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Research Highlights

  • Identified the primary causes (obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease) of a cancer that has been dramatically increasing in incidence in and beyond Connecticut (adenocarcinoma of the esophagus; Drs. Risch and Mayne).
  • Identified several key risk factors for another cancer that has been dramatically increasing in incidence in and beyond Connecticut (non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Drs. Zheng, Zhang, Zhu).
  • Obtained first evidence that black-white disparities in outcomes for breast cancer are due to both biological and social factors (Dr. Jones).
  • Identified that women decrease physical activity following a breast cancer diagnosis; that an exercise intervention can improve physical activity in breast cancer survivors, and improve biomarkers of risk of subsequent breast cancer (Drs. Irwin, Yu, Mayne)
  • Demonstrated that variation in circadian-related genes is a new risk factor for breast cancer (Drs. Zhu, Zheng).
  • Completed the first descriptive epidemiology study ever done on myelodysplastic syndrome, and identified a potential clustering in incidence of the disease geographically (Drs. Ma, Mayne).
  • Documented that black-white disparities in clinical trial enrollment for cancer are strongly influenced by SES differences (Dr. Gross).
  • Showed that appropriate referral to hospice for end-of-life care improves outcomes for families of terminally ill cancer patients (Drs. Bradley, McCorkle).
  • Identified five common myths physicians have about end-of-life care, which likely result in under-treatment of pain and reduced use of hospice (Dr. Bradley).
  • Found that 15% of hospice users disenroll sometime before death and have six times higher costs of care than those who remain with hospice (Drs. Bradley, McCorkle).
  • Demonstrated that post-hospital nursing care can improve quality of life outcomes and be cost-effective in women recovering from gynecological cancer surgery (Drs. McCorkle, Schulman-Green, Schwartz).
  • Developed more effective communication strategies for encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption and increasing physical exercise as cancer prevention strategies (Dr. Salovey).
  • Showed that long-term follow-up care includes risk-based monitoring, and that individualized health education improves healthy lifestyle behaviors for childhood cancer survivors (Dr. Santocroce).
  • Showed that older adolescent and young adult childhood cancer survivors can be recruited to and retained in a cognitive-behavioral clinical trial (Dr. Santocroce).
  • Demonstrated that aerobic resistance exercise can maintain bone mass and body weight in breast cancer survivors (Dr. Knobf).
  • Identified unique issues and coping strategies of women of color diagnosed with breast cancer with implications for oncology health care providers (Dr. Knobf).
  • Identified information and support needs of breast cancer survivors within the first two years of treatment using a web-based survey (Drs. Knobf, McCorkle, LaCoursiere).
  • Received a grant from the Society for Women's Health Research in partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to study the link between exercise and breast cancer. The grant is shared with Dr. Jennifer Ligibel at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Deborah Dillon at Brigham and Women's Hospital (Dr. Melinda Irwin).