The research and practice of Judy C. Boughey, M.D., is in the field of clinical and translational research in breast cancer. Areas of specific interest include neoadjuvant chemotherapy, sentinel lymph node surgery, prophylactic mastectomy and regional anesthesia for breast surgery.
- Minimizing axillary surgery for women with node-positive breast cancer. A notable area of Dr. Boughey's focus has been the role of sentinel lymph node surgery in women with node-positive breast cancer who are treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. These women are usually treated with axillary lymph node dissection after chemotherapy. Dr. Boughey led a multicenter national study (ACOSOG-Z1071) involving 756 women across 136 institutions to evaluate the use of sentinel lymph node surgery. A successor trial (Alliance A11202) comparing axillary radiation with axillary surgery for women with residual node-positive disease after chemotherapy opened in February 2014.
- Breast Cancer Genome-Guided Therapy (BEAUTY) study. Dr. Boughey co-leads with Matthew P. Goetz, M.D., the BEAUTY study, which is funded by the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The goal of this study is to identify novel genetic alterations and changes in cancer pathways both at the time of diagnosis and after completion of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in women with high-risk breast cancer. In this study, both the host and tumor genomes are sequenced prior to therapy, after 12 weeks of paclitaxel and at the time of surgery.
Significance to patient care
The results of the ACOSOG-Z1071 study are likely to change the management of women with breast cancer. Women with node-positive disease who are treated with chemotherapy prior to surgery may now be considered for sentinel lymph node surgery and potentially avoid the morbidity associated with axillary lymph node dissection.
A critical element of the BEAUTY study is the development of patient-derived xenografts in which patients' tumor tissue is kept alive by implanting tumor cells into immune-compromised mice before and after chemotherapy. The use of these mouse "avatars" allows Dr. Boughey and her colleagues to quickly determine whether the genetic alterations identified by sequencing are functional, with the initial focus on studying novel drugs and drug combinations for use in women with chemotherapy resistance. The laboratory studies for BEAUTY are being led by Liewei Wang, M.D., Ph.D., and Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., who co-lead the Mayo Clinic Pharmacogenomics Research Network.
- Chair, Division of Surgery Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., 2014-present
- Vice chair for research, Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., 2014-present
- Chair, Education Committee, American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program, 2013-present
- Medical director, Surgical Clinical Research Office, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., 2012-present
- Program director, Multidisciplinary Breast Surgery Fellowship, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., 2008-present