Darcy Spicer, MD

Professor of Clinical Medicine

Chief, Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine

Co-Director, Lynne Cohen Clinic

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Dr. Spicer has been on faculty at the Keck School of Medicine at USC since 1980 when he began as a Clinical Instructor of Medicine in the Department of Oncology. Dr. Spicer holds several United States patents for his medical inventions. He is a medical oncology attending physician at both the LAC+USC Medical Center and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.


  • Evaluation of markers of immunity in different metastatic immune microenvironments suggests more suppression within breast to liver metastases in breast cancer Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2024 Jul; 206(2):245-259. . View in PubMed
  • Breast cancer and neurotransmitters: emerging insights on mechanisms and therapeutic directions Oncogene. 2023 02; 42(9):627-637. . View in PubMed
  • Integration of Universal Germline Genetic Testing for All New Breast Cancer Patients Ann Surg Oncol. 2022 Sep 26. . View in PubMed
  • Disease characterization in liquid biopsy from HER2-mutated, non-amplified metastatic breast cancer patients treated with neratinib NPJ Breast Cancer. 2022 Feb 18; 8(1):22. . View in PubMed
  • Implementation of a Multisite Financial Reimbursement Program in Cancer Clinical Trials Integrated With Patient Navigation: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial JCO Oncol Pract. 2022 06; 18(6):e915-e924. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of Chemotherapy on the Gut Microbiome of Breast Cancer Patients During the First Year of Treatment Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press). 2022; 14:433-451. . View in PubMed
  • Accelerating cancer clinical trial recruitment through a financial reimbursement program integrated with patient navigation: an interrupted time series analysis J Cancer Policy. 2021 12; 30:100305. . View in PubMed
  • Hispanic ethnicity as a moderator of the effects of aerobic and resistance exercise on physical fitness and quality-of-life in breast cancer survivors J Cancer Surviv. 2021 02; 15(1):127-139. . View in PubMed
  • Aerobic and resistance exercise improve patient-reported sleep quality and is associated with cardiometabolic biomarkers in Hispanic and non-Hispanic breast cancer survivors who are overweight or obese: results from a secondary analysis Sleep. 2021 10 11; 44(10). . View in PubMed
  • Gut microbiome associations with breast cancer risk factors and tumor characteristics: a pilot study Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2020 Jul; 182(2):451-463. . View in PubMed
  • Immigration history, lifestyle characteristics, and breast density in the Vietnamese American Women’s Health Study: a cross-sectional analysis Cancer Causes Control. 2020 Feb; 31(2):127-138. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise Intervention on Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA Oncol. 2019 May 01; 5(5):710-714. . View in PubMed
  • Hispanic ethnicity as a moderator of the effects of aerobic and resistance exercise in survivors of breast cancer Cancer. 2019 03 15; 125(6):910-920. . View in PubMed
  • Aerobic and Resistance Exercise Improves Shoulder Function in Women Who Are Overweight or Obese and Have Breast Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial Phys Ther. 2019 10 28; 99(10):1334-1345. . View in PubMed
  • Adipose tissue inflammation in breast cancer survivors: effects of a 16-week combined aerobic and resistance exercise training intervention Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018 Feb; 168(1):147-157. . View in PubMed
  • Reply to EParkin et al. J Clin Oncol. 2018 07 10; 36(20):2129-2130. . View in PubMed
  • Aerobic and resistance exercise improves physical fitness, bone health, and quality of life in overweight and obese breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial Breast Cancer Res. 2018 10 19; 20(1):124. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise on Metabolic Syndrome, Sarcopenic Obesity, and Circulating Biomarkers in Overweight or Obese Survivors of Breast Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial J Clin Oncol. 2018 03 20; 36(9):875-883. . View in PubMed
  • Overcoming endocrine resistance in metastatic hormone receptor-positive breast cancer J Hematol Oncol. 2018 06 11; 11(1):80. . View in PubMed
  • Double-Blind Randomized 12-Month Soy Intervention Had No Effects on Breast MRI Fibroglandular Tissue Density or Mammographic Density Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2015 Oct; 8(10):942-51. . View in PubMed
  • Treatment of Endometriosis with the GnRHa Deslorelin and Add-Back Estradiol and Supplementary Testosterone Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:934164. . View in PubMed
  • Biological effects of green tea capsule supplementation in pre-surgery postmenopausal breast cancer patients Front Oncol. 2013; 3:298. . View in PubMed
  • Lowering oral contraceptive norethindrone dose increases estrogen and progesterone receptor levels with no reduction in proliferation of breast epithelium: a randomized trial Contraception. 2012 Sep; 86(3):238-43. . View in PubMed
  • Soy isoflavones for breast cancer risk reduction Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Jul; 5(7):984-5; author reply 986-7. . View in PubMed
  • Breast epithelial cell proliferation is markedly increased with short-term high levels of endogenous estrogen secondary to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Apr; 132(2):653-60. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of 2-month controlled green tea intervention on lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, and hormone levels in healthy postmenopausal women Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Mar; 5(3):393-402. . View in PubMed
  • Characteristics of triple-negative breast cancer in patients with a BRCA1 mutation: results from a population-based study of young women J Clin Oncol. 2011 Nov 20; 29(33):4373-80. . View in PubMed
  • GRP78 as potential predictor for breast cancer response to adjuvant taxane therapy Int J Cancer. 2011 Feb 01; 128(3):726-31. . View in PubMed
