Faculty Profile


Dr. Teresa HelstenDr. Helsten

Teresa Helsten, M.D.

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology-Oncology

Office Address:

Division of Hematology/Oncology
University of California, San Diego
Moores Cancer Center

3855 Health Sciences Drive, MC-0987

La Jolla, CA 92093


Office: (858) 822-6195
FAX: (858) 822-6196

Education and Training

BS Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1990
MD University of California, Davis 1998
Resident Harbor-UCLA Medical Center 1998-2001
Chief Resident Harbor-UCLA Medical Center 2001-2002
Oncology Fellowship UCSD Medical Center 2002-2005


Research Interests

Dr. Helsten focuses first and foremost on providing excellent care for breast cancer patients. She is the Moores Cancer Center Associate Breast Team Leader, and in that role she is responsible for oversight of breast cancer medical oncology care at UCSD.

Dr. Helsten’s research is primarily focused on clinical trials chosen to bring the most cutting edge care to her patients. She runs several clinical trials and enrolls patients to these and cooperative group and investigator initiated trials at UCSD. She is a coinvestigator of the groundbreaking I-SPY 2 study (www.ispy2.org). She is actively engaged in the design and implementation of translational research projects in breast cancer. A focus of hers has been studying mechanisms and treatment of bone metastasis in cancer patients, including studies of DKK1, an inhibitor of the canonical signaling pathway that is important in osteoblast biology, RANK/RANKL signaling inhibition and bone turnover, and the biology of bisphosphonates in cancer patients. She is also interested in quality of life, including sleep and fatigue, for patients on chemotherapy.


Bunch TA, Helsten TL, Kendall TL, Shirahatti N, Mahadevan D, Shattil SJ, Brower DL. Amino acid changes in drosophila alphaPS2beta integrins that affect ligand affinity. J Biol Chem. 2006; 281(8):5050-7.

T. Helsten, M. Corr, JE Mortimer. Measurement of DKK1 and FRP in breast and prostate cancer patients with bone metastases: impact of zoledronic acid (ZA). Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2007, ASCO Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I. Vol. 25, No. 18S (June 20 Supplement), 2007: 19659.

Helsten TL, Mortimer JE, Corr M. Effective of zoledronic acid on wnt inhibition by dickkopf1 and frizzled-related protein in patients with bone metastases. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2007. 106(Suppl. 1), Abstract #509.

Helsten TL, Bunch TA, Kato H, Yamanouchi J, Choi SH, Jannuzi AL, Feral CC, Ginsberg MH, Brower DL, Shattil SJ. Differences in regulation of drosophilia and vertebrate integrin affinity by Talin. Mol Biol Cell. 2008 (19(8):3589.

Costantini C, Ale-Ali A, Helsten T. Sleep aid prescribing practices during neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. J Palliat Med. 2011 May;14(5):563-6. Epub 2011 Mar 9.