Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Early Detection Program

The DF/HCC Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Early Detection research program focuses on understanding how a person’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle influence cancer incidence and progression. Among its goals the program aims to translate biological discoveries and develop new technologies into novel paradigms for cancer interception. The scope ranges from the general population to high-risk groups to individuals with pre-cancerous lesions or targetable mutations.

 We investigate methods to reduce cancer burden by

  • defining the role of inherited, environmental, and modifiable behavioral risk factors
  • developing and implementing innovative interventions (screening tests, biomarkers and devices for early detection)
  • reducing cancer risk by identifying individuals with cancer predisposition gene mutations and optimal use of established and novel screening tests
  • addressing the impact of social, economic, and public policy factors on cancer.

The program is committed to the translation of the scientific advances and dissemination of knowledge into sustainable community-based practices.

Recent Publications

  • Potter AL, Vaddaraju V, Venkateswaran S, Mansur A, Bajaj SS, Kiang MV, Jena AB, Yang CJ. Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Patients With Cancer During Different Waves of the Pandemic in the US. JAMA Oncol 2023. PubMed
  • Rigotti NA, Benowitz NL, Prochaska J, Leischow S, Nides M, Blumenstein B, Clarke A, Cain D, Jacobs C. Cytisinicline for Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2023; 330:152-160. PubMed
  • Guo H, Vuille JA, Wittner BS, Lachtara EM, Hou Y, Lin M, Zhao T, Raman AT, Russell HC, Reeves BA, Pleskow HM, Wu CL, Gnirke A, Meissner A, Efstathiou JA, Lee RJ, Toner M, Aryee MJ, Lawrence MS, Miyamoto DT, Maheswaran S, Haber DA. DNA hypomethylation silences anti-tumor immune genes in early prostate cancer and CTCs. Cell 2023; 186:2765-2782.e28. PubMed
  • Mikhael PG, Wohlwend J, Yala A, Karstens L, Xiang J, Takigami AK, Bourgouin PP, Chan P, Mrah S, Amayri W, Juan YH, Yang CT, Wan YL, Lin G, Sequist LV, Fintelmann FJ, Barzilay R. Sybil: A Validated Deep Learning Model to Predict Future Lung Cancer Risk From a Single Low-Dose Chest Computed Tomography. J Clin Oncol 2023. PubMed
  • Nassar AH, Adib E, Abou Alaiwi S, El Zarif T, Groha S, Akl EW, Nuzzo PV, Mouhieddine TH, Perea-Chamblee T, Taraszka K, El-Khoury H, Labban M, Fong C, Arora KS, Labaki C, Xu W, Sonpavde G, Haddad RI, Mouw KW, Giannakis M, Hodi FS, Zaitlen N, Schoenfeld AJ, Schultz N, Berger MF, MacConaill LE, Ananda G, Kwiatkowski DJ, Choueiri TK, Schrag D, Carrot-Zhang J, Gusev A. Ancestry-driven recalibration of tumor mutational burden and disparate clinical outcomes in response to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Cancer Cell 2022; 40:1161-1172.e5. PubMed
  • Bychkovsky BL, Agaoglu NB, Horton C, Zhou J, Yussuf A, Hemyari P, Richardson ME, Young C, LaDuca H, McGuinness DL, Scheib R, Garber JE, Rana HQ. Differences in Cancer Phenotypes Among Frequent CHEK2 Variants and Implications for Clinical Care-Checking CHEK2. JAMA Oncol 2022; 8:1598-1606. PubMed
  • Baca SC, Singler C, Zacharia S, Seo JH, Morova T, Hach F, Ding Y, Schwarz T, Huang CF, Anderson J, Fay AP, Kalita C, Groha S, Pomerantz MM, Wang V, Linder S, Sweeney CJ, Zwart W, Lack NA, Pasaniuc B, Takeda DY, Gusev A, Freedman ML. Genetic determinants of chromatin reveal prostate cancer risk mediated by context-dependent gene regulation. Nat Genet 2022; 54:1364-1375. PubMed
