Sharon H. Giordano, MD, MPH

Sharon H. Giordano, MD, MPH

If not for BCRF/PFP, the International Male Breast Cancer Program would not exist and the knowledge about this rare but important disease would be much poorer. With greater knowledge, better treatments and better survival are possible.

Chair, Department of Health Services Research
Interim Chair, Department of Health Disparities
Professor of Medicine
Department of Breast Medical Oncology
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX

Area of Focus:  Tumor Biology

2018-2019 PROJECT

Co-Investigators: Fatima Cardoso, MD, Champalimaud Cancer Center, Lisbon, Portugal; John M.S. Bartlett, MD, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

Current Research:

  • Characterizing the biology of breast cancer in men to develop better treatments and improve outcomes.
  • Male breast cancer samples are being evaluated for prognostic and predictive biomarkers.
  • The Male Breast Cancer Study has shed new light on this disease and will continue to guide better treatments and prevention strategies.

Male breast cancer is a rare disease accounting for less than 1 % of all breast cancers and 1 % of all cancers in men. Knowledge about this disease is still scarce and management is largely extrapolated from female breast cancer. Drs. Fatima Cardoso and Sharon Giordano are leading an international effort to characterize the biology of male breast cancer to develop better treatments and improve outcomes for men with breast cancer. The project consists of a retrospective analysis of tumor samples and clinical data, a prospective registry of men with breast cancer and a clinical trial to test new treatments.

Full Research Summary:

The Male Breast Cancer Study (MBCS), led by Dr. Fatima Cardoso with BCRF colleagues, Drs. Giordano, Bartlett, and Symmans, is an ongoing worldwide effort coordinated by the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), with the help of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC), and organized under the network of the Breast International Group [BIG] and the North American Breast Cancer Groups (NABCG).

This program has three parts. Part One is a retrospective joint analysis of clinical data and tumor samples. The study involved 1473 male breast cancer patients treated in the last 20 years in 23 centers from nine countries, representing the largest series of male breast cancer patients ever studied. Results from these efforts have identified both similarities and differences in biology compared to female breast cancer, including specific molecular subtypes, with potential treatment implications. This year, the research team will focus on identifying biomarkers that could guide treatment decisions.

Part Two of the study is focused on creating a prospective registry of all male breast cancer patients treated within the EORTC/TBCRC/BIG/NABCG global network and includes collection of biological material that can be used for future studies. This part is ongoing with over 300 patients on study. The researchers are currently conducting in-depth biological characterization of the samples.

Part Three is a prospective clinical trial that will evaluate a new drug to treat male breast cancer. The trial has not been initiated yet.

This important work will lead to the development of better treatment strategies for men with breast cancer.


Sharon Giordano is a Professor with tenure at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Chair of the Department of Health Services Research, and Ad Interim Chair of Health Disparities Research.

Dr. Giordano received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and graduated Summa Cum Laude and With Distinction in Biology. She received her MD degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1996. She is a board certified Medical Oncologist. In 2004, Dr. Giordano received a Master of Public Health degree in Disease Control from The University of Texas School of Public Health.

Dr. Giordano’s research interests include breast cancer outcomes research, late effects of treatment, and male breast cancer. She is currently funded through CPRIT, Susan Komen for the Cure, and AHRQ.

Dr. Giordano has received awards including the Faculty Educator of the Month (2009), the Distinguished Alumnus Award (2010), Mentor of the Year Award (2011), Teaching Department of the Year (2011, 2013), and Faculty Scholar Award (2012). Dr. Giordano is the past Track Leader for the ASCO Health Services Program Committee, past member of the ASCO Education Committee, and is a current member and chair of the ASCO Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee. She also serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Breast Cancer Guidelines Committee.