Breast

Breast Cancer Chief Advisor

Hope Rugo, MD

Hope Rugo, MD, Breast Cancer Chief Advisor

Dr. Rugo graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1983. She completed a residency in internal medicine and primary care followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of California San Francisco. She was a post-doctoral fellow in immunology participating in laboratory research at Stanford University from 1988-1990. In 1990, Dr. Rugo joined the faculty at UCSF in the Division of Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Rugo has been recognized for her excellence in both patient care and in teaching of both medical students and training physicians. She has received several awards including the Bank of America Gianini Foundation Award and a UCSF Clinical Cancer Center Investigator Research Program intramural award. In 2006, she was honored for her work in Breast Cancer Research by the Friends of the Breast Care Center.

Breast Cancer Advisors

Laura Esserman, MD, MBA

Laura Esserman, MD, MBA

Dr. Laura Esserman is a breast surgeon and Director of the Breast Care Center. She specialized in breast cancer research and treatment because she saw great opportunities to advance our knowledge and treatment of breast cancer and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of women who have breast disease. Her overall vision as demonstrated by such initiatives as a healing garden, an art therapy program for patients, and a same day assessment program is to develop state-of-the-art ways to care for and empower patients during their treatment. Dr. Esserman received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, and her medical and surgical training from Stanford University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in breast oncology at Stanford in 1988, and received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1993. She joined the UCSF faculty in 1993. Dr. Esserman has received many honors for her work, a grant to establish a state-of-the-art breast center and breast cancer research foundation-one of three major Department of Defense grants awarded to in the United States in 1998. She is also the Clinical director of the Breast Oncology research program at UCSF.


Laura Van ‘t Veer, PhD

Laura Van ‘t Veer, PhD

Laura van ‘t Veer received her M.Sc. degree in Biology (1984) at the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in Medicine (1989) at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. She did her postdoctoral training at the Cancer Center of the Harvard Medical School and The Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA (1989-1991) and The Netherlands Cancer Institute (1992-1993). From 1993 till 2007 she initiated and held the positions of Head Molecular Pathology and Head Genetic Counseling Clinic at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. In 2003 she was one of the founders of the Netherlands Cancer Institute spin-off, the molecular profiling company Agendia. In 2007-2010 she became Division Head Diagnostic Oncology, including clinical operations and research of 5 clinical departments. Since 2010 she is Professor at the University of California San Francisco, where she leads the Breast Oncology Program. Dr. van ‘t Veer is first author of a study showing that microarray genomics technology can predict which breast tumors will likely metastasize and which will not (Nature 2002, NEJM 2002). When these findings are implemented into daily clinical practice, the amount of so-called adjuvant treatments with chemotherapy for (pre-menopausal) breast cancer patients could be reduced by up to thirty percent. This microarray test now called MammaPrint, is central to the work of the translational research network TRANSBIG (Translational Research Breast International Group). The MINDACT trial is worldwide the first large scale clinical trial implementing genomics. MammaPrint is an FDA cleared In Vitro Diagnostic Multigene Index Assay (IVDMIA), included in several international and national guidelines for breast cancer management. At UCSF she coordinates the tissue and biomarker activities of the FNIH sponsored multicenter adaptive clinical trial I-SPY. Dr. van ‘t Veer received for this work the 2007 European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) life-time achievement award for translational research in breast cancer.