Chi-Chen Hong, PhD
Department of Cancer Prevention and Control
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, New York
2013-2014 BCRF Project:
Co-Investigator: Christine B. Ambrosone, PhD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
Drs. Ambrosone and Hong are examining stressful life events and perceived stress in relation to immune factors by using data and samples from a prospective study of breast cancer outcomes, the Women’s Health After Breast Cancer (ABC) study. Analyses for immune markers have been completed, and Drs. Ambrosone and Hong are evaluating them in relation to psychosocial factors and quality-of-life and so far have shown that women with higher levels of Th1 cytokines important for anti-tumor immunity are more likely to have physical and/or mental health that is rated highly, as measured by the SF-36 Health Survey.
In 2013-2014, Drs. Ambrosone and Hong will continue this line of research and expand their examination to include obesity and obesity-related comorbid conditions, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and hypertension, which can potentially impact quality-of-life among breast cancer survivors and are associated with altered immune phenotypes that are similar to those they previously observed to be associated with increased risk of estrogen receptor-negative and triple negative breast cancers, and/or with pro-inflammatory immune phenotypes associated with poorer breast cancer prognosis. This team will also assess the impact of comorbidity management on breast cancer survivors’ quality-of-life, with long-term goals to examine breast cancer outcomes. This is particularly important given emerging evidence that specific medications used to treat common obesity-related comorbidities may have independent associations with improved breast cancer outcomes.
Dr. Chi-Chen Hong received her doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto in 2004, and completed postdoctoral training with Dr. Christine Ambrosone at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). She joined the staff of RPCI in 2008 as an Assistant Member in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control within the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences.
Most of Dr. Hong's research is focused on breast cancer etiology, survivorship, and prognosis. Specifically, her interests are on the influence of lifestyle, genetic, and immune factors related to adiposity, diet, and hormonal exposures. She has oan ongoing prospective cohort study of early stage breast cancer patients to examine issues in breast cancer survivorship, and is co-principal investigator of a study which aims to determine if breast cancer prognosis is modified by diabetes management among breast cancer patients with type II diabetes. A main research focus is in the area of thermal dysregulation among breast cancer patients, which aims to examine potential relationships between body temperature, thermal discomfort experienced by women with breast cancer, the anti-tumor response, disease prognosis, and cytokine-driven sickness symptoms. She is currently funded to examine the role of a panel of cytokines in relation to body temperature and sickness symptoms among breast cancer patients.