2018 Annual Meeting


Kelly K. Hunt, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Hamill Foundation Distinguished Professor of Surgery in Honor of Dr. Richard G. Martin, Sr.
Chair, Department of Breast Surgical Oncology
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Kelly K. Hunt, MD
Dr. Kelly K. Hunt

Dr. Hunt is chair of the Department of Breast Surgical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and holds the Hamill Foundation Distinguished Professorship in Honor of Dr. Richard G. Martin, Sr. She currently has joint appointments as a professor of Experimental Radiation Oncology and Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson.

A gifted surgeon and compassionate clinician, Dr. Hunt’s work focuses on finding less invasive yet more effective surgical procedures for patients with breast cancer and soft-tissue sarcomas. As an international leader in breast cancer research, she has directed major clinical trials whose results have changed practice in breast cancer. Dr. Hunt’s work has led to the revision of the AJCC staging system for breast cancer to incorporate biological factors for more accurate determination of prognosis for breast cancer patients. Dr. Hunt also has an active laboratory that studies cell-cycle deregulation in breast and other cancers. The goal of these studies is to provide a better understanding of biological factors that could be used as predictive or prognostic markers. Her recent publications have shown that cytoplasmic cyclin E is a biomarker of aggressive breast cancer and mediates resistance to aromatase inhibitors.

A pioneer in the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy in breast cancer, Dr. Hunt helped introduce the technique for patients at MD Anderson. She developed a clinical database, now in use by many investigators that has tracked selection criteria, treatment techniques and long-term outcomes for more than 30,000 patients. This data has also allowed her group to demonstrate that sentinel lymph node surgery after chemotherapy provides an accurate assessment of response to chemotherapy and allows for fewer lymph node dissections.  Her scholarship to date has resulted in publication of more than 500 peer-reviewed articles, 47 book chapters and four books.

Dr. Hunt received her medical degree from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and completed her surgical residency at the University of California-Los Angeles David Griffin School of Medicine. She came to MD Anderson Cancer Center as a surgical oncology fellow in 1994 and joined the faculty two years later. She was named chief of the Breast Surgery section in the Department of Surgical Oncology in 2000. She leads MD Anderson’s Breast Cancer Research Program, a collaboration of physicians and scientists. Dr. Hunt was associate medical director of the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center at MD Anderson from 2000 to 2012. She is director of the American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program, a program within the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology that is involved in cancer care delivery research, education and the development and implementation of cancer care standards.

Her numerous honors include a Faculty Achievement Award in Clinical Research from MD Anderson, a Texas Business Women’s Award and induction into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame, recent inductee as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Her work with trainees and young investigators has been recognized with the Teaching Award for Research and the Outstanding Teacher Award by the MD Anderson Department of Surgical Oncology.

The meeting’s keynote address is supported by
The American Society of Breast Surgeons Foundation.