The Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA) is a volunteer-based national network of patient-advocates working with breast cancer researchers and clinicians and a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) a registered public charity. Learn more.

LBCA’s mission is to bridge patients, clinicians and researchers to increase our knowledge of lobular breast disease and promote research that leads to advances in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and patient follow-up care.

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LBCA c/o Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, 23532 Calabasas Road, Suite A  Calabasas, CA 91302

LBCA Coordinators

Leigh Pate, Seattle, WA:  I am a political and public affairs consultant, communications specialist, a writer and a two-time cancer patient.  I want to build an effective advocacy voice for patients with ILC.

Lori Petitti, CA:   I am a television and documentary producer, a seven year ILC survivor and Project LEAD trained advocate interested in raising awareness on the unique aspects of lobular disease.

 Featured LBCA Patient Research Advocates

Janice Axelrod, Pittsburgh PA:  I am a physician who devoted her life to treating women with gynecologic malignancies.  Now I am a retired oncologist, a breast cancer survivor devoting my life to breast cancer advocacy.

Marilyn McWilliams, Portland OR: When I was diagnosed 22 years ago, the local Medical School library had almost no information about my disease.  I became a patient advocate to increase research about lobular breast cancer.

Meg Kotler, Kensington MD:   I am a registered nurse with a specialty in public health.  As a two time breast cancer survivor, I am committed to advocacy and patient education about this disease.

Flora Migyanka, Ann Arbor MI: I am an account executive with a global oncology biotech company, a yoga teacher and patient advocate for the University of Michigan.   I am committed to raising awareness to researchers and clinicians about ILC.

Julia Levine, CA:  I am a metastatic breast cancer survivor and a patient advocate committed to raising awareness of metastatic lobular breast cancer. I am most interested in research and research advocacy to help researchers and organizations that study metastatic and lobular breast cancer.

LBCA Scientific Advisory Board

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD – LBCA Scientific Advisory Board Chair:  Dr Oesterreich is a Professor and Vice-Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh, and Director of Education at the Womens Cancer Research Center at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and Magee Womens Research Institute. Her research interest is endocrine resistance in breast cancer, with a focus on invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC). She is passionate about increased understanding of development and progression of ILC, and enjoys working in multi-disciplinary teams, along with patient advocates, with the ultimate goal to decrease suffering from this disease.

Nancy E. Davidson, MD  Dr. Davidson is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher who serves as Senior Vice President and Director of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, President and Executive Director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Head of the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington.

Dr. Davidson has published key findings on the role of hormones, particularly estrogen, on gene expression and cell growth in breast cancer. She has guided several important national clinical trials of new therapies for breast cancer, including chemo-endocrine therapy for premenopausal breast cancer. Her research has been supported by a portfolio of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Susan Komen for the Cure. She has authored over 350 articles in the top journals of her field.

An elected member of the Association of American Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Davidson is an active member of the scientific advisory boards as well as external advisory boards of many foundations and cancer centers. She has also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) – the two largest organizations for cancer researchers and oncology professionals in the world. She was president of ASCO from 2007 to 2008 and President of AACR from 2016 to 2017.

Dr. Davidson earned her MD degree from Harvard Medical School and completed her internal medicine internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Subsequently, Dr. Davidson completed a medical oncology fellowship at the NIH’s National Cancer Institute.  She was a faculty member in the Department of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1986 to 2009, serving as Director of the Breast Cancer Program from 1994 to 2009 and as the Breast Cancer Research Chair of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1995 – 2009. From 2009-2016 she served as Hillman Professor of Medicine and associate vice chancellor for cancer research at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Rachel C. Jankowitz, MD University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology Oncology, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

I am an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. My research focus includes study of invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC), endocrine resistance and signaling for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and breast cancer clinical trials. I have served as PI and/or co-investigator on many breast cancer clinical trials, and I am an active investigator in both the TBCRC and the NSABP.  I am particularly focused on study of biomarkers and treatment options for patients with ILC.

