Dr. Judith Balmaña



Dr. Balmaña was graduated in Medicine at the Universitat de Barcelona and carried out her residency in medical oncology at the Hospital Sant Pau, Barcelona. She was then awarded with a grant from "La Caixa" and trained as a clinical research fellow in the High Risk Clinics for Breast and Gastrointestinal Cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston (USA). On her return from the US in 2005, she was hired in the Medical Oncology Department from Vall d´ Hebron University Hospital to establish the Familial Cancer Program. Since then, she is leading the VHIO´s High Risk and Cancer Prevention Group and serving as Attending Physician in the Breast Cancer Unit. She obtained her PhD from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona for her research on a prediction model for hereditary colorectal cancer. She has been involved in research projects related with genetic epidemiology of hereditary breast cancer, mainly in collaboration with Dr Orland Díez, chief of the Oncogenetics Laboratory at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital. These studies have shed light on the prevalence of mutations in BRCA and non-BRCA genes in these families from our setting. Once PARP inhibitors were discovered she became interested in their clinical development as a targeted therapy for patients with a BRCA1/2 mutation. She co-leaded a Phase I trial combining a PARP inhibitor with chemotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors and participated in other phase II clinical trial with PARP inhibitors or a DNA-damaging agent targeting tumors with a BRCA deficiency. She is currently co-leading an international phase III trial of a PARP inhibitor for patients with advanced breast cancer and a BRCA mutation and participating in other trials for patients in early and advanced stage. On 2012, she became interested in studying mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies in breast cancer patients with a germline BRCA1/2 mutation, in collaboration with Violeta Serra, PhD and Cristina Cruz, MD, PhD; a project that is being supported by the Spanish Ministry of Health. Her research interest in targeted therapies has resulted in 4 publications so far. In collaboration with Violeta Serra, head of the VHIO’s Experimental Cancer Group, they have gathered a collection of patient-derived xenografts from patients with a BRCA mutation and are the basis of our current translational research.

Record last modified Aug 23, 2018 11:26:47 AM