The Women's Oncology Program (WON) aims to stimulate high quality basic, translational, and clinical research and trials in women's cancers through collaborations, program interactions, information sharing, and faculty recruitment, and to translate the research findings into cutting edge diagnostics and treatments for cancer. Leaders of the Women's Oncology program include Margaret A. Shupnik, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Physiology, an expert in molecular endocrinology and estrogen receptor action; Susan C. Modesitt. MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, an expert in gynecology-oncology clinical trials; and Joellen M. Schildkraut, PhD, MPH Professor of Public Health Sciences, an expert in the genetics and epidemiology of women's cancers, particularly breast and ovarian cancer. WON represents a wide variety of intellectual, technical, and clinical expertise with 25 members from 10 different basic science and clinical departments in the School of Medicine and School of Engineering and Applied Science, and 3 associate members. Cancer Center support for faculty recruitment and retention, forums for information exchange such as the Cancer Center Seminar Series, Women's Oncology monthly research meetings and Program Retreat, Cancer Center pilot research funds, and support for and from our Shared Resources have enabled the success of our research programs, which have become increasingly cancer-focused and interactive. The high quality of the resulting science resulted in numerous high impact publications, including 22% inter- programmatic and 18% intra-programmatic publications over the past 5 years. Current funding is over $4.5M, including $2M in NCI funding, and patient accrual was robust for patients with Breast (17.5%) and Ovarian (45.8%) cancers in 2015. With over 300,000 new diagnoses of these cancers yearly in the United States, it remains essential to develop new treatments for cancers resistant to current therapeutic approaches, methods for early detection and prognostic indicators for responses, and methods to assess risk and prevent breast and gynecological cancers. The WON program has developed specific aims and transdisciplinary groups of investigators to tackle these critical issues in women's cancers.
Aim 1 : To investigate pathways of therapeutic resistance in women's cancers and identify prognostic indicators and new molecular targets.
Aim 2 : To understand how dysregulation of metabolism and obesity contribute to women's cancers and identify potential new therapeutic targets.
Aim 3. To identify behavioral, hormonal and genetic risks for women's cancers, and improve detection methods for these cancers.
Each aim i ncludes basic, translational and clinical research and trials that cut across all women's cancers.
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