Kimberly L. Blackwell, M.D., is an associate in medicine in the division of hematology-oncology at Duke University Medical Center. As a clinician, she is interested in the hormonal treatment of breast cancer, the treatment of young women with breast cancer, and the effects of exercise and nutrition on the recovery period after chemotherapy. In the laboratory, she studies the effects of hormones on tumor angiogenesis (how tumors develop new blood vessels). She also studies tests for the early detection of breast cancer, and the breast cancer protein made by the HER2/neu cancer gene. She is currently involved in several trials incorporating the use of novel therapies in the treatment of locally advanced breast cancer.
Kim realizes that the hardest times faced by breast cancer survivors are after the "active" therapies are finished. The recovery period from treatment is when laboratory values and radiographs become less important, and patients must face even bigger life and health issues, such as the fear of breast cancer recurrence and long-term effects of chemotherapy. Such issues are not easily addressed during routine doctor's visits. Dr. Blackwell would like to help Breastcancer.org develop programs in which dealing with these issues ultimately contributes to the "whole person recovery" of all breast cancer patients.