Angela DeMichele, MD, MSCE
Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
University of Pennsylvania
Angela DeMichele, MD, MSCE
Upon completing her MD at Washington University in 1991, Dr. DeMichele returned to Penn to complete an internship in obstetrics and gynecology as well as her residency.
After her residency, she spent a year as a visiting clinical fellow at the Istituto di Ematologia Seragnoli, Universita degli Studi di Bologna in Bologna, Italy.
fellowship training in Hematology-Oncology at Penn from 1995-1998.
From 1996-2001, Dr. DeMichele worked on completing an MSCE degree and in 1999 was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and in the Department of Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology in the University of Pennsylvania SOM.
She is currently the course director for a graduate-level course (EP815, Clinical Trials and Translational Research) in the CCEB, a thesis advisor, a research mentor for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program, a mentor for the Department of Medicine Scholarly Pursuit Rotation and a mentor for the Undergraduate Honors Thesis Program.
Last year, she
received the Alavi Award for Excellence in Cancer Research at the Abramson Cancer Center
was drawn to a career in oncology by the potential to powerfully impact the lives of patients and their families.
To illustrate, she
recounted a case of a young patient that she
cared for during her
second month of internship.
The young patient was a male who was about her
age whose wife was expecting their first child.
The patient was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia and at that time, in 1991, there was no cure.
Consequently, the clinical team asked the young patient what his
goals were and how they could help him reach them.
The patient stated that he
just wanted enough time to see his
wife deliver their child and to hold his
child before he
By giving the patient blood products they were able to wheel him down from his hospital room to his wife's delivery room and he was able to achieve his dream of holding his infant before he passed away.
This concept of setting goals and helping patients reach them is a significant part of Dr. DeMichele's
has to give bad news a lot.
This is one of the occupational hazards associated with working in oncology.
Communicating this bad news to patients and assisting them in setting realistic goals is very important to Dr. DeMichele
was fortunate to have learned from her
mentors during her
fellowship how to deal with this aspect of the job.
Dr. DeMichele's face instantly lights up when asked about how she deals with the stresses of working in her field.
doesn't hesitate for a second before stating how her
family helps her
to keep balanced and to see what is important in life.
Dr. DeMichele is married to fellow CCEBer Robert Gross and together they have two sons, Elliot (11) and Jesse (8).
In addition to her
clinical work, Dr. DeMichele
is currently the PI of numerous clinical trials and epidemiologic studies.
She is a co-PI of the national I-SPY trial, a multicenter study examining molecular and novel MRI imaging response profiles of patients receiving neoadjuvant therapy for locally-advanced breast cancer that is co-sponsored by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network, The Cancer and Leukemia Group B, and Specialized Programs of Research Excellence mechanisms.
Work on I-SPY is currently in its final stages and investigators are using data in designing I-SPY II.
also collaborates with fellow CCEB faculty on various clinical research trials.
Working with Drs.
Along with Dr. Jun Mao, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, Dr. DeMichele is investigating links between use of aromatase inhibitors, cytokine receptors and arthritic syndrome to look for markers associated with this clinical syndrome and resistance to endocrine therapy.
With Dr. Irene Su, a junior faculty member in reproductive endocrinology here at UPHS, Dr. DeMichele is investigating markers of early menopause and bone loss among premenopausal patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.
Dr. DeMichele is also working with Dr. Mark Rosen, Assistant Professor of Radiology, using very novel imaging, dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), to examine basal phenotypes of breast cancer in women who are "triple negative" (lacking estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2).
In discussing breast cancer, Dr. DeMichele
indicates that for all of the attention and press that it receives, breast cancer remains underappreciated.
Although she admits there have been GREAT strides, she is just as quick to point out that there are still WAY too many women (especially young women under 40 years old) who are being diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer who are living for a few years but still dying too young.
suggests that there is a need for better predictors so people don't relapse and a need for better screening for younger women.
Angela M. DeMichele, MD, MSCE
Research: Genetech, Inc., Wyeth Pharmaceuticals