Lajos Pusztai, MD, DPhil, is a medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer. He is the co-director of the Genomics, Genetics, and Epigenetics Program at the Yale Cancer Center.
He says he enjoys the delicate work of helping patients overcome the fear and shock of a breast cancer diagnosis. “I ensure that they maximize their chance of cure through the best available treatments,” he says. “I also love the research component of my job, to push the boundaries of existing knowledge and developing new therapies.”
Dr. Pusztai says he gravitated to medical oncology at the beginning of his career because of an inspiring mentor, and that the best part of his job is seeing patients remain disease-free for years and continuing with their life.
He is chair of the Breast Cancer Research Committee of the South West Oncology Group (SWOG), a global cancer research community that designs and conducts publicly funded clinical trials. His research group has made important contributions to establish that estrogen receptor-positive and-negative breast cancers have fundamentally different molecular, clinical, and epidemiological characteristics.
He has been a pioneer in evaluating gene expression profiling as a diagnostic technology to predict chemotherapy and endocrine therapy sensitivity and has shown that different biological processes are involved in determining the prognosis and treatment response in different breast cancer subtypes. Dr. Pusztai is also the principal investigator of several clinical trials investigating new drugs, including immunotherapies for breast cancer.
Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale Medicine