Laura Esserman, MD, MBA

Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center

Dr. Laura Esserman, a nationally known breast surgeon, is the director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the Mount Zion campus. Her work is devoted to developing new, more effective ways to care for and empower breast cancer patients during treatment and to tailor treatments using biology, personal preference and constant feedback regarding outcomes of care.

Esserman earned an undergraduate degree at Harvard University and completed medical and surgical training at Stanford University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in breast oncology at Stanford in 1988 and earned a master's degree at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1993. She joined UCSF Medical Center in 1993. Esserman is a professor of surgery and radiology in the UCSF School of Medicine.


Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
1600 Divisadero St., Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-7070
Nurse Advice Line : (415) 353-9752
Surgery Fax: (415) 353-7050
Oncology Fax: (415) 353-7692

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

Board Certification

Surgery, American Board of Surgery

Academic Title


More about Laura Esserman

Additional Languages



Stanford University 1983


Stanford University, General Surgery 1991

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Rice BA, Ver Hoeve ES, DeLuca AN, Esserman LJ, Rugo HS, Melisko ME. Registry study to assess hair loss prevention with the Penguin Cold Cap in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017 Sep 18.
  2. Esserman LJ. The WISDOM Study: breaking the deadlock in the breast cancer screening debate. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2017; 3:34.
  3. Bartelink IH, Prideaux B, Krings G, Wilmes L, Lee PRE, Bo P, Hann B, Coppé JP, Heditsian D, Swigart-Brown L, Jones EF, Magnitsky S, Keizer RJ, de Vries N, Rosing H, Pawlowska N, Thomas S, Dhawan M, Aggarwal R, Munster PN, Esserman LJ, Ruan W, Wu AHB, Yee D, Dartois V, Savic RM, Wolf DM, van 't Veer L. Heterogeneous drug penetrance of veliparib and carboplatin measured in triple negative breast tumors. Breast Cancer Res. 2017 Sep 11; 19(1):107.
  4. Wolf DM, Yau C, Sanil A, Glas A, Petricoin E, Wulfkuhle J, Severson TM, Linn S, Brown-Swigart L, Hirst G, Buxton M, DeMichele A, Hylton N, Symmans F, Yee D, Paoloni M, Esserman L, Berry D, Rugo H, Olopade O, van 't Veer L. DNA repair deficiency biomarkers and the 70-gene ultra-high risk signature as predictors of veliparib/carboplatin response in the I-SPY 2 breast cancer trial. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2017; 3:31.
  5. van 't Veer LJ, Yau C, Yu NY, Benz CC, Nordenskjöld B, Fornander T, Stål O, Esserman LJ, Lindström LS. Tamoxifen therapy benefit for patients with 70-gene signature high and low risk. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017 Aug 04.
  6. Chien AJ, Chambers J, Mcauley F, Kaplan T, Letourneau J, Hwang J, Kim MO, Melisko ME, Rugo HS, Esserman LJ, Rosen MP. Erratum to: Fertility preservation with ovarian stimulation and time to treatment in women with stage II-III breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant therapy. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017 Aug; 165(1):161.
  7. Fowble B, Jairam AK, Wang F, Peled A, Alvarado M, Ewing C, Esserman L, Park C, Lazar A. Indications for Postmastectomy Radiation After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in ypN0 and ypN1-3 Axillary Node-Positive Women. Clin Breast Cancer. 2017 Aug 01.
  8. Esserman LJ, Yau C, Thompson CK, van 't Veer LJ, Borowsky AD, Hoadley KA, Tobin NP, Nordenskjöld B, Fornander T, Stål O, Benz CC, Lindström LS. Use of Molecular Tools to Identify Patients With Indolent Breast Cancers With Ultralow Risk Over 2 Decades. JAMA Oncol. 2017 Jun 29.
