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Cornellian Leads in Cancer Research

  Alumni Profile  

Dr. James N. Ingle '66 has co-authored an important international study that will radically change the way breast cancer is treated-and, perhaps, prevented.

The study, published in November in the New England Journal of Medicine, focuses on letrozole, a synthetic drug that reduces the level of estrogen in the body. The study of 5,000-plus women showed that a woman who has had breast cancer surgery and received tamoxifen for five years can further reduce her risk of cancer recurrence by almost 50 percent by taking letrozole.

"Thanks to the study, we've shown letrozole can substantially reduce the risk of cancer for these women," says Ingle. "Now, we're planning additional studies so we can fine-tune treatments and learn if this class of drug might also play a role in the prevention of cancer."

Ingle says he decided to start his collegiate career at Cornell because of the school's solid academic reputation. After earning an undergraduate degree in biology, Ingle received his MD degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and stayed at Johns Hopkins for his internship and residency. He received his training in medical oncology at the National Institutes of Health.

Mayo Clinic doctor James Ingle '66 is a leading cancer researcher.

In 1976, Ingle joined the staff of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He was chair of the Breast Committee of the North Central Cancer Treatment Group for 22 years, until 1999 when he became senior advisor to that committee. He has been chair of Mayo's Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Committee since 1982, serves as head of Breast Cancer Research in the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is the Foust Professor of Oncology in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

"It is my clear conviction that I'm working at an institution that gives the best possible care," says Ingle, who met his wife, Mary Sahs Ingle '67, at Cornell. "I am very pleased to be involved in research that can potentially be of benefit to many thousands of women with this all-toocommon disease."

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