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Research and Clinical Trials

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Weill Cornell Cancer Center

Research and Clinical Trials

Weill Cornell has an active research program with the goal of better understanding the biology of breast cancer and developing more effective treatments for the disease. Patients may be offered participation in a clinical trial for which they may be eligible.

Find a clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center.

Areas of Research

Examples of research include:

  • Cryoablation of early-stage tumors. Weill Cornell is the only center in New York City participating in an international study evaluating the use of a freezing technique to kill breast cancer cells. A needle is inserted into a breast tumor in the doctor's office and the tumor tissue is frozen, with the goal of killing cancer cells. This approach is considered investigational.
  • Studies of women with a moderate to high risk of breast cancer recurrence. It is not uncommon for a breast cancer to recur years after a woman achieved remission. Researchers are trying to identify what turns on a signal that tells breast cancers to start growing and spreading again after a period of dormancy. Since it is known that copper may help turn on this signal, Weill Cornell investigators are assessing a drug called tetrathiomolybdate—a substance that reduces copper in the body—in women with a moderate to high risk of breast cancer recurrence. They are also working with other teams at Weill Cornell to identify genetic and other factors that may explain why some breast cancers are more likely to metastasize than others.
  • Exploration of treatment side effects. Weill Cornell oncologists are studying why certain side effects of therapy (such as nerve problems, heart damage, joint pain, scarring, and fatigue) are more likely to occur in some patients than others.
  • Newer techniques for partial breast radiation therapy. Weill Cornell physicians are involved in the study of several different approaches designed to minimize radiation treatment time and exposure to normal tissues. We have extensive experience with brachytherapy (placement of radioactive sources directly on tumor tissue) and among the leaders in the field assessing partial breast radiation approaches.
  • Basic science studies of tumor characteristics. The Departments of Radiation Oncology and Pathology are evaluating the role of newly identified cancer signaling pathways in the development and treatment of breast cancer.

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