The Tobacco and Environmental Carcinogenesis Program was established as a result of the ACC Strategic Planning Process undertaken in 2007. At that time the Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Reduction Program was reconfigured and renamed to reflect our trans-disciplinary research efforts to address health issues related to tobacco, asbestos, and polycyclic hydrocarbons as environmental carcinogens and in tobaccorelated risk reduction. With Caryn Lerman taking on the role as Deputy Director ofthe Cancer Center, new leadership was required. Dr. Lerman was replaced by Steven Albelda, M.D. and Trevor Penning, Ph.D. Dr. Albelda is a leading expert in mesothelioma and thoracic malignancies, and Dr. Penning is an internationally renowned expert on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon carcinogenesis. These leaders are experienced, wellfunded investigators who are highly collaborative, as evidenced by their NIH POl, P50 and P30 grants. The TEC Program seeks to elucidate the relationships between cancer and exposure to known environmental carcinogens by studying the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis, developing and validating biomarkers of carcinogen exposure and response, determining genetic susceptibility to carcinogens, and improving strategies for the prevention, eariy detection and intervention of cancers with environmental causality. The initial focus ofthe program is on the etiology and prevention of tobacco- and asbestos-related cancers, particulariy lung cancer, head and neck cancer, and mesothelioma. The cancer prevention focus includes studies on why people smoke, smoking cessation, and hence the prevention of the cancer initiation process. This research theme provides a solid foundation on which to build studies that relate exposures to environmental carcinogens to cancers in other organ systems. These collaborative research efforts are facilitated by the Program Leaders, multiple research retreats, monthly program meetings and seminars, and Pilot Project grants. Members of this program utilize multiple Shared Resources, with extensive use of the Biostatistics, Biomedical Data Coordination, Genomics, and Proteomics Cores. Further, members of this program were actively involved in the development ofthe new Recruitment Outcomes Assessment Resource (ROAR) Shared Facility, which has been highly valuable for ongoing case-control and gene-environment interaction studies. Future plans are to expand the TEC program to include other cancers with environmental causality, increase strength in environmental epidemiology and introduce new research themes in cancer chemoprevention and lung cancer stem cells. The 16 members in the TEC Program have $7,732,268 in research funding (Annual Direct Costs) of which $7,392,900 is peer-reviewed and $3,739,865 is NCI-funded. Among the many multi-investigator grants are the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction (which has research themes in the molecular and behavioral mechanisms of smoking cessation) and the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (which has research themes in lung and airway disease, oxidative stress and gene-environment interactions). Members have published 317 cancer-related articles, with 30% being intra-programmatic and 26% being inter-programmatic.

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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University of Pennsylvania
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Taylor, Laura A; Abraham, Ronnie M; Tahirovic, Emin et al. (2017) High ALDH1 expression correlates with better prognosis in tumorigenic malignant melanoma. Mod Pathol 30:634-639
Rebecca, Vito W; Nicastri, Michael C; McLaughlin, Noel et al. (2017) A Unified Approach to Targeting the Lysosome's Degradative and Growth Signaling Roles. Cancer Discov 7:1266-1283
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