Moffitt Cancer Center Recognizes National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 01, 2015

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

Moffitt has experts specializing in breast radiology, pathology, surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and screening and prevention. The Moffitt Cancer Center at International Plaza campus 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. In November, the Moffitt McKinley Outpatient Center campus will open at 10920 N. McKinley Drive and be the new home for our breast and skin cancer programs. This six-story, 207,000-square-foot facility will employ more than 200 team members. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488). 

Diagnosis, Screening and Treatment

Moffitt offers a full range services for breast cancer diagnosis, including: 

  • Digital mammography – Low-dose X-rays are taken by certified technologists and interpreted by board-certified radiologists with the use of computer-aided detection (CAD). X-ray images of the breast are stored as a computer image rather than on traditional X-ray film.
  • Full-breast tomosynthesis – This three-dimensional mammogram records multiple breast images from many different angles. 
  • Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – A large magnet, radio waves and a computer are used to produce detailed images of the breast structure.
  • Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) – Three-dimensional ultrasound technology produces images that are particularly useful for breast cancer diagnosis in women with dense breast tissue.
  • Fine needle aspiration – A small number of individual cells are removed with a thin needle, sometimes with the assistance of ultrasound.
  • Stereotactic biopsy – Computer-guided imaging is used to locate a lesion, then a tissue sample is removed via a puncture site that requires no stitches. This minimally invasive procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia.
  • Core biopsy – A needlelike device facilitates the removal of multiple, small cones of tissue for evaluation by a board-certified pathologist.
  • Surgical biopsy – A mass is surgically removed while a patient is under local anesthesia.
  • Galactography or ductogram – Abnormal nipple discharge is evaluated through the injection of radiopaque contrast material into the milk ducts of the breast.

Spiritualty may be tied to easier cancer course for patients
According to recent research, a patient’s spirituality and religion may be linked to better health. Heather Jim, Ph.D., of Moffitt’s Health Outcomes & Behavior Program, led one of the new studies and found that a sense of connection to a being larger than oneself was associated with better physical function and less severe symptoms of cancer patients. In an analysis of studies with more than 14,000 cancer patients, researchers found that religion and spirituality were associated with better social health, stronger roles and relationships in the community.

Spiritual well-being, having a benevolent image of God, and holding religious beliefs were all associated with social health, regardless of demographics like age, race or gender, as reported in Cancer.


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 3-D 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.


Marilena Tauro, Ph.D., received $180,000 from Susan G. Komen to study the role of the enzyme matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), which is expressed by both breast cancer cells and bone cells and has been shown to assist breast cancer cell growth in the bone. Tauro will investigate whether targeted inhibition of MMP-2 would be a valuable therapy in preventing breast cancer from spreading to the bone.

Clinical Trials

For additional information on open clinical trials for women, click here.

For additional information on open clinical trials for men, click here.

Prospective Nipple-Areola Skin-Sparing Mastectomy
The purpose of this study is to see if keeping the nipple-areola disk: 1. increases the risk (greater than 1%) of the patient’s cancer coming back in the local area; 2. has sensation after a mastectomy (removal of the breast) is performed; and 3. affects body image and quality of life.

Older Breast Cancer Patients: Risk for Cognitive Decline
This study will evaluate the effect of chemotherapy and hormonal treatment on the mind (“cognition”) in older breast cancer patients. Breast cancer is a major health problem facing older women, and chemotherapy and hormonal treatments are some of the treatments offered. Because very few women 60 and older have been invited to join breast cancer studies, Moffitt is seeking more information on the effect of chemotherapy and hormonal treatment on the mind.

Pilot Trial of COGNUTRIN in Breast Cancer Survivors
This study will examine the safety and effect of COGNUTRIN, a nutritional supplement, on memory and concentration tasks in breast cancer survivors after chemotherapy. COGNUTRIN includes fatty acids (Lovaza®) and blueberry extracts (Vitablue). The goal is to treat or lessen the late effects of cancer treatment on thinking ability. Lovaza® is currently approved for the treatment of patients with very high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia). COGNUTRIN is an investigational drug being tested and is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This study will also compare COGNUTRIN with a placebo to see which is better.

Improving Psychosocial Quality of Life in Women with Advanced Breast Cancer
This study will examine how doctors and patients discuss medical tests and medical decisions. Participating medical oncologists will identify eligible patients suspected of having new metastatic disease or a progression of existing metastatic disease.

Attitudes, Reproductive Decisions and Patterns of Adaptation of Breast Cancer Survivors
Data collected from this study will be used to develop interventions that will improve access to education and counseling about breast cancer and reproductive health.

I-SPY 2 TRIAL (Investigation of Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response with Imaging And moLecular Analysis 2)
This phase 2 study will determine whether MRI scans can be routinely used in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy before their main treatment to predict (early in the course of treatment) which treatments will be most effective. A phase 2 study tests if an investigational drug or combination of drugs works in a certain type of cancer and what side effects it has.

