Photo of Elena F. Brachtel, MD

Elena F. Brachtel, MD

  • Assistant Pathologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School


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Dr. Brachtel is a specialist in breast pathology and cytopathology. She is interested in molecular features and diagnostics of breast cancer.



Centers & Specialties

Cancer Center

Clinical Interests
  • Breast pathology
  • Cytopathology
Medical Education
  • MD, University of Hamburg Faculty of Medicine
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Cytopathology
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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Dr. Brachtel received her MD degree from the University of Hamburg Medical School, Hamburg, Germany. After her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Paul Racz at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, she worked as a house officer in England in internal medicine and surgery, before entering a residency in pathology at the University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C. before completing a residency in anatomic pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a fellowship in cytopathology. Her areas of expertise are breast pathology and cytopathology, with a special interest in digital imaging.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Brachtel's current research involves projects on the pathology of breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 3D imaging of breast cancer, and breast cytology. She is principal investigator of the Massachusetts General Hospital site in a multicenter clinical trial to test a molecular assay for diagnosis of cancers of uncertain primary, and is collaborating in translational research. Other research interests include:

  • Involvement of the nipple in breast cancer

  • Role of BTG2 in human breast cancer

  • Digital imaging in breast cancer diagnosis

  • Pathologic changes in breast cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy


View my most recent publications at PubMed

  1. Corben AD, Abi Raad R, Popa I, Teo CHC, Macklin E, Koerner, FC, Taghian AG, Brachtel EF: Pathological response and long term follow-up in breast cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy: A comparison between classifications and their practical application". Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 Aug;137(8):1074-82. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2012-0290-OA. PMID: 23899063
  2. Kerr SE, Schnabel CA, Sullivan PS, Zhang Y, Singh V, Carey B, Erlander M, Highsmith WE, Dry SM, Brachtel E: Multisite Validation Study To Determine Performance Characteristics of a 92-gene Molecular Cancer Classifier. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Jul 15;18(14):3952-60. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-0920. [Epub 2012 May 30].
  3. Brachtel EF, Rusby JE, Michaelson JS, Chen LL, Muzikansky A, Smith BL, Koerner FC: Occult nipple involvement in breast cancer: clinicopathological findings in 316 consecutive mastectomy specimens. J Clin Oncol. 2009;27(30):4948-54

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Pathology Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-3980617-724-1420
Fax: 617-724-6564

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