2005 Fall Research Awardees

Maarten C. Bosland, D.V.Sc., Ph.D.
New York University School of Medicine

In this cancer prevention clinical trial, men who have had prostate cancer will receive a dietary intervention of soy protein for two years following surgery. Researchers hope to determine whether soy can help prevent recurrence of prostate cancer in men who are at high risk. Recurrence of prostate cancer is actually the growth of tumor cells left behind following a radical prostactectomy. If the study shows that soy can prevent recurrence, it is also likely to prevent the  growth of these small primary cancers.

Han Chang, Ph.D., M.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CC) are primary liver cancers with high death rates. However, little is understood about how these cancers develop and outcome remains poor for most patients. Recent studies show that the hormone prostaglandin (PG) plays an important role in liver cancer development and growth. Dr. Chang’s research is examining a receptor called EPI, which plays a role in prostaglandin metabolism. He will test several agents on EPI to determine what effect they have on the growth of liver cancer cells in mice, and on human liver cancer cells. Results from the study may provide important information about the chemoprevention and treatment of human liver cancers.

Daniel Rodriguez, Ph.D.
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania

Each day an estimated 4000 teens try their first cigarette, and more than 2000 adolescents a day become regular smokers. One third of them will die  prematurely from a smoking related disease, such as lung cancer. Physical activity may protect adolescents from beginning to smoke and improve eating habits, as well as overall health. In this study, Dr. Rodriguez is recruiting 350 high school students who will complete two surveys one year apart. The study will measure physical activity, smoking, the students’ physical self-concept, sport competence  beliefs and physical activity enjoyment. The results of this study may help us improve smoking prevention initiatives targeted to teenagers.