Moffitt Cancer Center Recognizes National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

September 30, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. — One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.  As the top-ranked cancer hospital in the Southeast, Moffitt Cancer Center has a dedicated team of experts that provides the right diagnosis, treatment and support.

Moffitt Cancer Center has experts in the Center for Women’s Oncology specializing in breast radiology, pathology, surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and screening and prevention. The Moffitt Cancer Center at International Plaza satellite location offers access to its high-quality services and exceptional patient care in a smaller facility at 4101 Jim Walter Blvd. The full-service breast clinic offers screening and diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound and breast MRI. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488). 

Diagnosis, Screening and Treatment

Improved Diagnostic Imaging for Breast Cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center Screening and Prevention, 4117 E. Fowler Ave., offers women more comprehensive breast imaging through 3D mammography and automated breast ultrasound (ABUS). Moffitt is the only hospital in Florida that uses the General Electric Invenia 3rd Generation ABUS technology to help physicians look at dense breast tissue. Three-dimensional breast and ABUS scans offer a better chance to diagnose breast cancer early, at a more treatable stage for women with dense breasts.

Breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, produces a three-dimensional view of the breast tissue that helps radiologists identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue. The screenings are quicker, produce sharper images and are more comfortable for patients.

Moffitt’s automated breast ultrasound technology will help to increase breast cancer detection for women with dense breast tissue with no previous clinical breast interventions. Using ABUS, radiologists can look through hundreds of breast tissue image “slices,” looking at layers of dense tissue to find breast cancers that may have been missed on a mammogram.

Male Breast Cancer
Breast cancer isn’t just a woman’s issue. Although less than 1 percent of breast cancers affect men, Dr. John Kiluk, a surgical oncologist, treats a significant number of men with the disease. Men can develop breast cancer at any age, but it’s most common between 60 and 70. The American Cancer Society estimates 2,360 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed this year and more than 430 men will die from the disease.

Clinical Trials for Women with HER2 – One of the Most Aggressive Forms of Breast Cancer
Phase 3 Clinical Trial for NeuVax Vaccine: Moffitt is a study location for the phase 3 PRESENT clinical trial. PRESENT stands for prevention of recurrence in early-stage, node-positive breast cancer with low-to-intermediate HER2 expression with NeuVax treatment. HER2 is a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. It promotes the growth of cancer cells in a variety of cancers, including breast. HER2-postive breast cancer is considered one of the more aggressive types of breast cancer. Approximately 25 percent of those diagnosed with breast cancer have an elevated HER2 expression.

The PRESENT trial targets women who have low to intermediate HER2 expression, are in remission as a result of treatment, but have no therapy options to suppress HER2 expression and prevent future tumor growth. The NeuVax vaccine, which is given once every six months, has shown promise in neutralizing HER2 expression in early clinical trials.

For more information, call 813-745-8304 or email

Phase 2 Trial Combining docetaxel and indoximod for Metastatic HER2 Breast Cancer: Hatem Soliman, M.D., is conducting a randomized phase 2 trial combining docetaxel with the immune modulator indoximod in women with metastatic breast cancer. There is promising data that the drug indoximod can enhance the antitumor activity of chemotherapy drugs, such as docetaxel, by recruiting the immune system to attack the tumor as it is being destroyed by chemotherapy. Women with metastatic HER2 breast cancer that have not undergone chemotherapy for their metastatic disease are eligible.

For more information, call 813-745-1807 or email

I-SPY Clinical Trial
The I-SPY 2 Trial is a novel clinical trial design investigating genetic markers from individual tumors while testing promising new targeted therapy treatments in women with high-risk, fast-growing, early-stage breast cancer.  The ultimate goal is to identify which new agents are most effective in specific types of breast cancer by correlating response to treatment with identified biomarkers. 

The study comprises a group of scientists from the National Cancer Institute, Food and Drug Administration and 20 major cancer centers.  Susan Minton, D.O., and M. Catherine Lee, M.D., F.A.C.S., are leading the trial at Moffitt. 

Anyone with recently diagnosed early-stage invasive breast cancer may call our New Patient Appointment Center at 813-745-3980 to be considered for this trial.   

Breast Cancer Survivors Needed for “Chemo Brain” Study
One of the most common side effects reported by cancer patients after chemotherapy for certain cancers is “chemo brain,” a condition where patients report memory problems and trouble concentrating.  Chemo brain is reported in up to 75 percent of patients treated with chemotherapy for breast and other cancers and can last six months to 10 years.  Interventions with drugs, exercise and cognitive training have not proved effective or safe. 

Based on early evidence from laboratory studies, Nagi Kumar, Ph.D., R.D., F.A.D.A., and her research team have observed that supplementing the diet with the nutrient-derived agent COGNUTRIN may reverse cognitive impairment and safely improve cognitive functioning in cancer survivors. COGNUTRIN is made by combining a plant-based substance from blueberries called “anthocyanins” and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils that have been known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Kumar and her team will evaluate whether intervention with COGNUTRIN in breast cancer survivors can improve symptoms and reverse chemo brain.  Fifty more breast cancer survivors are needed for the clinical trial.