  • Yurgelun MB, Uno H, Furniss CS, Ukaegbu C, Horiguchi M, Yussuf A, LaDuca H, Chittenden A, Garber JE, Syngal S. Development and Validation of the PREMMplus Model for Multigene Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment. J Clin Oncol 2022. PubMed
  • Rigotti NA, Chang Y, Davis EM, Regan S, Levy DE, Ylioja T, Kelley JHK, Notier AE, Gilliam K, Douaihy AB, Singer DE, Tindle HA. Comparative Effectiveness of Postdischarge Smoking Cessation Interventions for Hospital Patients: The Helping HAND 4 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med 2022. PubMed
  • Grishin D, Gusev A. Allelic imbalance of chromatin accessibility in cancer identifies candidate causal risk variants and their mechanisms. Nat Genet 2022; 54:837-849. PubMed
  • Park J, Park JS, Huang CH, Jo A, Cook K, Wang R, Lin HY, Van Deun J, Li H, Min J, Wang L, Yoon G, Carter BS, Balaj L, Choi GS, Castro CM, Weissleder R, Lee H. An integrated magneto-electrochemical device for the rapid profiling of tumour extracellular vesicles from blood plasma. Nat Biomed Eng 2021; 5:678-689. PubMed
  • Marcondes FO, Cheng D, Warner ET, Kamran SC, Haas JS. The trajectory of racial/ethnic disparities in the use of cancer screening before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: A large U.S. academic center analysis. Prev Med 2021; 151:106640. PubMed
  • Abou Alaiwi S, Nassar AH, Adib E, Groha SM, Akl EW, McGregor BA, Esplin ED, Yang S, Hatchell K, Fusaro V, Nielsen S, Kwiatkowski DJ, Sonpavde GP, Pomerantz M, Garber JE, Freedman ML, Rana HQ, Gusev A, Choueiri TK. Trans-ethnic variation in germline variants of patients with renal cell carcinoma. Cell Rep 2021; 34:108926. PubMed
  • Hong X, Roh W, Sullivan RJ, Wong KHK, Wittner BS, Guo H, Dubash TD, Sade-Feldman M, Wesley B, Horwitz E, Boland GM, Marvin DL, Bonesteel T, Lu C, Aguet F, Burr R, Freeman SS, Parida L, Calhoun K, Jewett MK, Nieman LT, Hacohen N, Näär AM, Ting DT, Toner M, Stott SL, Getz G, Maheswaran S, Haber DA. The Lipogenic Regulator SREBP2 Induces Transferrin in Circulating Melanoma Cells and Suppresses Ferroptosis. 2020. PubMed
  • Carrot-Zhang J, Soca-Chafre G, Patterson N, Thorner AR, Nag A, Watson J, Genovese G, Rodriguez J, Gelbard MK, Corrales-Rodriguez L, Mitsuishi Y, Ha G, Campbell JD, Oxnard GR, Arrieta O, Cardona AF, Gusev A, Meyerson M. Genetic Ancestry Contributes to Somatic Mutations in Lung Cancers from Admixed Latin American Populations. 2020. PubMed
  • AlDubayan SH, Conway JR, Camp SY, Witkowski L, Kofman E, Reardon B, Han S, Moore N, Elmarakeby H, Salari K, Choudhry H, Al-Rubaish AM, Al-Sulaiman AA, Al-Ali AK, Taylor-Weiner A, Van Allen EM. Detection of Pathogenic Variants With Germline Genetic Testing Using Deep Learning vs Standard Methods in Patients With Prostate Cancer and Melanoma. JAMA 2020; 324:1957-1969. PubMed
  • Min J, Chin LK, Oh J, Landeros C, Vinegoni C, Lee J, Lee SJ, Park JY, Liu AQ, Castro CM, Lee H, Im H, Weissleder R. CytoPAN-Portable cellular analyses for rapid point-of-care cancer diagnosis. Sci Transl Med 2020. PubMed
