Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Angela Hartley Brodie (28 September 1934 – 7 June 2017) was a British biochemist who pioneered development of steroidal aromatase inhibitors in cancer research. Born in Greater Manchester, Brodie studied chemical pathology to a doctoral level in Sheffield and was awarded a fellowship sponsored by National Institutes of Health. After 17 years of working in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts on oral contraceptives with Harry Brodie, whom she married, she switched focus to the effects of the oestrogen-producing enzyme, aromatase, on breast cancer.

Angela Hartley Brodie
Angela Hartley Brodie.jpg
Born Angela Hartley
(1934-09-28)28 September 1934
Oldham, England
Died 7 June 2017(2017-06-07) (aged 82)
Known for Development of first aromatase inhibitors
Spouse(s) Harry Brodie
Children 2, including John H. Brodie
Scientific career
Fields Cancer research
Institutions Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Brodie managed to get an aromatase inhibitor into a limited clinical trial in breast cancer patients in London, which had such a profound effect that it led to Novartis-sponsored trials, the development of formestane, the first aromatase inhibitor, eventually marketed in 1994. Brodie's work has been hailed "as among the most important contributions to cancer cure."


Early life and educationEdit

Brodie was born Angela Hartley on 28 September 1934[1] in Oldham, Lancashire, England.[2] Her father, Herbert Hartley, was an industrial chemist working in polyurethanes[3] who inspired her interest in science.[4] Brodie was educated at a Quaker boarding school before studying at University of Sheffield, where she earned a degree in Biochemistry.[4]

After leaving university, she took a job in a blood bank before finding a laboratory position as a research assistant in the Department of Hormone Research at Manchester's Christie Cancer Hospital[5][6] Whilst there, she concentrated on oestrogen-dependent breast cancer for two years before joining the University of Manchester to study for her doctorate.[4]

In 1961, Brodie received her PhD in chemical pathology, which focussed primarily on the hormone aldosterone[4][7] from the University of Manchester.[8]

Career, 1962–2016Edit

As a result of her doctorate, she was awarded a National Institutes of Health sponsored, 1-year post-doctoral training fellowship, at Clark University and the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.[7][9] She researched at Worcester Foundation between 1962[4] and 1979.[7] There, she worked initially on the oral contraceptive usage of aldosterone, alongside a number of scientists. This included Harry Brodie, whom she married in 1964,[2] and Mika Hayano,[4] who died of breast cancer in her 40s. Over the next few years, Brodie took time away from her work when her two sons, Mark and John Hartley Brodie (1970–2006) were born.[4]

When Brodie returned to work in 1971, she joined her husband's lab as staff scientist, moving into breast cancer research, especially its link with oestrogen and an enzyme that produces it, aromatase.[4] They developed several steroidal aromatase inhibitors,[4] she focused on 4-OHA.[5]

In 1979, she moved to Maryland, encouraged by Cornelia Channing to join the University of Maryland School of Medicine, first as an associate professor.[9] Later she became Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics along with an appointment in the Department of Physiology[10] and a researcher role in the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center.[10] She presented a paper on her aromatase inhibitors at a Rome conference in 1980, which led to collaboration with Charles Coombes, a British oncologist to start clinical trials on the inhibitor–4-hydroxyandrostenedione (4-OHA) in Royal Marsden Hospital.[4] Coombes gave 4-OHA to 11 women in 1982,[6] with 4 seeing a dramatic improvement. The results were encouraging enough that Novartis was willing to fund further clinical trials.[4] 4-OHA, named Formestane, was the first aromatase inhibitor used on breast cancer patients[11] and proved to be a significant improvement on tamoxifen, the standard cancer drug used to treat oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women.[10] The drug was first marketed in 1994.[6]

"Brodie's major scientific awards recognize her development of aromatase inhibitors in the treatment of breast cancer as among the most important contributions to cancer cure."

