Epidemiology & Cancer Control Research Program

Cancer Scientific Research Programs Epidemiology & Cancer Control Research Program
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Epidemiology & Cancer Control Research Program

The Epidemiology and Cancer Control Research Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center unites population, laboratory, and clinical scientists dedicated to reducing cancer burden in our region and worldwide by translating knowledge of the causes of cancer into effective clinical and community practice.

Our researchers evaluate cancer-causing environmental risk factors and determine effective control of tobacco and other known carcinogens. We investigate biomarkers for early cancer detection, screening, and risk prediction and determine optimized care for cancer patients.

Building upon these fundamental understandings, our scientists study cancer epidemiology and risk factor modification to find new ways to prevent cancer. We also evaluate new methods for early detection and focus on increasing access to cancer screening for the medically underserved. Program members come from NYU Langone Health, NYU College of Dentistry, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, and NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Researchers in the fields of epidemiology and cancer control have made great strides in identifying ways to reduce cancer risk, such as encouraging people to receive regular medical care and avoid tobacco. Research has also demonstrated the importance of screening in early diagnosis and in improving outcomes of many cancers, including cervical and colorectal cancer.

Our investigators collaborate to understand the causes of cancer in human populations, apply these findings in prevention programs, and identify and apply cancer biomarkers for early detection and disease monitoring. We develop and evaluate behavioral interventions for improved risk reduction and early detection and improve health services for cancer early detection and care.

The ethnic and racial diversity of the New York City region is important for our program. Diverse populations are seen at our facilities, including NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, part of the largest public hospital group in the United States. We also work closely with the Center for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities.

Epidemiology and Cancer Control Research Areas

The Epidemiology and Cancer Control Program conducts research to discover risk factors and translate this knowledge into effective cancer control in our community and beyond. The creation of NYU Langone’s Department of Population Health and the NYU College of Global Public Health helps expand these aims.

We work to discover and effectively control cancer-causing microbial risk factors. The focus of our research is the discovery and validation of novel human microbiome contributors to cancer risk, with a concentration on orodigestive cancers. The program also looks at environmental and behavior risk factors for cancer, particularly those related to the urban setting of New York City, such as ambient air pollution and obesity. We also focus on improving early detection and risk prediction for high-risk individuals.

Our members conduct a range of translational projects in this area, which include identifying early biomarkers, developing risk prediction models, and modifying behavior to improve cancer screening, particularly colon, breast, and lung cancers.

We aim to optimize cancer care delivery to cancer patients through health services research. For example, our members have conducted practice-changing studies of active surveillance and optimized image use for prostate cancer and lymphedema management for breast cancer patients, both major burdens in the communities we serve.