Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Cancer Prevention

The Cancer Prevention (CP) program promotes reduction of cancer risk and occurrence through the discovery of novel biomarkers, risk stratification approaches, and risk reduction strategies. An emphasis of the Cancer Prevention program is to promote novel surveillance strategies for high risk individuals, and prevention in underserved populations in the Chicago metropolitan area, promote interactions with investigators from other Lurie Cancer Center basic science and clinical programs, and facilitate translation of research findings to clinical and community settings, using psychosocial and pharmacological approaches.

Scientific Aims

  1. To identify novel cancer-related biomarkers for risk stratification that will enable targeted strategies for cancer prevention and new approaches to surveillance in high risk individuals. Novel biomarkers will build on established risk factors; those that differentiate risk of indolent versus aggressive disease will be prioritized.
  2. To discover and develop safe, well-tolerated, novel, and targeted pharmacologic approaches and devices to reduce cancer risk.
  3. To develop, test, and implement innovative strategies to reduce behaviors that increase cancer risk and promote adherence to actions that actively protect against cancer occurrence.

Future Plans

  • Increased collaborations between biological and behavioral researchers
  • Recruitment in cancer behavior and cancer biology to enhance our strengths in risk stratification, biomarker identification and testing of new behavioral and pharmacologic preventive interventions.

Program Leaders

  • Seema Khan, MD, an esteemed surgical oncologist, the Bluhm Family Professor of Cancer Research, co-leader of the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center and director of the Bluhm Family Breast Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program
  • Bonnie Spring, PhD, a distinguished psychologist who studies behavioral risk factors, professor of Preventive Medicine and director of the Institute for Public Health and Medicine's Center for Behavior and Health
  • Brian Hitsman, PhD, a clinical health psychologist who studies the causes and treatment of tobacco use and dependence, associate professor of Preventive Medicine, Medical Social Sciences, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences