Department of Cancer Prevention and Control
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, New York
Because all cancers originate from mutations in DNA, research on racial differences at the DNA level will likely increase our understanding of breast cancer biology, particularly for more aggressive triple negative breast cancers, which occur more frequently in African Americans compared to Caucasians. In the past year Drs. Ambrosone and Hong have been studying a panel of genes that regulate the immune system in relation to quality of life and have identified key genes that differ across the study groups. They will expand these studies to identify differences in immune response in breast tumors, comparing tumors and breast cancer subtypes in African-Americans and Caucasians. Findings from this research will help us to understand how inflammation and the immune system contribute to differences in breast tumors, between more and less aggressive cancers, and between African-Americans and European-Americans.
Dr. Chi-Chen Hong is an Associate Member in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control within the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at Roswell Park. Dr. Hong's research is focused on breast cancer etiology, survivorship, and prognosis. Specifically, her interests are on the influence of lifestyle, comorbidity, genetics, and immune factors. She has an ongoing prospective cohort study of early stage breast cancer patients to examine issues in breast cancer survivorship, and with colleagues at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers University is principal investigator of a study examining the role of obesity and related comorbidities, including asthma and type 2 diabetes, and their management on quality-of-life and breast cancer survival outcomes among African American women, and to elucidate key pathways mediating these associations.