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Deborah Armstrong, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Deborah Armstrong, M.D.

Director, Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service

Professor of Oncology

Female

Expertise: Breast Cancer, Cancer Genetics, Cancer Risk, Cervical Cancer, Gynecologic Cancers, Hereditary Breast Cancer, Medical Oncology , Ovarian Cancer ...read more

Research Interests: Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trials; Breast Cancer Clinical Trials; Gynecologic Cancer Clinical Trials; Genetics of Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer ...read more

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Locations

Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Appointment Phone: 410-955-8964

401 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231 map
Phone: 410-614-2743

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center - Green Spring Station
Appointment Phone: 410-955-8964

10753 Falls Road
Pavillion II
Lutherville, MD 21093 map
Phone: 410-583-2970

Background

Dr. Armstrong works primarily in the area of women's malignancies, with a particular emphasis on breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies, and the genetics of breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Armstrong's clinical focus is on the development of new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of breast cancer and gynecologic malignancies. Particular areas of interest are targeted biologic therapy, intraperitoneal therapy, and immunologic approaches to cancer treatment. Dr. Armstrong also directs the Johns Hopkins Breast and Ovarian Cancer Screening Service, a genetic counseling service that focuses on identifying patients at risk for cancer and examination of new strategies for cancer screening and prevention.

Dr. Armstrong has lectured locally, nationally and internationally. She is active in the Gynecologic Oncology Group, serving on the Medical Oncology, Developmental Therapeutics and Phase I GOG committees and as chair of several clinical trials through this group. She is a representative of the Southwest Oncology Group to the Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Armstrong also serves as a representative of Johns Hopkins to the National Cooperative Cancer Network serving on the ovarian cancer and breast cancer risk reduction panels. She has participated as a member of the Cancer Working Group for the Office of Research on Women's Health for the National Institutes of Health, as a scientific reviewer for the breast and ovarian cancer research programs of the Department of Defense and the National Cancer Institute, as a reviewer for the NCI Special Emphasis Panel for Insight Awards to Stamp Out Breast Cancer and as a member of the NCI SPORE Program parent committee.

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Titles

  • Director, Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service
  • Professor of Oncology
  • Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • MD, George Washington University School of Medicine (1984)

Residencies

  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center / Internal Medicine (1988)

Fellowships

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Oncology (1993)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine / Internal Medicine (1987)
  • American Board of Internal Medicine / Medical Oncology (1991, 2007)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The overall global research focus of Dr. Armstrong is on the development of new approaches to prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer and gynecologic malignancies. Her clinical focus covers three broad categories: treatment of gynecologic cancers, treatment of breast cancer, and genetic risk factors for breast and ovarian cancer with a particular emphasis on early detection and prevention for high risk women. 

Much of Dr. Armstrong's work in treatment of gynecologic malignancies has been done through the Gynecologic Oncology Group. She has served as a member of the Ovarian Cancer, Developmental Therapeutics, Phase I Committee and Medical Oncology Committees for the GOG. Completed studies through the GOG for which Dr. Armstrong has been a Principal Investigator include a phase I study of taxol, cisplatin and topotecan in newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, a phase I study if intraperitoneal paclimer microspheres in ovarian cancer, a randomized phase III study of IV cisplatin and paclitaxel vs. an intensive intraperitoneal approach using these drugs in newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, phase II studies of Bryostatin-1 in ovarian cancer and cervical cancer and a trial of carboplatin and cetuximab in recurrent ovarian cancer. GOG studies ongoing or in development for which Dr. Armstrong is an investigator include a phase III trial of paclitaxel and carboplatin with or without bevacizumab in recurrent platinum sensitive ovarian cancer, a randomized phase II trial of temozolomide with or without the PARP inhibitor ABT-888 in uterine leiomyosarcoma, and a phase I trial of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin and carboplatin with the PARP inhibitor ABD-888 and bevacizumab. 

In addition to work with GOG, Dr. Armstrong has worked at the institutional level on the development of new treatments for gynecologic malignancies. Current clinical trial directions include evaluation of the folate receptor alpha antagonist Farletuzumab in the treatment of both platinum resistant and platinum sensitive ovarian cancer, the use of sequential blockade of the VEGF pathway with the combination of bevacizumab and enzastaurin in gynecologic malignancies and targeting surface lectins with AGS8M4 in ovarian cancer. Ongoing areas of potential translational laboratory research include targeting Notch in ovarian cancer and identification and characterization of ovarian cancer stem cells.

Dr. Armstrong's work with breast and ovarian cancer patients has led to an increasing interest in identifying patients at increased risk of these diseases. Dr. Armstrong serves as director of the Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service. This service provides genetic counseling and risk assessment for patients at an increased risk of developing these diseases. Ongoing trials through the high risk clinic evaluate screening, early detection and prevention. These studies include an ovarian cancer screening study (ROCA study), characterization of benign breast disease in women at increased risk for breast cancer and an evaluation of BRCA polymorphisms and clinical outcome in ovarian cancer. 

Clinical Trial Keywords

Phase I, II and III clinical trials, Cancer Genetics, Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Gynecologic Malignancies

Selected Publications

Messersmith, W.A.; Baker, S.D.; Lassiter, L.; Sullivan, R.A.; Dinh, K.; Almuete, V.I.; Wright, J.J.; Donehower, R.C.; Carducci, M.A.; Armstrong, D.K. Phase I trial of bortezomib in combination with docetaxel in patients with advanced solid tumors. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 15;12(4):1270-1275.

