Revolutionizing care for breast cancer patients through surgical education
IU School of Medicine Jun 05, 2018
Carla Fisher, MD, is new to Indianapolis but has quickly laid claim to a downtown lifestyle of sports entertainment and great restaurants. The bonus is that she’s only a quick run or walk to the Indiana University School of Medicine campus where the transplanted Philadelphia native is now a tenure-track faculty member. Enjoying downtown life is a good balance to the energy she brings to advance surgical education and care to benefit women with breast cancer.
“It’s an exciting time to be a researcher and clinician in breast cancer,” Dr. Fisher said. “I’m looking forward to exploring the ways researchers in the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research can contribute through research and clinical trials.”
Dr. Fisher is currently working to establish a breast surgery fellowship program at IU School of Medicine where she serves as the medical director of breast surgical oncology and is an associate professor of surgery. While on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania for seven years, she experienced an evolution in breast cancer surgery that minimizes procedures and maximizes quality of life. Dr. Fisher is currently developing robust breast cancer surgical database to increase surgical outcomes research that improves care and will add to the 20 publications she has already amassed.
“In research studies nationally, we’re beginning to look at the possibility of eliminating surgery for some patients with breast cancer,” said Dr. Fisher. “Current trials randomizing lower-risk patients to surgery or close observation will answer some important questions about the biology of breast cancer, the role of surveillance and what’s most important for patient care in the future.”
She also directed the breast surgery fellowship program while at U. Penn. “Specialized training is so important, especially in a field like breast cancer,” Dr. Fisher explained. “In a specialty like ours, additional training not only connects young physicians to different disciplines but reinforces the critical role of research and clinical trials to improve care.”
Dr. Fisher hasn’t left everything behind in Philadelphia to become a Hoosier. She brought along her passion for the Philadelphia Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champions, and admits she snagged a ticket to be at the game. Back in her Indianapolis office the next day, she looked longingly at live coverage of the victory parade in Philadelphia, wishing it were only a quick jog to be there, too.