Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Program
Hashem El-Serag, M.D., M.P.H., Leader
Melissa Bondy, Ph.D., Co-Leader
This program consists of epidemiologists and outcomes researchers as well as basic and translational scientists who focus their research efforts on preventing cancer by understanding its etiology and outcomes of cancer as well as of the main risk factors for cancer.
The goal of the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences (CPPS) program is to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer by conducting innovative multidisciplinary cancer prevention and population sciences research. The CPPS program has 31 research members from a multiple departments at BCM, including Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Urology, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience. These include five new members whose recruitment to BCM was facilitated by the Cancer Center; in addition, six BCM investigators in the biobehavioral aspects of nicotine dependence have joined CPPS.Members of the program published over 300 cancer related manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
Our program is conceptually organized into two broad thematic areas:
Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
CPPS investigators conduct studies to examine the etiology of childhood and adulthood cancers. They also study the contribution of gene and gene environment interactions to their etiology identify the clinical and molecular characteristics of syndromes that result in hereditary predisposition to cancers. Other CPPS investigators evaluate the cancer outcomes especially to address health disparities and inequities in access, treatment, and survival. Major accomplishments include analyses of secular trends and risk factors for several digestive and liver cancers, identification of genetic polymorphisms that are associated with risk of childhood and adult tumors as well as for premalignant lesions such as Barrett’s esophagus and liver cirrhosis.
Biobehavioral Research and Cancer Prevention
This theme is focused on childhood obesity and physical activity. Investigators study the determinants of obesity and physical activity in children and adolescents and evaluate culturally appropriate interventions. Our nicotine dependence investigators examine the genetics of addictive behavior in both animal models and human studies and evaluate novel interventions for smoking cessation, while our chemoprevention researchers test novel prevention agents in animals and in human trials. Major accomplishments in this theme include the development of interventional programs to improve childhood diet and exercise to combat childhood obesity, the role of genetics in nicotine dependence through study of nicotinic receptors, and the conduct of breast cancer prevention clinical trials.