Press and Public Relations

Joint International Journal of Cancer and Klaus Tschira Stiftung Lecture at DKFZ

Thursday, November 14, 2013 - Prof. Dr. Clara D. Bloomfield

Clara D. Bloomfield is a Distinguished University Professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) and holder of the William Greenville Pace III Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. Dr. Bloomfield earned her M.D., from the University of Chicago and completed training in internal medicine and medical oncology at the University of Minnesota, where she became a full professor in just 7 years. Prior significant academic administrative positions include Chair of the Department of Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Chief of the Division of Oncology at the State University of New York at Buffalo (1989-1997), Director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at OSU (1997-2001), and Director of the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center (1997-2003).

Dr. Bloomfield has made extensive contributions to national and international professional organizations, including serving on the board of directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association of Cancer  Research  (AACR)  and  the  NCCN  and  chairing  the  National  Cancer  Institute  (NCI)  Division  of  Cancer Treatment’s Board of Scientific Counselors. 

Dr. Bloomfield is an internationally recognized clinical scientist whose 40 years of groundbreaking research on adult leukemia and lymphoma, described in over 950 publications, have changed the way we think about these diseases and treat these patients.  She pioneered the use of biologic characteristics of neoplastic cells for selecting appropriate curative therapy for individual patients. She first suggested and demonstrated that adults with acute leukemia, including the elderly, could be cured with chemotherapy. She also showed that certain groups of leukemia patients, defined in particular by genetic characteristics of the leukemia, required intensive therapy for cure, while others could be cured with standard approaches. Her study of chromosomes in leukemia and lymphoma has had enormous impact by aiding in identifying genes involved in development of these disorders and the application of this information for effective therapy for individual patients. She first identified several now classic chromosome changes in leukemia and lymphoma, for example, the Philadelphia chromosome in acute lymphoblastic leukemia and rearrangement of 16q22 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She is considered the world’s authority on how chromosome changes influence treatment and outcome in adult acute leukemia.

Recently Dr. Bloomfield has been the driving force in identifying novel molecular prognostic markers in AML.   She helped initiate the first use of gene array analysis of transcription to classify leukemias and continues to do pioneering work in the area of gene and microRNA expression profiling. Her work has resulted in the current World Health Organization (WHO) classification of hematologic malignancies, and the use of genetics for individualized therapy in leukemia and lymphoma in the most widely used cancer clinical guidelines--those of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)--and for AML the European LeukemiaNet guidelines.

The recipient of many prestigious honors, Dr. Bloomfield is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Interview

Prof. Dr. Clara D. Bloomfield interviewed by Sonja Klein

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