Rita M. Rooney[12]

In 2005, Brodie received the prestigious Kettering Prize, the first woman to receive the award,[9] though she did not know she had been nominated.[4] At the time, she was on the editorial board of multiple professional journals, reviewed grant applications for NIH[9] had published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals,[10] and was a member of the integration for the US Army Department of Defense Army Breast Cancer Program.[7] In 2006, her son John, died from accidental drowning.[13]

In 2016, she officially retired from UM.[14]

Personal life and deathEdit

According to co workers Brodie "was kind and generous but not weak. She knew how to stand up for herself and push her own agenda." She "had a steely determination combined with a positive can-do attitude."[2] Brodie's hobbies were horseback riding, hiking and gardening.[14] She never intended to retire, and collaborated with Vincent Njar on aromatase inhibitors in prostate cancer until she died,[2] age 82 on 7 June 2017 at home in Fulton, Maryland from complications due to Parkinson's disease.[14]



  1. ^ Smith, Linell (20 May 2005). "Cancer researcher honored UM's Angela Brodie first woman to receive Kettering Prize (page 2)". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Geoff Watts Obituary Angela Mary Hartley Brodie The Lancet. 12 August 2017
  3. ^ Smith, Linell (20 May 2005). "Cancer researcher honored UM's Angela Brodie first woman to receive Kettering Prize (page 1)". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "A Class Above: Dr. Angela Brodie Wins the 2005 Kettering Prize". The Medical Alumni Association of the University of Maryland, Inc. 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Santen, R. J.; Brodie, H.; Simpson, E. R.; Siiteri P. K.; Brodie, A. (1 July 2013). "History of Aromatase: Saga of an Important Biological Mediator and Therapeutic Target". Endocrine Reviews. 30 (4): 343–375. doi:10.1210/er.2008-0016. ISSN 1945-7189. PMID 19389994. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Grohol, John M. (21 February 2009). "Robert A. Weinberg and Angela M. Hartley Brodie awarded 2006 Landon-AACR Prizes for Cancer Research". PsycheCentral. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Angela M. Hartley Brodie, PhD, Is Recipient of 2012 Pharmacia-ASPET Award". University of Maryland Medical Centre. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c "Angela H. Brodie, PhD". Americal Association for Cancer Research. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Howard, Barbara (7 October 2010). "Cancer researcher wins 2010 Gabbay Award". Brandeis Now. Brandeis University. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Angela Hartley Brodie, PhD". University of Maryland Medical Centre. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Patlak, Margie; Nass, Sharyl J. (12 June 2012). The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence. National Academies Press. p. 94. ISBN 9780309253369. 
  12. ^ Rooney, Rita M. (2012). "Aromatase Inhibitors" (PDF). Medical Bulletin. University of Maryland. 97 (2): 8–11. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "John Brodie: Obituary". Brattleboro Reformer. 16 February 2006. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c In Memoriam: Angela Hartley Brodie, Ph.D. 7 June 2017 University of Maryland School of Medicine
  15. ^ "Awards & Recognition: Previous Brinker Award Recipients: 2000 Recipients". Susan . Komen. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "Another milestone reached for national recognized breast program" (PDF). Health News. University of Maryland Medicine. June 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Warmkessel, Karen (28 February 2006). "University of Maryland Cancer Researcher to Receive Dorothy P Landon AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research". University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  18. ^ "Angela Hartley Brodie, PhD, Wins Health Care Heroes Award". University of Maryland Medical Center. 4 June 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "Dr. Angela Brodie Awarded Pincus Medal". University of Maryland Medical Centre. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  20. ^ "Forty-one ATD for Cancer 6th ed Doctors Named as Breast Cancer Grant Recipients". Castle Connolly Top Doctors. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "We Are Family". New York Social Diary. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  22. ^ "Fellows of the AACR Academy". American Association for Cancer Research. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  23. ^ "University of Maryland Breast Cancer Research Pioneer Dr. Angela Brodie Appointed Fellow of New American Association for Cancer Research Academy". PR Newswire. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 

External linksEdit