Dr. Joseph Sparano is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Associate Chairman for Clinical Research in the Department of Oncology at Montefiore Medical Center, and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, an NCI-designated cancer center. His research has focused on developmental therapeutic approaches for breast cancer, lymphoma, and HIV-associated cancers, and clinical application biomarkers in breast cancer.
He has served as study chair for the Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (TAILORx), the first clinical trial integrating a multiparameter gene expression assay in clinical decision making for adjuvant therapy with early stage ER-positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer, which accounts for about one-half of all breast cancers in the United States. This is clinical scenario in which adjuvant chemotherapy is commonly recommended, but benefits only about 3-5% of patients. This National Cancer Institute sponsored trial completed accrual of approximately 10,000 patients in 2010, of which nearly 7000 patients with a mid-range Oncotype DX Recurrence Score of 11-25 were randomized to chemoendocrine therapy (the standard treatment arm) vs. endocrine therapy alone (the experimental arm). Patient with a high Recurrence Score > 25 were assigned to chemoendocrine therapy, whereas those with a low RS received endocrine therapy alone. Clinical outcomes for this latter group with a low RS are reported in this issue of the Journal, whereas results for patients with a mid-range and high RS are expected with more followup.
Dr. Sparano is a graduate of the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York, and New York Medical College. He completed his oncology training at Montefiore/Einstein, after which time he joined the faculty. His career has focused on cancer clinical trials, and he currently serves as Vice Chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Research Group and Vice Chair of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium.