Homa, breast cancer survivor

“You deserve a doctor you feel confident in and who you believe is invested in your care. That’s why I chose Dr. Somlo and City of Hope.”

There’s never a good time to get cancer, but Homa Sadat’s breast cancer diagnosis came at a particularly bad time — just one year after her father lost his two-year battle to pancreatic cancer.

Sadat was 27 when she found a lump in her breast, but her doctor dismissed her initial concerns, noting that she’s too young to have cancer. But Homa insisted on a biopsy a few months later when she felt a shooting pain, and the test revealed that she has triple negative breast cancer, the hardest type to treat since it is resistant to current targeted therapies.

After considering her treatment options, Sadat ultimately chose City of Hope because of her confidence in Dr. George Somlo, whose research interests include finding better treatments for triple negative breast cancer. At City of Hope, Sadat volunteered for a Phase II clinical trial combining standard chemotherapy drug carboplatin with a novel nanoparticle drug called nab-paclitaxel.

The trial called for her to undergo drug therapy for 16 weeks before having breast cancer surgery, but halfway through the trial, Sadat and her care team found a pleasant surprise.

“I went in for an ultrasound-guided biopsy, and they said there’s nothing to biopsy,” Sadat said. “They couldn’t find the tumor.”

Sadat continued the treatments for another 8 weeks and had breast surgery at the original tumor site. No cancer cells were found in the removed tissues, confirming that Sadat’s cancer had gone into complete remission.

Since completing her treatment in 2013, Sadat has married and hopes to start a family soon.

“The idea of an exciting future with Joey and getting married to him is what encouraged me to be strong and fight this battle,” Sadat said.  “He gave me hope.”