Kari Wisinski, MD, a breast cancer specialist with the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, has been named to the steering committee of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium.
In that role, she will serve as the University of Wisconsin-Madison representative, helping shape the research priorities of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium. She currently is the co-chair of the breast cancer clinical trial working group.
“I have been involved with the Big Ten since inception, as one of the co-leaders of the Breast Cancer Working Group,’’ Wisinski says. “It has been rewarding to collaborate with my colleagues at other institutions. Furthermore, I think the focus on integrating junior faculty to help them with their career development is a key benefit of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium.
“My greatest hope is that Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium studies will lead to improvements in the lives of those impacted by cancer.”
Wisinski, a Wisconsin native, holds a medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine and completed internal medicine residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, followed by a combined hematology and oncology fellowship at Northwestern University. She is board certified in medical oncology.
Dr. Wisinski's research focus is on leading clinical trials testing new agents in phase I trials and for patients with breast cancer, which involves translational collaborations with laboratory scientists.
Wisinski is co-director of the Wisconsin Oncology Network, a statewide medical oncology research group that conducts clinical trials, and leads two arms of the National Cancer Institute’s precision medicine trial, called NCI-MATCH.
“My research has focused on phase I trials of new agents or new combinations for metastatic solid tumors and phase II trials of new agents for breast cancer,’’ she says. “Most of these trials are focused on triple negative breast cancer, which is a subtype of breast cancer with a poorer prognosis and limited treatment options other than chemotherapy.’’
Wisinski was recently awarded a Pfizer ASPIRE award for a new trial opening through the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium. For this trial, she is working with Dr. Sneha Phadke, of the University of Iowa Holden Cancer Center. The new trial is studying the combination of two targeted agents (talazoparib and gedatolisib) for metastatic triple negative breast cancer. Previously, she worked with a colleague at the University of Illinois, Dr. Danciu to launch another breast cancer trial.
In addition to breast cancer research, Wisinski says she is also closely following the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium trials evaluating the role of immunotherapy in treating lung and genitourinary cancers.