Dr. Mothaffar Rimawi recognized for outstanding contributions to breast cancer
“Dr. Rimawi is a great credit to the breast center, and thoroughly deserves this award,” said Dr. Matthew Ellis, director of the Smith Breast Center. “His clinical care and devotion to clinical research is exemplary.”
His research focuses on translating laboratory findings to the clinic to develop new treatments, and then taking clinical findings and materials back to the lab to study them with other scientists.
A project Rimawi initiated in the lab as a fellow, under the mentorship of Drs. Kent Osborne, director of the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor, and Rachel Schiff, associate professor in the Smith Breast Center, is now being studied in clinical trials nationally and at Baylor.
In the lab, Rimawi studied a protein called HER2, which is overexpressed in 20 to 25 percent of breast cancers, and drives the cancer cells’ growth and proliferation.
Rimawi studied a way to attack the protein with multiple different targeted drugs that did not include chemotherapy, which can be toxic and decrease quality of life in some patients.
He proved this concept in the lab, and clinical trials have so far shown some women may benefit from this combination of targeted treatment without chemotherapy.
The C. Kent Osborne Award was established last year by the Center’s Advisory Council to recognize outstanding contributions to breast cancer research, advocacy and patient care.
It will be presented at the 2015 Neiman Marcus Stiletto Strut and Luncheon Sept. 25, one of the center’s largest fundraising events.
It is named for Rimawi’s mentor Dr. Kent Osborne, currently director of the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor.