Barbara Burtness, MD
Dr. Burtness is a co-leader of the Keystone Program in Head and Neck Cancer. Her studies of EGFR-directed therapies are directed at personalizing optimal treatments for patients based on the clinical features of their cancer. She is an accomplished clinical investigator with specific expertise in the treatment of head and neck, esophageal, pancreatic and colorectal cancers. She has shown that high EGFR expression predicted resistance to cetuximab in head and neck cancers. She chairs an investigator-initiated phase I study of cetuximab with escalating doses of the mTOR inhibitor everolimus to target signaling from pAkt, and an investigator-initiated phase II trial in head and neck cancer of chemotherapy plus cetuximab, followed by addition of erlotinib to target nuclear EGFR and enhance inhibition of membrane-bound EGFR.
As Chair of the Head and Neck Committee in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and a member of the NCI Head and Neck Steering Committee, she helps shape the national agenda for research on all stages of head and neck cancer.