A Phase 2 Double-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study of Indoximod in Combination with a Taxane Chemotherapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer
Researchers want to find out if an investigational drug called indoximod can help people with breast cancer. This study will compare the effects of standard-of-care therapy (docetaxel) with or without the addition of 1-Methyl-D-tryptophan (referred to as indoximod), an experimental drug. This study also will compare indoximod with a placebo to see which is better.

Phase 3 Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial Evaluating the Use of Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy +/- One Year of Everolimus in Patients with High-Risk, Hormone Receptor-Positive and HER2/neu Negative Breast Cancer
This randomized phase 3 trial will study how well giving hormone therapy together with or without everolimus works in treating patients with breast cancer.

A Phase 1b/2, Multicenter Study of the Combination of LEE011 and BYL719 with Letrozole in Adults with Advanced ER+ Breast Cancer
Researchers want to learn whether LEE011 and/or BYL719, when added to an approved treatment letrozole for this type of advanced breast cancer, helps to stabilize or stop progression. This study will specifically target postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor positive, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

A Single Arm, Phase 2 Study of Single Agent Trametinib Followed by Trametinib in Combination with GSK2141795 in Patients with Advanced Triple Negative Breast Cancer
This study will determine what effects trametinib alone or in combination with GSK2141795 will have on participants and their breast cancer.

Phase 1 Study of Mifepristone in Combination with Eribulin in Patients with Locally Advanced/Metastatic Breast Cancer or Other Specified Solid Tumors, with a Dose Expansion Cohort in Patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer
The goal is to assess the safety of combining mifepristone and eribulin in patients with metastatic or locally advanced breast or other specified solid tumors that cannot be removed by surgery. This study will also determine the effectiveness of the combination of mifepristone and eribulin in participants with metastatic or locally advanced unresectable Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC).

Phase 1/2a Trial of Gemcitabine Plus Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab in Previously Treated Metastatic HER2+ Breast Cancer
For the phase 1 portion, the main objective is to test the safety and feasibility of the recommended phase 2 dosing for gemcitabine plus trastuzumab and pertuzumab. For the phase 2 portion, the goal is to determine the overall response rate with the combination of gemcitabine plus trastuzumab and pertuzumab.

A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Phase 3 Study Evaluating Safety and Efficacy of the Addition of Veliparib Plus Carboplatin Versus the Addition of Carboplatin to Standard Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Versus Standard Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Subjects with Early Stage Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)
Researchers will test whether adding veliparib and/or carboplatin to standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy can help shrink Triple Negative Breast Cancer faster, and lower the risk of the cancer coming back in other parts of the body.

Addressing Quality Cancer Care: Pilot Testing the On Q Care Planning System in Breast Cancer Patients
This research study will examine the use of an electronic care planning system called the On Q Care Planning System (CPS) for patients diagnosed with cancer. The goal is to explore, from both patient and provider perspectives, how easy the system is to use and how useful the supportive care plans are in managing cancer care. Fifty women with breast cancer will be recruited to this pilot intervention study.

A Phase 3 Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Carboplatin and Paclitaxel with or without the PARP Inhibitor Veliparib (ABT-888) in HER2-Negative Metastatic or Locally Advanced Unresectable BRCA-Associated Breast Cancer
The goal is to determine if veliparib in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy alone in participants with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and HER2-negative metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer.

MONARCH 2: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 3 Study of Fulvestrant with or without Abemaciclib, a CDK4/6 Inhibitor, for Women with Hormone Receptor Positive, HER2 Negative Locally Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer
Will the combination of LY2835219 plus fulvestrant improve outcomes compared to fulvestrant alone for women with a certain type of advanced breast cancer? Researchers hope to see how safe this investigational drug is and how well it will work to help patients with advanced hormone receptor (HR) positive, HER2 negative breast cancer. 

Investigator-Initiated Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Selinexor (KPT-330) for the Treatment of Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer
The main purpose of this study is to see whether the combination of selinexor (KPT-330) can help people with triple negative breast cancer. Researchers also want to study the safety and tolerability of selinexor.

Combination Immunotherapy with Herceptin and the HER2 Vaccine E75 in Low and Intermediate HER2-Expressing Breast Cancer Patients to Prevent Recurrence
This study will (1) test the HER2/neu peptide (piece of the protein) E75 as a vaccine in combination with Herceptin (trastuzumab) to determine if it can prevent breast cancer recurrence; (2) look at the immune system’s response to the vaccine in combination with Herceptin; (3) collect information on the vaccine in combination with Herceptin’s safety and dosing. 

A Phase 1, Open-Label, Multicenter, Safety Study of Nivolumab (BMS-936558) in Combination with Nab-Paclitaxel Plus or Minus Gemcitabine in Pancreatic Cancer, Nab-Paclitaxel / Carboplatin in Stage 3B/4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer or Nab-Paclitaxel in Recurrent Metastatic Breast Cancer
This study will assess the safety of nab-paclitaxel-based chemotherapy regimens administered prior to and/or in combination with nivolumab in pancreatic cancer, non small cell lung cancer and metastatic breast cancer.

Awareness Events

  • October — Moffitt has partnered with CREW Tampa Bay for the City In Pink initiative. Local businesses throughout the Tampa Bay area will show their support for breast cancer awareness with large “pink” displays throughout the month of October.A portion of Moffitt’s Stabile Research Building and the monument outside of the Moffitt hospital on the Magnolia campus will be illuminated in pink.  
  • Oct. 9 — Panera Goes Pink: 100 percent of the sales on Oct. 9 from each pink ribbon bagel sold at participating Tampa Bay area Paneras will benefit Moffitt. University of South Florida mascot Rocky the Bull will be at the Bruce B. Downs location, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers mascot Captain Fear will be at the Jesuit location. Other participating locations include Westshore, Feather Sound, Bardmoor Village, Highwoods, Carrollwood, St. Petersburg, Hyde Park, Bellair Bluffs, Oldsmar, Clearwater Mall, Tyrone, Pinellas Park, Plant City, Riverview, Valrico, Tarpon Springs, Countryside, Brandon, Largo Mall, Spring Hill, Wiregrass and West Waters.
  • Oct. 10 — Pink Magnolia 3rd Annual Bash to Beat Cancer to benefit The Shula Fund at Moffitt Cancer Center. The event at Gaspar’s Patio Bar & Grille, 8448 N. 56th St.,  will offer “Pink Drink” specials, as well as an appetizer buffet for guests. A silent auction will be held throughout the day.
  • Oct. 10 and 11 —Downtown Boca Raton’s Art & Craft Festival will donate proceeds from specific artwork sales to The Shula Fund at Moffitt. The festival is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at Palmetto Park Road from U.S. 1 to Mizner Boulevard in Boca Raton.Oct. 11 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers Treasure Chests 5K and “Pink” Game. Join Bucs fans for the Treasure Chests 5K at 8 a.m. for a course that circles Raymond James Stadium. A portion of the proceeds benefits breast cancer research and patient services at Moffitt. Register online here. Registration includes a ticket to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Bucs at 1 p.m. Moffitt breast cancer survivors, physicians and team members will don pink and show support for breast cancer awareness at the game.
  • The American Cancer Society will host several Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events in October including:

o   Oct. 17: Making Strides of Pinellas at Vinoy Park

o   Oct. 24: Making Strides of Hillsborough at Amalie Arena

o   Oct. 24: Making Strides of Pasco at The Shops at Wiregrass

  • Oct. 17-18 — The 16th Annual Downtown Stuart Craft Festival will donate proceeds from specific artwork sales to The Shula Fund at Moffitt. The event is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days along Osceola Street in Stuart. Proceeds from specific art sales at the 28th Annual Las Olas Art Fair will benefit The Shula Fund at Moffitt. The event is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days along Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Oct. 21 — Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day
  • Oct. 24 — The Bulls Against Cancer campaign kicks off when Southern Methodist University takes on the USF Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls and Moffitt have partnered to make breast cancer awareness and fundraising a team sport. Football players will wear special pink uniforms, and fans are encouraged to do the same. Purchase limited-edition Bulls Against Cancer Under Armour T-shirts on and 100 percent  of proceeds will benefit cancer research and patient services at Moffitt.
  • Oct. 24-25—Proceeds from specific art work sales at the 21st Annual Downtown Sarasota Art & Craft Festival will benefit The Shula Fund at Moffitt. The event is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days along Main Street in Sarasota.
  • Oct. 27— The 2nd Annual Southern Hills Fight From the Fairway Golf Tournament invites guests to play a round of golf while benefitting The Shula Fund at Moffitt. Registration information is available here.
  • Oct. 29 — Moffitt and the Tampa Bay Lightning will participate in Hockey Fights Cancer™,a charitable initiative founded in December 1998 by the National Hockey League® and National Hockey League Players’ Association.  Watch the Colorado Avalanche take on the Lightning at 7:30 p.m. at Amalie Arena. The initiative is supported by players, NHL member clubs, NHL alumni, the NHL Officials’ Association, professional hockey athletic trainers and equipment managers, corporate marketing partners, broadcast partners and fans throughout North America.  The goal of Hockey Fights Cancer is to raise money and awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research.  Through the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative, the NHL’s U.S. and Canadian charitable foundations and NHL supporters and fans have donated more than $15 million to support national and local cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations.  For more information about Hockey Fights Cancer, visit
  • Oct. 31 — The 2nd Annual Delray Marketplace Art & Craft Festival in Delray Beach will donate proceeds from specific artwork sales to The Shula Fund at Moffitt. The event is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Delray Marketplace.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 45 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 Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. With more than 4,600 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $1.9 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.