• Researcher Profile

    Leroy M. Parker, MD

    Leroy M. Parker, MD

    Senior Physician

    Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Breast Oncology

    Office phone: 617-632-3800
    Fax: 617-632-1930
    Email: leroy_parker@dfci.harvard.edu

    Preferred contact method: office phone

    View Physician Profile

    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Solid Tumor Oncology


    Breast oncology, Clinical trials, New therapies, Hormonal therapy of cancer, General oncology

    Area of Research

    Clinical Trials in Breast Cancer

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Parker earned his MD from Johns Hopkins University in 1969, and received postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the National Institutes of Health. He trained in medical oncology at DFCI, joining the staff in 1973. His clinical focus is breast cancer, and he also conducts patient-related clinical research.


    Clinical Trials in Breast Cancer

    Our group has a particular interest in endocrine therapy for breast cancer. We participated in a pivotal trial that resulted in the approval of fulvestrant, a pure antiestrogen and estrogen-receptor downregulator for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer resistant to tamoxifen therapy. We are now involved in two trials using fulvestrant in metastatic breast cancer. In one, fulvestrant is administered at twice the previous dose after a loading dose of 500 mg. Previous studies have shown this approach to be safe, so the purpose of this trial is to determine whether it is more effective. In a second study, we are testing estrogen priming as a means of increasing the response rate to this agent.

    In the MA27 trial, Dr. Parker is the site principal investigator at Dana-Farber. This multicenter, multinational trial compares the efficacy and toxicity of anastrozole with that of exemestane in postmenopausal patients with early breast cancer.

    We also have been involved in recent Dana-Farber chemotherapy trials utilizing traztuzumab in combination with paclitaxel (for neoadjuvant therapy) and vinorelbine (for both neoadjuvant therapy and metastatic disease). We completed a trial testing the utility of pegfilgrastim and darbepoitin in the support of dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy. In this trial, clinicians administered four cycles of doxorubin plus cyclophosphamide and four cycles of paclitaxel at two-week intervals to more than 100 women with early breast cancer. Results showed that single injections of growth factors were safe and effective in preventing febrile neutropenia and reducing the need for red blood cell transfusions.

    In addition to these trials, we have been involved in the protocol titled Biomechanics of Metastases in Bone, a study to monitor the fracture risk of patients with metastatic breast cancer. In the past two years, over 1,000 breast cancer patients at Dana-Farber have been evaluated for metastatic cancer to the spine, and approximately 100 patients met the inclusion criteria for a prospective clinical study. In these patients, we demonstrated that the reduction in the load-carrying capacity of a bone with a lytic defect can be predicted noninvasively using computed tomography. We are considering using a similar methodology in studies of patients with multiple myeloma.

    Finally, we completed a clinical trial testing the safety and preliminary efficacy of a humanized monoclonal antibody in comparison to zoledronic acid against human parathyroid-related protein in the prevention of skeletal events in metastatic breast cancer.


    • Kwak, S. Daniel, PhD
    • Ready, John E., MD
    • Snyder, Brian D., MD, PhD
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