Dr. Vandana Abramson makes Breast Cancer Awareness Month every month. Employed by Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Dr. Abramson has helped 3,000 women and about 10 men fight breast cancer since 2009. She prides herself on being “All-encompassing” and participates in about 50 clinical trials seeking new innovative breast cancer treatment protocols all the while offering advanced and possibly life saving clinical research as care options.
WSMV News 4 Nashville reported that Abramson is available for patients two days a week at Vanderbilt’s Breast Cancer Hematology department in Nashville, TN. At least 50% of her patients drive at least two or more hours for her care (does she accept telemedicine? Perhaps she should!). WSMV News 4 followed her at the cancer clinic and experienced first-hand her patient engagement.
Debbie Thomas, diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and drives regularly from Kentucky for her endocrine therapy treatment to fight the disease. Abramson brings a grounded, empathetic engagement that uplifts patients but also infuses the doctor with emotional responses to the heavy-duty human health-based situations she must take on. She noted to News 4 “There are some very emotional days” and typically these challenging days originate on the days “someone is being told they have breast cancer or they find out cancer has returned.” Dr. Abramson is on a mission to eradicate the disease.”
The Principal Investigator
Abramson has transformed into a significant Principal Investigator for oncology-based clinical trials. Involved with approximately 50 Vanderbilt clinical trials, she serves as PI for 20 of those studies at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Dr. Abramson serves as the national lead for three oncology-based clinical trials. An impressive feat.
Dr. Abramson also participates in several observational and retrospective studies where the team examines variables and outcomes measurable in different treatment protocols. She notes to News 4 “At the end of the day what we’re trying to do is find better, less toxic treatments for our patients, says Abramson. She continued “We’re really trying to eliminate chemotherapy completely. Chemotherapy basically attacks all cells in the body. What we’re tying to is find targeted treatment and figure out why cancer is growing and go right after it.”
Vanderbilt Part of the Drug Development Ecosystem
Vanderbilt basic, preclinical and translational not to mention clinical research produces outcomes and results that are then passed on to physicians who determine the best way to bring the discoveries to patients. They collaborate closely with biopharmaceutical companies to develop drugs with the goal of pressing for better patient outcomes.
Follow the link to the source to watch the News 4 special as Dr. Abramson delves into details of clinical trials. She currently leads three Phase II clinical trials that each involve 100 patients. She reports that “Even with metastatic disease—Stage IV disease—we have found ways to make a lot of metastatic disease into a chronic disease so people can live for years and years.”
A Super Mom
Dr. Abramson, with two children, notes with pride that they know that she goes to work to help save the lives of other moms. Consequently, she notes warmly on the local news broadcast “They cut me a lot of slack because I come home late often and I’m often in front of the TV doing my work and they see that. I hope that they understand that it’s possible to derive a lot of satisfaction from your job even if it’s a job that can be all-encompassing.”
Site Watch Leading
Dr. Abramson represents the professional hero out there making a difference every day. A truly exceptional individual—full of life-giving most and taking little—she makes it on the TrialSite News Investigator Profile and helps us place Vanderbilt on Site Watch Leading category within TrialSite News.
Dr. Vandana Abramson, Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology)
Call to Action: Are you within a couple of hours of Nashville, TN and have a loved one with a breast cancer diagnosis? Consider Dr. Abramson. Are you part of a biopharma doing breast cancer research? Consider connecting with her.