Jun Mao, MD, MSCE assistant professor of Family Medicine and Community Health in the Perelman School of Medicine, and director of Integrative Medicine, recently received a 1.5 million dollar National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to study the way in which genetic variations in estrogen synthesis affect women with breast cancer who are taking aromatase inhibitors, which are typically used to prevent recurrence. The drugs help post-menopausal women to further suppress their body's production of estrogen.

Although aromatase inhibitors have improved breast cancer survival rates, they often can decrease a patient's quality of life because of severe joint pain side effects, leading some some patients to stop using them too soon. The new study aims to help the medical community understand aspects of this painful condition so new diagnoses and treatments can be developed. For example, knowing a patient's genotype may predict patients who are at risk of these side effects, and clinicians may offer more personalized early interventions for effective pain management.


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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