Your gift to Brigham and Women’s Hospital supports research and mentorship initiatives led by Anthony D’Amico, MD, PhD, Chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology. We are so pleased to bring you the following updates on Dr. D’Amico’s work, and we hope you take great pride in the lifechanging efforts made possible by your generous support.
Recent Advances in Research
Dr. D’Amico continues to make tremendous progress across a wide array of research efforts, with the ultimate goal of moving toward an era of precision medicine in prostate cancer treatment.
- In a significant development for the field, Dr. D’Amico recently received approval for a first-of-its-kind clinical trial aimed at improving outcomes for men with aggressive prostate cancer who are undergoing radiation and hormonal therapy. Among this group, a PSA measurement of 0.1 or greater six months after completing radiation and hormonal treatment is a surrogate indicator that the treatment will not be successful in the long-term. However, under the current standard of care, no secondary treatment is initiated until their PSA level is over 2.0, which may be years later and too late to cure. In the new trial, based here at the Brigham, Dr. D’Amico and a group of collaborators from the United States and Canada will assess the use of two novel hormonal therapies recently approved by the FDA, in addition to the standard course of treatment. Your support of Dr. D’Amico’s research has been critical in laying the groundwork for this important effort, which stands to dramatically improve outcomes for men with aggressive prostate cancer.
- Dr. D’Amico continues to advance his research investigating the relative effectiveness of radiation and hormonal therapy versus surgery and other additional treatments for men with the most aggressive prostate cancer being Gleason Scores 9 and 10. A better understanding in this area is urgently needed in order to develop more personalized treatment plans. Dr. D’Amico has completed data collection on a study examining both clinical and genetic factors, and will soon begin to analyze the results with the goal of identifying specific biomarkers that can guide clinicians toward individualized treatment options.
- Dr. D’Amico is also conducting a study that aims to shed light on the most effective use of chemotherapy in prostate cancer treatment. Men with naturally low testosterone levels, who often suffer from aggressive prostate cancer, are also unlikely to respond to hormonal treatment designed to lower testosterone. It may be that these men would benefit from initial treatment with chemotherapy. Dr. D’Amico aims to determine whether low testosterone levels may serve as a biomarker indicating to caregivers that chemotherapy should be used at the outset in this group.
Groundbreaking Mentorship Initiatives
Thanks to your generosity, Dr. D’Amico also continues to build on his innovative mentorship efforts, which provide critical support and education to the medical leaders of the future. In recognition of his remarkable work, he was recently named the first Senior Advisory Dean for Career Advising and Mentorship at Harvard Medical School. In addition to the many programs led by Dr. D’Amico here in Boston and around the country, Dr. D’Amico continues to mentor individual medical students, emphasizing the importance of work/life balance as a critical foundation for sustaining an often challenging career path and providing compassionate care for patients. We are pleased to provide you with the first-hand perspective of one of these mentees, Sarah-Bianca Dolisca, MD, in the video message below. As you will see, your generosity has a tremendous impact on young physicians like Dr. Dolisca, which will endure long after their training is complete. We hope you take great pride in knowing that, together, we are setting the stage for the future success of the next generation of expert, caring physician-scientists.
A message from Sarah-Bianca Dolisca, MD
Resident, BWH/MGH Integrated Residency Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology