Bio

Clinical Focus


  • Medical Oncology
  • Breast Cancer

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop, AACR-ASCO (2014)
  • NCCN Fellows Recognition Program, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2014)
  • Stanford Spectrum Intensive Course in Clinical Research, Stanford (2014)
  • Stanford Translational Research and Applied Medicine (TRAM) Award, Stanford (2014)
  • Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award, ASCO (2015)
  • Stanford Spectrum TL1 Mentored Career Training Program Award, Stanford (2015)
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, Susan G. Komen for the Cure (2015)

Professional Education


  • Residency:Stanford University GME (2012) CA
  • Internship:Stanford University GME (2010) CA
  • Fellowship:Stanford University Medical Center (2015) CA
  • Board Certification: Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine (2014)
  • Board Certification: Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine (2012)
  • Medical Education:Harvard Medical School (2009) MA

Community and International Work


  • Triple Step Toward the Cure

    Ongoing Project

    No

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


I am an Instructor of Medicine in Oncology at Stanford. Since finishing the clinical component of my oncology fellowship, my clinical and research focus has been on breast cancer; my dedication to breast cancer care and research continues to grow as I become more fully immersed in this incredibly rewarding field.

I conduct research using an innovative breast cancer database that links patient medical records with cancer registry and genomic data. I am currently using this database to investigate the link between immune-mediated markers and survival in triple-negative breast cancer patients.

Furthermore, I have worked on a phase II clinical trial addressing the important question of whether single-agent PARP inhibitor therapy has anti-cancer activity in advanced BRCA wildtype, HER2-negative breast cancer patients with homologous recombination deficiency. I am co-principal investigator of this trial, and the recipient of a three-year Susan G. Komen Postdoctoral Fellowship Award surrounding this project.

Teaching

Graduate and Fellowship Programs


  • Oncology (Fellowship Program)

Publications

All Publications


  • Chromosomal copy number alterations for associations of ductal carcinoma in situ with invasive breast cancer BREAST CANCER RESEARCH Afghahi, A., Forgo, E., Mitani, A. A., Desai, M., Varma, S., Seto, T., Rigdon, J., Jensen, K. C., Troxell, M. L., Gomez, S. L., Das, A. K., Beck, A. H., Kurian, A. W., West, R. B. 2015; 17
  • Targeted Therapy for Cancer in the Genomic Era CANCER JOURNAL Afghahi, A., Sledge, G. W. 2015; 21 (4): 294-298

    Abstract

    The advent of cancer genomics has led to the development of many highly successful targeted therapies, primarily inhibitors of growth factor receptors and related kinases, including imatinib for chronic myeloid leukemia and trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer. This approach has become highly successful for certain cancers. However, as the list of targeted therapies expands, their efficacy becomes more limited, and toxicity accumulates. What we have learned in the past decades is that while the targeted therapeutics approach may be highly successful in less complex tumors, cancers defined by carcinogen-induced genomic chaos, such a UV-induced melanoma or tobacco-induced lung cancer, are driven by a multitude of competing molecular pathways and, as such, are not as successfully managed by a similar approach. Luckily, in the past years, the field of cancer immunotherapy has become more fully developed with the emergence of checkpoint blockade inhibitor therapy. These promising new agents are particularly well suited for tumors with a high mutational burden due to underlying genomic disarray. While still in its infancy, we predict that cancer immunotherapy will offer a better alternative to our current targeted approach and eagerly await the results of several ongoing clinical trials that will elucidate this new direction in cancer therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000135

    View details for Web of Science ID 000359820200010

    View details for PubMedID 26222081

  • The role of platinum therapy in triple-negative breast cancer The role of platinum therapy in triple-negative breast cancer Afghahi, A., Telli, M. L. 2014; 3 (4): 377-385

    View details for DOI 10.2217/bmt.14.21

  • Lenalidomide, melphalan and dexamethasone in a population of patients with immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis with high rates of advanced cardiac involvement HAEMATOLOGICA Dinner, S., Witteles, W., Afghahi, A., Witteles, R., Arai, S., Lafayette, R., Schrier, S. L., Liedtke, M. 2013; 98 (10): 1593-1599

    Abstract

    Immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis remains incurable despite recent therapeutic advances, and is particularly difficult to treat in patients with amyloid cardiomyopathy. Based on evidence of activity in multiple myeloma, we designed a pilot study of an oral regimen of lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone and low dose melphalan in order to evaluate its safety and efficacy in patients with amyloidosis, including those with advanced cardiac involvement. Twenty-five patients were enrolled. Ninety-two percent of patients had cardiac involvement by amyloidosis, and 36% of patients met criteria for Mayo Clinic cardiac stage III disease. Patients received up to 9 cycles of treatment, consisting of lenalidomide 10 mg/day orally on days 1 - 21 (28 day cycle); melphalan 0.18mg/kg orally on days 1-4; and dexamethasone 40 mg orally on days 1, 8, 15, 22. High rates (33%) of cardiac arrhythmias and low rates of treatment completion (12.5%) were observed. Ten patients died during the study, all within the first several months of treatment due to acute cardiac events. The overall hematologic response rate was 58%, however organ responses were seen in only 8% of patients. Overall survival at one year was 58%. While we confirmed the hematologic response rates observed with similar regimens, front line treatment with melphalan, lenalidomide and dexamethasone was toxic, ineffective, and did not alter survival outcomes for patients with high risk cardiac disease. Our data highlight the importance of developing novel treatment approaches for amyloid cardiomyopathy. The trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00890552).

    View details for DOI 10.3324/haematol.2013.084574

    View details for Web of Science ID 000328543400020

    View details for PubMedID 23716538

  • More Than a Frog in the Throat A Case Series and Review of Localized Laryngeal Amyloidosis ARCHIVES OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD & NECK SURGERY Stevenson, R., Witteles, R., Damrose, E., Arai, S., Lafayette, R. A., Schrier, S., Afghahi, A., Liedtke, M. 2012; 138 (5): 509-511

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305415100012

    View details for PubMedID 22652951