Dana Farber Cancer Institute

The Haley Cremer Foundation proudly supports the advancement of Dr. Elizabeth Mittendorf and Dr. Tari King’s breast cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

An Opportunity to Change the Status Quo

The Dana-Farber/Brigham and Womens Cancer Center has pioneered advances in surgery, imaging, and targeted therapies that have dramatically improved outcomes for many women with breast cancer. Today, the country’s foremost breast surgical oncologists lead the breast surgery efforts. Tari King, MD, directs breast surgery and has nationally recognized expertise in lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD, oversees breast surgery research and is a national leader in the development of immunotherapy for breast cancer.

Under their direction, our breast cancer surgeons are collaborating on research across the continuum of care―from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and survivorship. Their discoveries will drive clinical innovation focused on four key priorities: prevention and early disease, patient-centered outcomes, tailored local-regional therapeutic strategies, and tumor immunology. These efforts will rely on a foundation of quality and value; the importance of training and educating the next generation of breast surgical oncologists; and rigorous stewardship of our comprehensive biospecimen collection, which is essential to all our research.

Advancing Breast Cancer Research and Clinical Innovation

Breast Surgery Research – The Cutting Edge


Dr. Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD

Dr. Elizabeth Mittendorf is the Robert and Karen Hale Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  She is also the Director of the Breast Immuno-Oncology program and Co-Director of the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Program at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. Dr. Mittendorf received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine where she also completed a residency in General Surgery. She then served on active duty in the United States military before completing a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Mittendorf also holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. She is board certified by the American Board of Surgery.

Dr. Mittendorf focuses her clinical and laboratory efforts on the study of breast cancer with a specific interest in immunotherapy. She has been the principle on a number of clinical protocols including the phase III PRESENT (Prevention of Recurrence in Early-Stage, Node-Positive Breast Cancer with Low to Intermediate HER2 Expression with NeuVax Treatment) study, and a multicenter phase II trial investigating the efficacy of a CD8+ T cell eliciting vaccine in combination with trastuzumab which is based on preclinical data generated in her laboratory and follows a phase I trial she conducted demonstrating the combination to be safe. This trial is supported by a Breakthrough Award from the Department of Defense. She was recently awarded a prestigious Stand Up to Cancer award to support the conduct of a multicenter trial evaluating the combination of ipatasertib and atezolizumab in triple negative breast cancer. This trial is also informed by work from her laboratory showing transcriptional regulation of PD-L1 expression through the PI3K/AKT pathway. The current focus of her laboratory work is to determine the impact of standard and experimental therapies on immunologic aspects of the tumor microenvironment in order to inform rational trials of immunotherapeutic agents in breast cancer. She is also investigating novel targets for vaccine strategies. In addition to her work evaluating breast tumor immunology and immunotherapy, Dr. Mittendorf has published extensively on a multitude of subjects related to breast cancer and surgical management of the disease to include incorporation of biologic factors into staging, management of the axilla, and surgery following receipt of neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Dr. Tari King, MD

Dr. Tari A. King is the Anne E. Dyson Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, the chief of the Division of Breast Surgery and the associate chair of multidisciplinary oncology in the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the chief of breast surgery at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. She is also the director of the Breast Cancer Personalized Risk Assessment, Education and Prevention (B-PREP) Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. King received her medical degree from University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and completed a general surgery residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation Hospital (now Ochsner Medical Center) in New Orleans. Dr. King completed both a surgical research fellowship and a breast surgery clinical fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her clinical and research efforts focus on improving clinical management strategies for women at high risk of developing breast cancer with a special emphasis on lobular carcinoma in situ and atypical hyperplasia. She also has an interest in the role of surgery in stage IV breast cancer and through the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) she successfully initiated and completed accrual to a multi-center trial addressing this issue.