Dr. Edith Perez in her research lab.

Dr. Edith Perez in her research lab. Photo by Mayo Clinic staff.

I had the priviledge of working with a reporter from El Nuevo Dia, San Juan, Puerto Rico, to coordinate an interview (and photos) with Dr. Edith Perez from Mayo Clinic, a true pioneer in cancer research.

Here’s a quick translation of the story (cover of Lifestyle section, El Nuevo Dia, 03/13/2012).

Mente Genial Contra el Cancer

By Ileana Delgado Castro, El Nuevo Dia

The definitive cure for cancer has yet to be found. But there are people who, thanks to new medicines and cutting edge treatment, are able to beat or control the disease.

Renowned Puertorrican oncologist Edith Pérez attests to that. She’s director of the Breast Cancer Program and of the Breast Cancer Research Division of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. She is the same researcher who revolutionized breast cancer treatment when she showed, in 2005, that a drug named trastuzumab (Herceptin) reduced the recurrence of cancer by 52 percent, in patients with the HER-2 receptor.

Pérez, who talked with El Nuevo Día during a recent visit to Puerto Rico, explains that more than 20 percent of women who have had breast cancer present the protein receptor HER-2, which can cause cancer to reappear and spread. The risk of reincidence and death is higher in these women.

“With this study, we changed the history of the disease. Instead of administering a therapy that attacks all the organs, as it used to be, this drug only fights HER-2. It is the concept of the magic bullet: we found the problem and were able to attack it head on,” explains the oncologist who has become a worldwide leader in breast cancer research.

Dr. Perez was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico. She grew up in Naguabo and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in medicine. She left for California at the age of 23 to begin her medical specialty…

To read the entire article (in Spanish) go to: http://www.elnuevodia.com/mentegenialcontraelcancer-1211623.html