Professor and Chair
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 Dr. Ambrosone and her team 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 from 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. Ambrosone is a Professor of Oncology and Chair of the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She is also co-leader of the CCSG Population Sciences Program. She was formerly a member of NCI’s EPIC Study Section and the ACS’s study section on Carcinogenesis, Nutrition and the Environment, and has served on several special emphasis panels and SPORE reviews. She is former Senior Editor for Cancer Research, was a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors to the Director of the National Cancer Institute until 2012, and served on the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee, established by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services to examine the state of the science on breast cancer and the environment and provide recommendations for future directions in research.
Dr. Ambrosone’s research focuses on both the etiology of breast cancer and factors that influence recurrence and survival after breast cancer diagnosis. She is principal investigator with colleagues at Boston University and University of North Carolina of a multi-center study to identify genetic and non-genetic factors that could account for the high prevalence of more aggressive breast tumors among African-American women. She is also involved in studies of genetic variability in cancer treatment outcomes (pharmacogenetics) and the potential effects of diet, supplements and lifestyle factors during and after therapy on breast cancer treatment outcomes.