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Cancer Prevention and Control

Margie Clapper is the co-leader of the cancer prevention and control program, one of the first basic research programs nationally to focus on cancer prevention with the goal of developing novel, efficacious preventive regimens for individuals at high risk for cancer.Margie Clapper is the co-leader of the cancer prevention and control program, one of the first basic research programs nationally to focus on cancer prevention with the goal of developing novel, efficacious preventive regimens for individuals at high risk for cancer.

The multidisciplinary Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) program integrates basic and applied molecular biology and oncology with the behavioral, social and population sciences to reduce cancer-related morbidity and mortality.

Research teams develop and implement novel approaches to reducing cancer risk and enhancing cancer-related outcomes in both at-risk and cancer patients.

Our work has three aims:

1. Identify factors (host, genetic, environmental) that contribute to cancer risk or serve as biomarkers for risk assessment and early detection.

Researchers assess the impact of heritable mutations and genetic polymorphisms on cancer susceptibility, and the ability of environmental factors (e.g. hormones, tobacco smoke and inflammation) to modulate the expression of oncogenic genes and signaling pathways.  Molecular events that may be biomarkers of cancer risk are identified.

2. Develop and evaluate strategies to enhance risk communication and decision-making.

We determine effective ways to relay risk assessment findings to individuals and healthcare providers to facilitate informed decision-making and establish optimal risk management strategies. We focus on how different forms of risk communication may impact decision-making and psychosocial and behavioral outcomes.

3. Develop and evaluate strategies to modify risk and enhance outcomes for at-risk individuals and cancer patients through psychosocial/behavioral and cancer care delivery interventions.

We consider the nature and magnitude of the risks identified, the probability of adverse events, and the management strategies available. We assess the ability of preventive agents to inhibit cancer formation using the cancer risk biomarkers we identify. Innovative community-based and patient-focused interventions are evaluated for their impact on psychosocial functioning, health behaviors, cancer-relevant biological pathways, and patient clinical outcomes.

To influence cancer prevention and improve cancer-related outcomes we address the complex factors that influence cancer risk, risk communication and decision-making, and patient and population outcomes. Our large and expanding CPC program faculty includes 33 members from FCCC and Temple University. New CPC members have expertise in molecular biology, psychology, public health, clinical epidemiology, and cancer care delivery research. Our goal is to enhance access to the underserved population of North Philadelphia and provide new opportunities for cancer health disparities research.