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 B - Comprehensiveness (NCI)
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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
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Van Arsdale, Anne R; Arend, Rebecca C; Cossio, Maria J et al. (2018) Insulin-like growth factor 2: a poor prognostic biomarker linked to racial disparity in women with uterine carcinosarcoma. Cancer Med 7:616-625
Ruiz, Penelope D; Gamble, Matthew J (2018) MacroH2A1 chromatin specification requires its docking domain and acetylation of H2B lysine 20. Nat Commun 9:5143
Rohan, Thomas; Ye, Kenny; Wang, Yihong et al. (2018) MicroRNA expression in benign breast tissue and risk of subsequent invasive breast cancer. PLoS One 13:e0191814
Walters, Ryan O; Arias, Esperanza; Diaz, Antonio et al. (2018) Sarcosine Is Uniquely Modulated by Aging and Dietary Restriction in Rodents and Humans. Cell Rep 25:663-676.e6
Racine, Jeremy J; Stewart, Isabel; Ratiu, Jeremy et al. (2018) Improved Murine MHC-Deficient HLA Transgenic NOD Mouse Models for Type 1 Diabetes Therapy Development. Diabetes 67:923-935
Frimer, Marina; Miller, Eirwen M; Shankar, Viswanathan et al. (2018) Adjuvant Pelvic Radiation ""Sandwiched"" Between Paclitaxel/Carboplatin Chemotherapy in Women With Completely Resected Uterine Serous Carcinoma: Long-term Follow-up of a Prospective Phase 2 Trial. Int J Gynecol Cancer 28:1781-1788
Kale, Abhijit; Ji, Zhejun; Kiparaki, Marianthi et al. (2018) Ribosomal Protein S12e Has a Distinct Function in Cell Competition. Dev Cell 44:42-55.e4
Lee, Chang-Hyun; Kiparaki, Marianthi; Blanco, Jorge et al. (2018) A Regulatory Response to Ribosomal Protein Mutations Controls Translation, Growth, and Cell Competition. Dev Cell 46:456-469.e4
Mao, Serena P H; Park, Minji; Cabrera, Ramon M et al. (2018) Loss of amphiregulin reduces myoepithelial cell coverage of mammary ducts and alters breast tumor growth. Breast Cancer Res 20:131
Mocholi, Enric; Dowling, Samuel D; Botbol, Yair et al. (2018) Autophagy Is a Tolerance-Avoidance Mechanism that Modulates TCR-Mediated Signaling and Cell Metabolism to Prevent Induction of T Cell Anergy. Cell Rep 24:1136-1150

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