Women who have completed treatment and meet the following criteria may be eligible for this trial:

  • Experiencing problems with memory and attention since chemotherapy
  • Women between ages 30-70
  • Stage I-IIIB breast cancer
  • Completion of chemotherapy with anthracyclines and/or taxanes with or without radiation treatment within the past six months
  • Fluent in reading, comprehension and communication in English

For information, call 813-745-6250 or email

Black Women Needed for Breast Cancer Studies
Clinical geneticist Tuya Pal, M.D., and behavioral scientist Susan Vadaparampil, Ph.D., M.P.H., have recently completed recruitment of 481 participants in a statewide study offering young black women genetic counseling and testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.The researchers’ genetic testing strategy identified an additional BRCA mutation that had previously gone undetected. Women in this study will be followed over time to learn more about the impact of receiving genetic test results on emotional outcomes, health behaviors, and participation in risk management options.

The Breast Cancer Genetics Research and Education for African-American Women Team, or B-GREAT, initiative involves outreach and education focused on inherited breast cancer in black women. In partnership with a strong Community Advisory Panel, the B-GREAT initiative’s mission is to reduce health disparities in black women at risk for inherited breast cancer through research, education and outreach. More than 20,000 B-GREAT brochures focused on increasing awareness of this topic have been disseminated across Florida and beyond. This was funded in part by a grant through the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation allowing for B-GREAT brochures to be provided free. Visit or call 813-745-6649 to request a brochure.

Patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutations (and mutations in other inherited cancer genes) Needed for Inherited Cancer Registry
Almost 1,400 individuals, including 900 with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, have enrolled in ICARE,which is a registry-based research study with a mission to end the cycle of inherited cancer through research, education and outreach. The registry is made up of individuals at high risk for developing hereditary cancer. Participants are asked to complete an initial questionnaire and receive educational newsletters to keep them updated about the latest advances in clinical cancer genetics. To join ICARE, call 813-745-6446 or email ICARE@inheritedcancer.netor visit our website at

Vadaparampil and Pal have also conducted two statewide surveys of providers of BRCA testing services. Results highlight the need to improve hereditary breast cancer service delivery within Florida and suggest that practice patterns are positively influenced by cancer genetics training.  Findings also reveal opportunities for partnerships between genetics and non-genetics professionals to facilitate outreach and education, with the goal of positively impacting patient care.

Pilot Study Underway for Genetic Testing Education
Vadaparampil’s team received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop and test a booklet and DVD to increase genetic counseling among breast cancer patients.The materials have been developed and will be tested using a randomized controlled trial with 80 breast cancer patients. The team will examine rates of uptake of genetic counseling, as well as other psychosocial outcomes.

Awareness Events

The Shula Fund at Moffitt Cancer Center
The Shula Fund solely supports Florida’s top cancer hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center, by raising funds for breast cancer care and research to improve patient outcomes throughout Florida and beyond. The Don Shula Foundation was established in Miami more than 20 years ago as a tribute to family members lost to cancer. Coach Shula donated his charitable foundation to create The Shula Fund, and 100 percent of donations will support vital life-saving cancer research at Moffitt.

A committee comprised of Shula designees, Moffitt leadership and Moffitt breast cancer physician-scientists will select the most promising breast cancer research projects to fund. Hatem Soliman, M.D., has received a grant from the Shulas to evaluate the use of a breast cancer vaccine to stimulate the immune system in the fight against breast tumors. The project is allowing us to generate necessary data regarding the beneficial effect of using two drugs at low doses to further activate the immune response, with a goal of producing more potent tumor regressions while at the same time remaining nontoxic.

The Shula Fund will advance these critical studies in the pursuit of curing breast cancer. 

Breast Cancer Reconstruction (BRA) Day
Moffitt is celebrating National Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day on Oct. 15.  BRA Day is an initiative to promote education, awareness and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.  According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, seven out of 10 women are not aware of their breast reconstruction options after a mastectomy and less than one-fifth of American women who undergo a mastectomy go on to have breast reconstruction. Moffitt will have experts on hand to answer questions and provide educational information to those visiting our main campus.

Moffitt’s Center for Women’s Oncology’s Tuesday Teletalks
Each Tuesday during October, Moffitt’s Women’s Oncology Program will host educational conferences on issues of interest to patients and families impacted by women’s cancer.

  • Oct. 7 – Dr. Loretta Loftus, a breast medical oncologist, will discuss inhibitor therapy and the rewards, risks and remedies.
  • Oct. 14 – Dr. Nazanin Khakpour, a breast surgical oncologist, will explain oncoplastic breast reduction.
  • Oct. 21 – Moffitt genetic counselor Jennifer Brzosowicz will provide an update on breast cancer genetics, including the PALB2 gene.
  • Oct. 28 – Peggy Rice, a gynecologic nurse, will discuss improving the quality of care for ovarian cancer patients. 

To listen to these or previous TeleTalks, click here

NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
During October, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NFL will support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Bucs will host a breast cancer awareness commemoration at the Oct. 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens. About 200 Moffitt breast cancer survivors and family members will don pink and attend the game courtesy of the Buccaneers. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. The Bucs are also hosting the Treasure Chests 5K Run/Walk at 8 a.m. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Moffitt. The Mole Patrol® will be on hand from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Lot 5 to offer free skin cancer screenings.