  • Mouhieddine TH, Sperling AS, Redd R, Park J, Leventhal M, Gibson CJ, Manier S, Nassar AH, Capelletti M, Huynh D, Bustoros M, Sklavenitis-Pistofidis R, Tahri S, Hornburg K, Dumke H, Itani MM, Boehner CJ, Liu CJ, AlDubayan SH, Reardon B, Van Allen EM, Keats JJ, Stewart C, Mehr S, Auclair D, Schlossman RL, Munshi NC, Anderson KC, Steensma DP, Laubach JP, Richardson PG, Ritz J, Ebert BL, Soiffer RJ, Trippa L, Getz G, Neuberg DS, Ghobrial IM. Clonal hematopoiesis is associated with adverse outcomes in multiple myeloma patients undergoing transplant. Nat Commun 2020; 11:2996. PubMed
  • Bustoros M, Sklavenitis-Pistofidis R, Park J, Redd R, Zhitomirsky B, Dunford AJ, Salem K, Tai YT, Anand S, Mouhieddine TH, Chavda SJ, Boehner C, Elagina L, Neuse CJ, Cha J, Rahmat M, Taylor-Weiner A, Van Allen E, Kumar S, Kastritis E, Leshchiner I, Morgan EA, Laubach J, Casneuf T, Richardson P, Munshi NC, Anderson KC, Trippa L, Aguet F, Stewart C, Dimopoulos MA, Yong K, Bergsagel PL, Manier S, Getz G, Ghobrial IM. Genomic Profiling of Smoldering Multiple Myeloma Identifies Patients at a High Risk of Disease Progression. J Clin Oncol 2020. PubMed
  • Yan Y, Drew DA, Markowitz A, Lloyd-Price J, Abu-Ali G, Nguyen LH, Tran C, Chung DC, Gilpin KK, Meixell D, Parziale M, Schuck M, Patel Z, Richter JM, Kelsey PB, Garrett WS, Chan AT, Stadler ZK, Huttenhower C. Structure of the Mucosal and Stool Microbiome in Lynch Syndrome. Cell Host Microbe 2020. PubMed
  • Bustoros M, Sklavenitis-Pistofidis R, Kapoor P, Liu CJ, Kastritis E, Zanwar S, Fell G, Abeykoon JP, Hornburg K, Neuse CJ, Marinac CR, Liu D, Soiffer J, Gavriatopoulou M, Boehner C, Cappuccio JM, Dumke H, Reyes K, Soiffer RJ, Kyle RA, Treon SP, Castillo JJ, Dimopoulos MA, Ansell SM, Trippa L, Ghobrial IM. Progression Risk Stratification of Asymptomatic Waldenström Macroglobulinemia. J Clin Oncol 2019; 37:1403-1411. PubMed
  • Kang D, Do D, Ryu J, Grant CN, Giddings SL, Rosenberg M, Hesterberg PE, Yuan Q, Garber JJ, Katz AJ, Tearney GJ. A miniaturized, tethered, spectrally-encoded confocal endomicroscopy capsule. Lasers Surg Med 2019. PubMed
  • Kwan TT, Bardia A, Spring LM, Giobbie-Hurder A, Kalinich M, Dubash T, Sundaresan T, Hong X, LiCausi JA, Ho U, Silva EJ, Wittner BS, Sequist LV, Kapur R, Miyamoto DT, Toner M, Haber DA, Maheswaran S. A Digital RNA Signature of Circulating Tumor Cells Predicting Early Therapeutic Response in Localized and Metastatic Breast Cancer. 2018; 8:1286-1299. PubMed
  • Tabatabaei N, Kang D, Kim M, Wu T, Grant CN, Rosenberg M, Nishioka NS, Hesterberg PE, Garber J, Yuan Q, Katz AJ, Tearney GJ. Clinical Translation of Tethered Confocal Microscopy Capsule for Unsedated Diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Sci Rep 2018; 8:2631. PubMed
  • Tao W, Ji X, Zhu X, Li L, Wang J, Zhang Y, Saw PE, Li W, Kong N, Islam MA, Gan T, Zeng X, Zhang H, Mahmoudi M, Tearney GJ, Farokhzad OC. Two-Dimensional Antimonene-Based Photonic Nanomedicine for Cancer Theranostics. Adv. Mater. Weinheim 2018; 30:e1802061. PubMed
  • Kim JJ, Burger EA, Regan C, Sy S. Screening for Cervical Cancer in Primary Care: A Decision Analysis for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA 2018; 320:706-714. PubMed
  • Syngal S, Furniss CS. Germline Genetic Testing for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma at Time of Diagnosis. JAMA 2018; 319:2383-2385. PubMed
  • Kastrinos F, Uno H, Ukaegbu C, Alvero C, McFarland A, Yurgelun MB, Kulke MH, Schrag D, Meyerhardt JA, Fuchs CS, Mayer RJ, Ng K, Steyerberg EW, Syngal S. Development and Validation of the PREMM5 Model for Comprehensive Risk Assessment of Lynch Syndrome. J Clin Oncol 2017. PubMed