National TAPUR Trial Offers Hope to Late-Stage Cancer Patients

2 min read  |  October 04, 2022  | 
Sylvester Breast Medical Oncologist Credits Precision Medicine

Carmen Calfa M.D. is a breast medical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Chair of the TAPUR Steering Group of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). For more information about breast cancer treatments and support services available, click here.


When Susan Spak was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer she was scared, until she met with Carmen Calfa, M.D., a breast medical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“When she walked through the door, I fell in love with her,” says Susan.

Dr. Calfa says patients with advanced-stage breast cancer are living longer thanks to precision medicine.

“When you look at precision medicine, it’s really, from the very early on, trying to find what’s unique about that patient and about her or his cancer, and then trying to develop the treatments that are really personalized to that patient’s needs,” Dr. Calfa says.

Dr. Calfa is the Principal Investigator of the TAPUR trial at Sylvester, a national study offering molecularly targeted therapies to eligible late-stage cancer patients using FDA-approved medications.

“We have seen some amazing responses, some miraculous responses in patients that otherwise lost hope and they had no other intervention that they were eligible for,” says Dr. Calfa.

Sylvester, an NCI-designated cancer center, offers patients a multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

“We meet during molecular tumor boards. We analyze everyone’s result to see what opportunity they have in hand, not to let them miss it,” Dr. Calfa says.

Susan enrolled in the TAPUR trial. She feels hopeful and is enjoying time with family.

“It’s been such a positive journey and I know I’ll be fine,” Susan says.

Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10.  For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.

Tags: breast cancer, Dr. Carmen Calfa, late stage cancer, TAPUR study

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