Tuesday, October 17, 2023

A University of Iowa associate professor has received a $2.24 million grant to study chemotherapy dosing guidelines for treatment of breast cancer.

Mary Schroeder, an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy, will lead the four-year project, which looks to find answers to disparities in treatment for breast cancer patients with and without obesity.

Current chemo dosing guidelines are based on height and weight; the goal of the study is to bring more nuance to chemo recommendations. Because obese people often have existing organ dysfunction, and chemotherapy adds to the destruction of those organs, it can be unclear how big the dose should be.

“The grant is really a validation of the work I’ve been doing for years,” Schroeder says. “I think there’s a real research gap and potential harm we could be doing patients if we are not more careful about understanding the optimal amount of chemo, especially for patients with obesity.”

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.