of Michigan that seeks to establish best practices in the treatment of breast and lung cancers. This initiative is funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network.
Dr. Pierce also co-founded PFS in order to help develop a diagnostic tool which will inform decision-making in the treatment to the breast in early stage breast cancer. While breast-conserving surgery and radiotherapy is a very effective treatment for most women with early stage disease, randomized clinical trials have shown that many women will not experience in-breast tumor recurrences following surgery only and a minority will recur even in the presence of radiotherapy. The difficulty is in identifying up front in-breast tumor recurrence risk. Development of gene profiles to aid in decision-making regarding the need for radiotherapy could minimize over-treatment and identify those tumors for which intensification of treatment is needed.