Visvanathan, K.; Santor, D.; Ali, S.Z.; Brewster, A.; Arnold, A.; Armstrong, D.K.; Davidson, N.E.; Helzlsouer, K.J. The reliability of nipple aspirate and ductal lavage in women at increased risk for breast cancer-a potential tool for breast cancer risk assessment and biomarker evaluation. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 May;16(5):950-955.

Rudin, C.M.; Liu, W.; Desai, A.; Karrison, T.; Jiang, X.; Janisch, L.; Das, S.; Ramirez, J.; Poonkuzhali, B.; Schuetz, E.; Fackenthal, D.L.; Chen, P.; Armstrong, D.K.; Brahmer, J.R.; Fleming, G.F.; Vokes, E.E.; Carducci, M.A.; Ratain, M.J. Pharmacogenomic and pharmacokinetic determinants of erlotinib toxicity. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Mar 1;26(7):1119-1127.

Balmanoukian, A.; Zhang, Z.; Jeter, S.; Slater, S.; Armstrong, D.K.; Emens, L.A.; Fetting, J.H.; Wolff, A.C.; Davidson, N.E.; Jacobs, L.; Lange, J.; Tsangaris, T.N.; Zellars, R.; Gabrielson, E.; Stearns, V. African American women who receive primary anthracycline- and taxane-based chemotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer suffer worse outcomes compared with white women. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Aug 1;27(22):e35-37; author reply e38-39.

Zellars, R.C.; Stearns, V.; Frassica, D.; Asrari, F.; Tsangaris, T.; Myers, L.; DiPasquale, S.; Lange, J.R.; Jacobs, L.K.; Emens, L.A.; Armstrong, D.K.; Fetting, J.H.; Garrett-Mayer, E.; Davidson, N.E.; Wolff, A.C. Feasibility trial of partial breast irradiation with concurrent dose-dense doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide in early-stage breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Jun 10;27(17):2816-2822.

Chumsri, S.; Jeter, S.; Jacobs, L.K.; Nassar, H.; Armstrong, D.K.; Emens, L.A.; Fetting, J.H.; Lange, J.R.; Riley, C.; Tsangaris, T.N.; Wolff, A.C.; Zellars, R.; Zhang, Z.; Stearns, V. Pathologic complete response to preoperative sequential doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide and single-agent taxane with or without trastuzumab in stage II/III HER2-positive breast cancer. Clin Breast Cancer. 2010 Feb;10(1):40-45.

Sharrow, A.C.; Ronnett, B.M.; Thoburn, C.J.; Barber, J.P.; Giuntoli, R.L., 2nd; Armstrong, D.K.; Jones, R.J.; Hess, A.D. Identification and characterization of a spontaneous ovarian carcinoma in Lewis rats. J Ovarian Res. 2010;3:9.

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Susan G. Komen Foundation Research Fellowship, 1991 - 1993
  • American Association for Cancer Research Upjohn Travel Award, 1992
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award, 1994 - 1995
  • American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Career Development Award, 1995 - 1998
  • Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Osler Housestaff Teaching Award, 1998
  • Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Osler Housestaff Teaching Award, 2000
  • Ladies Home Journal Health Breakthrough Award, 2006
  • David & Lenore Brundige Katz Memorial Lectureship, Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2007
  • Rosalind Franklin Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Award, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, 2007
  • Ethel N. Ruvelson Memorial Lecture in Ovarian Cancer, University of Minnesota, 2007
  • Director's Teaching Award in Clinical Science, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, 2008

Memberships

  • Abstract Review Committee Member (Clinical Abstracts), 2002 - 2003
  • American Association for Cancer Research, 1990
    Member
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology, 1993
    Member
  • Bone Marrow Transplant Panel, 1998
  • Breast Cancer Committee, 2008 - 2012
    Member
  • Breast Risk Reduction Panel, 2004
  • Bylaws Committee, 2007
  • Cancer Education Committee, 2006
  • Cancer Education Committee, 2007
  • Clinical Trials Network, 2002
    Advisor and Scientific Review
  • Co-Principal Investigator, 1994 - 1995
  • Developmental Therapeutics Committee, 1998
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, 1988
    Member
  • Gyn Working Group, 2007
    Member
  • Gynecologic Cancer Program Committee, 1997
  • Gynecologic Cancer Program Committee, 2004
  • Gynecologic Cancer Program Committee, 2005
  • Gynecologic Cancer Program Committee, 2006
  • Gynecologic Cancer Program Committee, 2007
  • Gynecologic Cancer Scientific Program Committee, 2006
  • Gynecologic Cancer Scientific Program Committee, 2007
    Track Leader
  • Gynecologic Oncology Group, 1993
    Member
  • International Gynecologic Cancer Society, 1994
    Member
  • Medical Oncology Committee, 2001
  • National Cooperative Cancer Network
  • NCCN Ovarian Cancer Panel
    Vice Chair
  • Ovarian Cancer Committee, 1994 - 2002
  • Ovarian Cancer Panel, 1998
  • Phase I Subcommittee, 1998
  • Principal Investigator, 1995 - 2000
  • Program Committee Member, 2009 - 2011
  • Representative to the Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee, 2008
    CTEP
  • Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, 2006
    Associate Member
  • Southwest Oncology Group, 2007
    Member
  • Survivorship Committee, 2003
    Chair
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