  • Preoperative concurrent paclitaxel-radiation in locally advanced breast cancer: pathologic response correlates with five-year overall survival Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Dec; 124(3):723-32. . View in PubMed
  • Progesterone and estrogen receptors in pregnant and premenopausal non-pregnant normal human breast Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Nov; 118(1):161-8. . View in PubMed
  • Phase II studies of gemcitabine and cisplatin in heavily and minimally pretreated metastatic breast cancer J Clin Oncol. 2009 May 01; 27(13):2163-9. . View in PubMed
  • Tamoxifen, soy, and lifestyle factors in Asian American women with breast cancer J Clin Oncol. 2007 Jul 20; 25(21):3024-30. . View in PubMed
  • Reduced mammographic density with use of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist-based chemoprevention regimen in BRCA1 carriers Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Jan 15; 13(2 Pt 1):654-8. . View in PubMed
  • Estrogens, progestins, and risk of breast cancer Ernst Schering Found Symp Proc. 2007; (1):127-50. . View in PubMed
  • GRP78 as a novel predictor of responsiveness to chemotherapy in breast cancer Cancer Res. 2006 Aug 15; 66(16):7849-53. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of valspodar on the pharmacokinetics of unbound paclitaxel Invest New Drugs. 2003 Aug; 21(3):291-8. . View in PubMed
  • Preoperative twice-weekly paclitaxel with concurrent radiation therapy followed by surgery and postoperative doxorubicin-based chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer: a phase I/II trial J Clin Oncol. 2003 Mar 01; 21(5):864-70. . View in PubMed
  • Low HER2/neu gene expression is associated with pathological response to concurrent paclitaxel and radiation therapy in locally advanced breast cancer Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Feb 01; 52(2):397-405. . View in PubMed
  • Reversal of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist induced reductions in mammographic densities on stopping treatment Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Nov; 10(11):1117-20. . View in PubMed
  • Mammographic density changes during the menstrual cycle Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Feb; 10(2):141-2. . View in PubMed
  • Hormonal contraception and chemoprevention of female cancers Endocr Relat Cancer. 2000 Jun; 7(2):73-83. . View in PubMed
  • Future possibilities in the prevention of breast cancer: luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists Breast Cancer Res. 2000; 2(4):264-7. . View in PubMed
  • Weekly lometrexol with daily oral folic acid is appropriate for phase II evaluation Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2000; 45(2):103-10. . View in PubMed
  • Problems involved in including women with simple hysterectomy in epidemiologic studies measuring the effects of hormone replacement therapy on breast cancer risk Am J Epidemiol. 1998 Apr 15; 147(8):718-21. . View in PubMed
  • The detection of changes in mammographic densities Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1998 Jan; 7(1):43-7. . View in PubMed
  • Progesterone concentrations–physiologic or pharmacologic? Fertil Steril. 1996 May; 65(5):1077-8.. View in PubMed
  • Experiments on proliferation of normal human breast tissue in nude mice do not show that progesterone does not stimulate breast cells Endocrinology. 1996 Apr; 137(4):1505-6. . View in PubMed
  • Can mammographic densities predict effects of tamoxifen on the breast? J Natl Cancer Inst. 1996 Jan 17; 88(2):128-9.. View in PubMed
  • Phase II clinical trial of carboplatin, ifosfamide, with oral mesna for metastatic breast carcinoma Cancer Invest. 1995; 13(2):160-4. . View in PubMed
  • The endocrine prevention of breast cancer Cancer Invest. 1995; 13(5):495-504. . View in PubMed
  • Changes in mammographic densities induced by a hormonal contraceptive designed to reduce breast cancer risk J Natl Cancer Inst. 1994 Mar 16; 86(6):431-6. . View in PubMed
  • Contraception and cancer prevention Adv Contracept Deliv Syst. 1994; 10(3-4):369-86. . View in PubMed
  • Sex steroids and breast cancer prevention J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1994; (16):139-47. . View in PubMed
  • Breast cancer prevention through modulation of endogenous hormones Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1993 Nov; 28(2):179-93. . View in PubMed
  • Hormone replacement after breast cancer Lancet. 1993 Jul 17; 342(8864):183-4. . View in PubMed
  • Pilot trial of a gonadotropin hormone agonist with replacement hormones as a prototype contraceptive to prevent breast cancer Contraception. 1993 May; 47(5):427-44. . View in PubMed
  • Tamoxifen and prevention Lancet. 1993 Mar 13; 341(8846):693-4; author reply 695. . View in PubMed
  • Estrogens, progestogens, normal breast cell proliferation, and breast cancer risk Epidemiol Rev. 1993; 15(1):17-35. . View in PubMed
  • The chemoprevention of breast cancer by reducing sex steroid exposure: perspectives from epidemiology J Cell Biochem Suppl. 1993; 17G:26-36. . View in PubMed
  • Low-dose recombinant interleukin-2 and low-dose cyclophosphamide in metastatic breast cancer Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1992; 34(6):424-6. . View in PubMed
  • The prevention of breast cancer through reduced ovarian steroid exposure Acta Oncol. 1992; 31(2):167-74. . View in PubMed
  • GnRH agonists as contraceptive agents: predicted significantly reduced risk of breast cancer Contraception. 1991 Sep; 44(3):289-310. . View in PubMed
  • Ovarian cancer and long-term tamoxifen in premenopausal women Lancet. 1991 Jun 08; 337(8754):1414. . View in PubMed
  • Tamoxifen and estrogen replacement therapy as agents of disease prevention J Natl Cancer Inst. 1991 Jan 02; 83(1):63-4. . View in PubMed
  • Tolerance of extended (28 day) continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil in advanced head and neck cancer Sel Cancer Ther. 1991; 7(1):17-21. . View in PubMed
  • Reevaluation of the maximum tolerated dose of continuous venous infusion of 5-fluorouracil with pharmacokinetics Cancer Res. 1988 Jan 15; 48(2):459-61. . View in PubMed