Joyce Marie Slingerland, MD,PhD| Breast Medical Oncology | MedStar Health

Joyce Marie Slingerland, MD,PhD
Provider is directly employed by MedStar Health

Specialties: Breast Medical Oncology

Languages: Spanish, French, English

About me

A renowned physician scientist, Joyce Slingerland, MD, PhD, is a fellowship-trained, board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer. She co-leads the breast cancer program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and serves as a professor of oncology at Georgetown University.

At MedStar Georgetown, Dr. Slingerland specializes in treating all types of breast cancer, including:

  • hormone-receptor positive breast cancer
  • triple negative breast cancer
  • HER2 positive breast cancer

She combines her research expertise in the molecular biology of breast cancer with focused dedication to caring for each of her patients to drive positive outcomes for people with breast cancer. She has a particular interest in helping her patients make lifestyle changes to improve their outcomes, including using diet and exercise to “turn off the cancer switch.”

Dr. Slingerland earned her MD and a PhD in medical biophysics at the University of Toronto, Canada, where she also completed residency training in internal medicine. She went on to complete a fellowship in medical oncology and postdoctoral fellowships in molecular and medical genetics at the University of Toronto and molecular biology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. After spending a decade at the University of Toronto as a clinician investigator devoted to breast cancer research and care, Dr. Slingerland moved to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where she became the first Director of the Braman Breast Cancer Institute.

Dr. Slingerland is a leader in breast cancer research. She discovered an important cell cycle inhibitor, p27, and her lab has shown that targeted therapies can reverse p27’s deregulation in cancers. Her current research projects investigate breast cancer stem cells and how obesity stimulates those cancer stem cells in ways that contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer and worse breast cancer outcomes. The results of her work are supporting new interventions that promote weight loss and exercise in cancer survivors.

As a leader in the breast cancer program, Dr. Slingerland oversees breast cancer clinical research, including:

  • investigating intracellular pathways that increase breast cancer tumor growth
  • studying the role of circulating breast cancer tumor cells
  • looking at ways cancer cells interact with their microenvironment
  • understanding the environmental factors that influence breast cancer risk and outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, inflammatory illnesses, exercise, and environmental toxins

Dr. Slingerland’s philosophy of care

“Breast cancer is a terrifying diagnosis for a lot of women, but I want my patients to know that most people survive breast cancer. We know a lot about breast cancer, and as a result, we have many treatment options available. I give my patients plenty of information about their cancer, their body, and their treatment options, so that they can make a good decision about their individualized care. I want my patients to feel confident that they are making an informed decision, and I want them to know that they can call on me at any time to get the help they need.

As a researcher and as a clinician, I am very interested in making use of the many lifestyle changes that can modify outcomes for people with breast cancer. I work with my patients to understand the role of diet and exercise in managing breast cancer.

MedStar Georgetown has access to the best treatment options on the planet, and as a field, breast cancer care has come a long way. I am optimistic that the work we’re doing, both in the lab and in the clinic, will help not only treat but prevent cancer.”

About MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute
MedStar Georgetown is part of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute, which combines medical expertise, the latest therapies, and research across MedStar Health. Our research engine, the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Washington, D.C., region. This partnership means we provide access to cutting-edge clinical trials and the latest breakthroughs in cancer care.

Clinical areas of focus

  • Breast Cancer
  • Carcinoma In Situ Of Breast
  • Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
  • Her2neu Receptor
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
  • Invasive Breast Cancer
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
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Conditions and procedures

Conditions I treat

  • Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia
  • Brca
  • Breast Cancer
  • Breast Cancer During Pregnancy
  • Breast Cancer In Young Women
  • Carcinoma In Situ Of Breast
  • Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
  • Dysplasia Of Breast
  • Er Positive Breast Cancer
  • Family History Of Breast Cancer
  • Her2neu Receptor
  • Hereditary Breast And Ovarian Cancer
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
  • Invasive Breast Cancer
  • Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
  • Male Breast Cancer
  • Metastatic Axillary Cancer
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer
  • Microcalcifications
  • Paget's Disease Of The Breast
  • Postmastectomy Lymphedema Syndrome
  • Recurrent Breast Cancer
  • Treatment Refractory Breast Cancer
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
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Procedures I perform

  • Adjuvant Chemotherapy
  • Breast Cancer Chemotherapy
  • Breast Cancer Follow Up
  • Breast Cancer Genetics
  • Chemoradiation
  • High Risk Breast Cancer Counseling
  • Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Treatment For Breast Cancer
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Practice locations

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3970 Reservoir Road Northwest
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center New Research Bldg, Room E212
Washington, DC, 20007

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miles away


Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine

Other Certification: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, -

Fellowship Program: Princess Margaret Hospital (1988)

Residency Program: The Wellesley Hospital University of Toronto (1987)

Fellowship Program: Princess Margaret Hospital (1986)

Residency Program: Toronto General Hospital (1985)

Internship Program: Toronto General Hospital (1984)

Medical School: University of Toronto (1983)