The Cancer Epidemiology Program (CEP) is an interdisciplinary research program organized into three scientific areas, each related to a type of cancer risk factor: (1) Viral Risk Factors, (2) Hormonal, Obesity, and Inflammation- Related Risk Factors, and (3) Genetic and Epigenetic Risk Factors. Viral Risk Factor research in the CEP focuses extensively on human papillomavirus (HPV) and its role in anogenital and oral cancers. The CEP has long been a major contributor to HPV research. The goal of this research is to contribute new information important to the development of cancer screening practices, HPV vaccine strategies, and other new prevention and treatment methods. This includes studies of the viral and host factors associated with HPV persistence/progression;biomarkers of cervical and anal pre-cancer/cancer;the effectiveness of HPV vaccines in high risk populations;and the impact of microbicides on risk of HPV infection. In addition. Viral Risk Factor research in CEP addresses the effects of HIV/AIDS on cancer, including studies of the immunologic deficits that drive the relationship of HIV with HPV-related tumorigenesis and risk of other AIDS-associated cancers. Hormonal/Obesity/inflammation research in CEP focuses extensively on the role of the insulin/IGF-axis, sex hormones, adipocytokines, and related pathways in obesity-associated cancers (e.g., colon, breast, prostate, etc.). This includes prospective studies of tumor incidence/recurrence/progression and their relation with circulating and local tissue levels of proteins in these pathways and the expression of their receptors. Given the US obesity epidemic these studies are timely, and will contribute to ongoing efforts to identify biomarkers in these pathways that can be used for patient risk stratification, and/or as targets for chemoprevention and treatment. Genetic and Epigenetic research in CEP focuses extensively on germline and somatic mutations, genetic polymorphisms, DNA methylation, and microRNAs. These studies examine the signaling pathways related to oncogenesis, tumor biomarkers important for selecting and developing targeted therapies, and genetic/epigenetic risk factors that can be used for patient risk stratification. CEP investigators are also conducting methodologic studies to improve the laboratory and statistical tools available for conducting genetic and epigenetic research. The CEP currently has 26 members from 11 departments, of whom 11 are new members, supported by 15 NCI grants ($3.7M Direct), and 11 other peer-reviewed cancer-relevant grants ($2.7M Direct). Since the last CCSG review there have been 414 cancer-relevant research papers in the CEP of which 29% represent intraprogrammatic and 18% represent interprogrammatic publications.

Public Health Relevance

Members of this program study populations to identify risk factors for cancer in order to identify ways of preventing cancer. There is a special interest in: (i) viral infections that cause cancer such as the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer, (ii) the role of obesity and diabetes in cancer causation, and (iii) factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. These studies also provide valuable information relevant to the development of guidelines for screening.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
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Peregrina, Karina; Houston, Michele; Daroqui, Cecilia et al. (2015) Vitamin D is a determinant of mouse intestinal Lgr5 stem cell functions. Carcinogenesis 36:25-31
Kim, Ryung S (2015) A new comparison of nested case-control and case-cohort designs and methods. Eur J Epidemiol 30:197-207
Arora, Pooja; Baena, Andres; Yu, Karl O A et al. (2014) A single subset of dendritic cells controls the cytokine bias of natural killer T cell responses to diverse glycolipid antigens. Immunity 40:105-16
Stanley, Pamela (2014) Galectin-1 Pulls the Strings on VEGFR2. Cell 156:625-6
Yamane, Fumihiro; Nishikawa, Yumiko; Matsui, Kazue et al. (2014) CSF-1 receptor-mediated differentiation of a new type of monocytic cell with B cell-stimulating activity: its selective dependence on IL-34. J Leukoc Biol 95:19-31
Singh, M; Quispe-Tintaya, W; Chandra, D et al. (2014) Direct incorporation of the NKT-cell activator ?-galactosylceramide into a recombinant Listeria monocytogenes improves breast cancer vaccine efficacy. Br J Cancer 111:1945-54
Bahde, Ralf; Kapoor, Sorabh; Viswanathan, Preeti et al. (2014) Endothelin-1 receptor A blocker darusentan decreases hepatic changes and improves liver repopulation after cell transplantation in rats. Hepatology 59:1107-17
Ho, Gloria Y F; Wang, Tao; Zheng, Siqun L et al. (2014) Circulating soluble cytokine receptors and colorectal cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23:179-88
Ghartey, Jeny P; Smith, Benjamin C; Chen, Zigui et al. (2014) Lactobacillus crispatus dominant vaginal microbiome is associated with inhibitory activity of female genital tract secretions against Escherichia coli. PLoS One 9:e96659
Kerns, Sarah L; de Ruysscher, Dirk; Andreassen, Christian N et al. (2014) STROGAR - STrengthening the Reporting Of Genetic Association studies in Radiogenomics. Radiother Oncol 110:182-8

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