  9. Vidula N, Yau C, Li J, Esserman LJ, Rugo HS. Receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (RANK) expression in primary breast cancer correlates with recurrence-free survival and development of bone metastases in I-SPY1 (CALGB 150007/150012; ACRIN 6657). Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017 Aug; 165(1):129-138.
  10. Campbell JI, Yau C, Krass P, Moore D, Carey LA, Au A, Chhieng D, Giri D, Livasy C, Mies C, Rabban J, Sarode VR, Singh B, Esserman L, Chen YY. Comparison of residual cancer burden, American Joint Committee on Cancer staging and pathologic complete response in breast cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy: results from the I-SPY 1 TRIAL (CALGB 150007/150012; ACRIN 6657). Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017 Aug; 165(1):181-191.
  11. Peled AW, Sears M, Wang F, Foster RD, Alvarado M, Wong J, Ewing CA, Sbitany H, Esserman LJ, Fowble B. Complications After Total Skin-Sparing Mastectomy and Expander-Implant Reconstruction: Effects of Radiation Therapy on the Stages of Reconstruction. Ann Plast Surg. 2017 Jun 01.
  12. Chien AJ, Chambers J, Mcauley F, Kaplan T, Letourneau J, Hwang J, Kim MO, Melisko ME, Rugo HS, Esserman LJ, Rosen MP. Fertility preservation with ovarian stimulation and time to treatment in women with stage II-III breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant therapy. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017 Aug; 165(1):151-159.
  13. Melisko ME, Goldman ME, Hwang J, De Luca A, Fang S, Esserman LJ, Chien AJ, Park JW, Rugo HS. Vaginal Testosterone Cream vs Estradiol Vaginal Ring for Vaginal Dryness or Decreased Libido in Women Receiving Aromatase Inhibitors for Early-Stage Breast Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2017 Mar 01; 3(3):313-319.
  14. Rugo HS, Klein P, Melin SA, Hurvitz SA, Melisko ME, Moore A, Park G, Mitchel J, Bågeman E, D'Agostino RB, Ver Hoeve ES, Esserman L, Cigler T. Association Between Use of a Scalp Cooling Device and Alopecia After Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer. JAMA. 2017 02 14; 317(6):606-614.
  15. Hosseini A, Khoury AL, Esserman LJ. Precision surgery and avoiding over-treatment. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2017 May; 43(5):938-943.
  16. Shieh Y, Eklund M, Madlensky L, Sawyer SD, Thompson CK, Stover Fiscalini A, Ziv E, Van't Veer LJ, Esserman LJ, Tice JA. Breast Cancer Screening in the Precision Medicine Era: Risk-Based Screening in a Population-Based Trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2017 01; 109(5).
  17. Ellis MJ, Suman VJ, Hoog J, Goncalves R, Sanati S, Creighton CJ, DeSchryver K, Crouch E, Brink A, Watson M, Luo J, Tao Y, Barnes M, Dowsett M, Budd GT, Winer E, Silverman P, Esserman L, Carey L, Ma CX, Unzeitig G, Pluard T, Whitworth P, Babiera G, Guenther JM, Dayao Z, Ota D, Leitch M, Olson JA, Allred DC, Hunt K. Ki67 Proliferation Index as a Tool for Chemotherapy Decisions During and After Neoadjuvant Aromatase Inhibitor Treatment of Breast Cancer: Results From the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z1031 Trial (Alliance). J Clin Oncol. 2017 Apr 01; 35(10):1061-1069.
  18. Jones EF, Ray KM, Li W, Seo Y, Franc BL, Chien AJ, Esserman LJ, Pampaloni MH, Joe BN, Hylton NM. Dedicated Breast Positron Emission Tomography for the Evaluation of Early Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer. Clin Breast Cancer. 2017 Jun; 17(3):e155-e159.
  19. Bolan PJ, Kim E, Herman BA, Newstead GM, Rosen MA, Schnall MD, Pisano ED, Weatherall PT, Morris EA, Lehman CD, Garwood M, Nelson MT, Yee D, Polin SM, Esserman LJ, Gatsonis CA, Metzger GJ, Newitt DC, Partridge SC, Hylton NM. MR spectroscopy of breast cancer for assessing early treatment response: Results from the ACRIN 6657 MRS trial. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2017 Jul; 46(1):290-302.
  20. Wang F, Chin R, Piper M, Esserman L, Sbitany H. Do Prolonged Prophylactic Antibiotics Reduce the Incidence of Surgical-Site Infections in Immediate Prosthetic Breast Reconstruction? Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016 Dec; 138(6):1141-1149.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.