Mark D. Pegram, M.D.
Voluntary Professor of Medicine
Description of Research
Dr. Pegram’s current research focuses on understanding the molecular pathways that regulate a protein called ERBB2 (also known as Her2). It is paramount to determine whether tumors are ERBB2 +, since these cases account for 20% of breast cancers which are very aggressive and difficult to treat with common cancer therapies. Trastuzumab (also called Herceptin) is a drug that targets ERBB2 and is used on patients with tumors that overproduce ERBB2. Dr. Pegram was a co-investigator on the landmark research and clinical trials that led to the development of this drug, the first FDA approved targeted therapy for use in early stage ERBB2 positive breast cancers. Unfortunately, most tumors develop resistance to trastuzumab as well as lapatinib (Tykerb), another drug commonly used to treat ERBB2 positive breast cancers. Therefore, it is very important to identify new targets on ERBB2+ tumors so that new drugs can be developed to treat this type of cancer. Ongoing research is directed towards understanding mechanisms of both traztuzumab and lapatinib resistance in ERBB2 overexpressing breast cancer cell lines.
Dr. Pegram also works with the current leadership of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at Sylvester to integrate the efforts of basic scientists with those of clinicians to bring the Institute's scientific discoveries to clinical applications as soon as possible. Currently, Dr. Pegram serves as Professor of Medicine, Acting Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as Director for Clinical and Translational Research at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.
- Participated as co-investigator on the landmark research and clinical trials that led to the development of Herceptin, the first FDA approved targeted therapy for use in early stage HER-2 positive breast cancers
Selected Cancer-Related Publications
- Blackwell KL, Pegram MD, Tan-Chiu E, Schwartzberg LS, Arbushites MC, Maltzman JD, Forster JK, Rubin SD, Stein SH, Burstein HJ. Single-agent lapatinib for HER2-overexpressing advanced or metastatic breast cancer that progressed on first- or second-line trastuzumab-containing regimens. Ann Oncol 20:1026-1031, 2009. Read more »
- Johnston S, Pippen J Jr, Pivot X, Lichinitser M, Sadeghi S, Dieras V, Gomez HL, Romieu G, Manikhas A, Kennedy MJ, Press MF, Maltzman J, Florance A, O'Rourke L, Oliva C, Stein S, Pegram M. Lapatinib Combined With Letrozole Versus Letrozole and Placebo As First-Line Therapy for Postmenopausal Hormone Receptor-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer. J Clin Oncol 27:5538-5546, 2009. Read more »
Collaborating in the Multidisciplinary Research Program(s):