Christopher I. Li, MD, PhD, Program Head and Full Member Translational Research Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Li is a cancer epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with research projects spanning cancer early detection/screening, etiology, and survivorship. He has significant expertise in cancer epidemiology and substantial experience in the design, leadership, and completion of multidisciplinary studies of cancer. Current research projects include: 1. A large population-based study of different molecular subtypes of breast cancer aimed at elucidating their risk factors and identifying novel subtype-specific tumor markers useful for predicting risk of disease recurrence (DOD Collaborative Innovator Award); 2. A nested case-control study of women with DCIS who did and did not go on to develop a second breast cancer aimed at developing novel epidemiologic, clinical, and molecular approaches for guiding clinical decision making for DCIS patients (R01); 3. Discovering and validating novel blood-based markers useful for the early detection of breast, colorectal, and ovarian cancers (U01); 4. Characterizing risk factors for second primary breast, lung, colorectal, and endometrial cancers among breast cancer survivors (R01); and 5. Discovering and validating novel biomarkers useful for assessing risk of recurrence among colorectal cancer survivors (R01 and U01). Other selected leaderships activities include: 1. Serving as the co-PI of the Cancer Surveillance System (CSS), the Seattle-Puget Sound Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registry, 2. Chairing the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program’s Integration Panel (FY 2017), and 3. Co-chairing the 2017 AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities.

Otto Metzger, MD, Breast Oncology Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

I am a clinical investigator focused on the development of therapies for breast cancer treatment. My principal research effort is focused on investigating two subtypes of breast cancer: invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) and HER2+ breast cancer. I also maintain an active clinical practice in the Breast Oncology Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

To accomplish my research goals, I am conducting translational-oriented clinical trials in close collaboration with laboratory-based investigators. My research in ILC seeks to identify predictive biomarkers of sensitivity to specific agents and mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapy. I designed a multicentric preoperative clinical trial (PELOPS NCT02764541), which is one of the first prospective clinical trials dedicated to study ILC as a separate breast cancer subtype. My focus in HER2+ disease is directed at understanding the biological underpinnings of this disease and at describing the natural history of metastatic disease throughout the use of clinical trials data. I am the co-PI of the first prospective study designed to evaluate the impact of HER2 heterogeneity on response to target anti-HER2 therapies (NCT02326974). I am also the PI of an international phase III study evaluating the role of Palbociclib for patients diagnosed with metastatic HER2+ and hormone receptor positive breast cancer (PATINA NCT02947685).   More …

Christos Sotiriou, MD, PhD, Head of the J.-C. Heuson Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory, Institut Jules Bordet, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium; Head of Clinic at the Medical Oncology Department, Institut Jules Bordet; Research Director (tenured position) at the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research – FNRS (October 2017)

Dr. Sotiriou leads a very successful research group that has contributed seminal and practice changing results in Breast Cancer translational research. With over 230 original research publications, he is among the most productive and influential scientists in this research area today.  A widely recognized thought leader, Dr. Sotiriou serves as Chair or Co-Chair of symposia in highly visible international conferences including IMPAKT, ASCO and ESMO. He is a former elected member of the Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (World Health Organization) and an active member of numerous scientific committees. He is Elected Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences and Associate Editor for breast cancer of Annals of Oncology (ESMO’s official journal) since 2014. He has received many prestigious awards – including the 2015 “Joseph Maisin Scientific Prize – Clinical biomedical sciences”, a quinquennial prize awarded by the Belgian F.R.S.-FNRS.

Gary A. Ulaner, MD, PhD,  Associate Attending Radiologist; Associate Member, Tenure-track Department of Radiology Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:  

Gary A Ulaner is an Associate Attending Radiologist and Associate Member at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is dual board-certified radiologist and nuclear medicine, and focuses on FDG PET/CT and novel radiotracer development for patients with breast cancer.

Gary is the principal investigator of four prospective clinical trials of novel PET radiotracers for breast cancer patients, funded by a National Institutes of Health R01 grant, a Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Programs Award, and a grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. These clinical trials emphasize targeted imaging to help direct targeted therapy of cancer, including estrogen receptor- and HER2-targeted therapies. He is the founder and director of MSKCC’s Oncologic PET/CT Continuing Medical Education course (