Lakeland Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon
Susan Vadaparampil, Ph.D., M.P.H., will discuss the role of genetics in breast cancer at the Lakeland Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon on Oct. 15. Registration is at 11 a.m., lunch is at 11:30 and the program is from noon to 1:30 p.m. at The Lakeland Yacht & Country Club, 929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland. The program is $30 per person. Call 863-904-4654 to RSVP.

A Crucial Catch Day – Your Day to Fight Breast Cancer
Moffitt is teaming with the NFL and the American Cancer Society for “A Crucial Catch Day.” Join us for an exciting and fun women’s education luncheon from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 25 at Moffitt’s Vincent A. Stabile Research Building, 12902 Magnolia Drive. Visitors can meet with health exhibitors; learn about breast cancer screening and treatment; and receive blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol screenings.  The event is free, and lunch will be provided. To participate, you must preregister by calling 1-888-MOFFITT and selecting option 5. 

Pink Heals
The Guardians of the Pink Ribbon — a group of firefighters, police officers and community leaders raising awareness for all women fighting cancer — will visit Moffitt from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 27 as part of the Pink Heals Tour. The tour is crossing the country to raise awareness with its pink fire trucks. The community is invited to sign each truck in support of the cause. Check outvideo of the 2010 Pink Heals visit to Moffitt.

Breast Cancer Workshops
Education can save lives. If you are interested in scheduling a free workshop about breast cancer and healthy lifestyles for your group, place of worship or friends, contact Moffitt’s outreach department (M-POWER) to schedule a workshop.  Participants receive canvas totes, water bottles and pedometers.  To schedule a workshop, call 813-745-2550.

Yo me cuido Breast Cancer Workshops
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Hispanic women. However, it is often diagnosed in the later stages of disease. Moffitt offers free Yo me cuido (I take care of myself) workshops that focus on breast cancer, from early detection to screening recommendations. Myriam Escobar, a Moffitt community outreach worker who delivers the Yo me cuido program, was honored as a White House Champions of Change for her role in reducing health disparities in her community. To schedule a workshop, call 813-745-4972

Members of the media interested in any of the research or events listed above must call  Moffitt Cancer Center’s Public Relations department at 813-745-1355.

Fun and Food in Support of Moffitt
Many local restaurants, shops and other organizations are rallying support and donations in support of Moffitt Cancer Center’s breast cancer research, education and treatment programs.

Oct. 17: Panera Bread’s Pink Ribbon Bagels to Support Moffitt
On Oct. 17, stop by your participating Panera Bread to buy Pink Ribbon Bagels, and 100 percent of the proceeds will help fund vital breast health education provided to the community by the Moffitt Program for Outreach Wellness Education & Resources. A bagel pack (13 Pink Ribbon Bagels with two tubs of cream cheese) is $14.99, a bagel bunch (18 Pink Ribbon Bagels) is $13.99, and a baker’s dozen (13 Pink Ribbon Bagels) is $10.99. Visit to complete your pre-order form. 

Special guests will also be on-site at select Panera locations on Oct. 17:

Shula Restaurants Invite Diners to Support Breast Cancer Research While Enjoying a Meal
Have you tried Shula’s Steak Mary Anne, two 5-ounce filets smothered in a cognac-peppercorn sauce? Or have you cooled off with a Shula Burger Superfruit Shake? In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Shula’s restaurants, Shula’s will donate a portion of the proceeds from the Steak Mary Anne entrée at their restaurants and the Superfruit Shake at their Shula Burger locations to The Shula Fund. Diners will also be treated to Shula Fund cups and wristbands with the purchase of each shake. The Shula Fund supports cutting-edge research projects that will lead to new treatment and prevention strategies for breast cancer patients everywhere.  

Rollin’ Oats Supports Moffitt with Cupcakes for Awareness
During October, both Rollin’ Oats locations at 2842 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N. in St. Petersburg and 1021 N. MacDill Ave. in Tampa will sell “Cupcakes for Awareness.” Moffitt will receive $1 from every pink cupcake sold.

Carrollwood Café & Deli Cares about Breast Cancer
Carrollwood Café & Deli, 11606 N. Dale Mabry Highway, will donate proceeds from in-store fundraising throughout October to Moffitt. Additionally, Moffitt will receive 20 percent of baked goods sales.

Brighton Collectibles Power of Pink Bracelets Supports Moffitt
Brighton Collectibles Power of Pink campaign features two limited-edition bracelets. The Power of Pink 2014 silver bracelet, which retails for $60, features a commemorative Swarovski crystal ribbon on a pink pear-shaped stone. The Power of Pink Coachella bracelet is pink leather with a pink ribbon charm. It retails for $43. Brighton will contribute $10 from each bracelet sold to Moffitt. Brighton has donated more than $5.3 million to breast cancer charities since 2003.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the top-ranked cancer hospital in the Southeast and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. With more than 4,500 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on Florida of nearly $1.6 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.