Over the past couple of decades, our country has made impressive progress in raising awareness of breast cancer. From races for the cure to pink gear on NFL fields, hardly a citizen exists who doesn’t recognize the now ubiquitous pink ribbon. As navigators, we have a close tie to breast cancer awareness campaigns because our profession has its roots in implementing programs to detect breast cancer earlier in underserved populations. Since the initial trial of a navigation program by Dr Harold Freeman, the concept has expanded to include other types of cancer and encompass all stages of cancer management from diagnosis through survivorship.
With this issue of JONS, we pay tribute to our beginnings as navigators in breast cancer management by recognizing our national breast cancer awareness month and focusing on best practices in breast cancer. In our Interview with the Innovators department, we talk with Chief Scientific Officer Paul W. Dempsey, PhD, and Chief Medical Officer Paul Y. Song, MD, of Cynvenio about their multiple-template strategy, which analyzes DNA from circulating tumor cells, circulating cell-free DNA in blood, and tissue biopsies, as well as the initiation of their clinical trial in triple-negative breast cancer. We hope you find our exchange insightful and helpful.
Additionally, we present an article about using the Breast Cancer Index to help guide treatment decisions for patients with early-stage invasive breast cancer. Further, we look at endocrine therapy options for women with breast cancer. Our own Sharon Gentry offers a timely review of the transformation of breast cancer management with information for all navigators as they support patients in the role of advocate, educator, team facilitator, and resource coordinator. Finally, we are proud to present a submission from Drs Jain, Pai, Santa-Maria, and Gradishar of Northwestern University about the state of personalized medicine in breast cancer and the biomarkers that help direct therapy.
Thank you for your loyal readership. It is our hope that this special issue of JONS strengthens your ability to care for your patients with breast cancer.
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer, Depts of Surgery and Oncology; Administrative Director, The Johns Hopkins Breast Center; Director, Cancer Survivorship Programs at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins; Associate Professor, JHU School of Medicine, Depts of Surgery, Oncology & Gynecology and Obstetrics;
Associate Professor, JHU School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD