Cedars-Sinai Cancer Medical Center recently announced the appointment of Yuan Yuan, MD, PhD, a breast medical oncologist and physician scientist who specializes in triple-negative breast cancer and breast cancer immunotherapy, as Director of Breast Oncology.
Yuan Yuan, MD, PhD
Finding Cutting-Edge Therapies
“[Triple-negative breast cancer] has always been the most challenging to treat, even now with the arrival of immunotherapies,” Dr. Yuan said. “The overall survival for patients with stage IV triple-negative breast cancer remains challenging, largely due to complex tumor biology and chemotherapy resistance. It’s a devastating disease, and my work is dedicated to implementing precision medicine and finding cutting-edge therapies to bring better survival and quality of life to patients.”
Expanding Research and Treatment Access
Dr. Yuan’s research aims to expand the number of patients with triple-negative breast cancer who can benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors—a number that currently stands at just 30%. She and her team are testing a novel immunotherapy combination to turn “immune-cold” tumors, which cannot be penetrated by the body’s immune system, into “immune-hot” tumors, which readily respond to immunotherapies. She is also working closely with the Cedars-Sinai cell therapy team to bring first-in-class immunotherapies to patients with solid tumors, including breast cancer.
“Cedars-Sinai Cancer Medical Center serves the most diverse group of patients in the country, and I’m looking forward to working with my fellow breast oncologists to advance new concepts and bring access to novel precision medicine–driven clinical trials to benefit patients here—and globally,” Dr. Yuan said. “I care for a lot of stage IV patients, including young moms,” she added. “Being a mother of two, I can only begin to imagine the challenges. I admire my patients who have the courage to deal with what they have to go through, and this is what drives me.”
In the coming years, Dr. Yuan’s goal is for the Breast Oncology Program to expand to serve the growing number of patients seeking access to clinical trials and to extend its scientific endeavors and continue pursuing state-of-the-art research into all breast cancer subtypes. Every patient with breast cancer—even those with more treatable disease—faces unique challenges, she said. Thus, another goal is to build supports for patients with breast cancer at every stage.
“I want to help them deal with treatment side effects, stay on their medications, and manage their disease,” Dr. Yuan said. “We can’t cure all breast cancer patients today, but there is huge potential to keep pushing forward with our research, expanding options for our community and bringing our patients hope.”
Dr. Yuan most recently served as Medical Director of Breast Cancer Immunotherapy at City of Hope. Her training includes a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at New York University Medical Center and a rotation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She received her medical degree in China and holds a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, Riverside.