USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

To prevent cancer, USC researchers look beyond traditional risk factors

September 15, 2020

By Sarah Nightingale

Researchers at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center are integrating “big data” related to multiple cancer risk factors to predict cancer occurrence and to help reduce risk in susceptible populations. 

Why me? It’s a question doctors hear all the time when they diagnose people with cancer. If only the answer were simple.

“Cancer — which is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body — is a set of different diseases that arise from a complex interplay among environmental, genomic, lifestyle and sociodemographic factors,” said Caryn Lerman, the H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Cancer Research Chair and associate dean for cancer programs at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Lerman joined USC in March 2019 as the director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“While medical research has considerably advanced our understanding of cancer etiology, there is now a tremendous opportunity to translate this knowledge into precision cancer prevention in different ethnic and racial populations,” she added.

Among the first eight cancer centers to be designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1973, the nationally recognized USC Norris cancer center has been a leader in advancing what we know about cancer — a diagnosis received by 1.7 million Americans each year. USC Norris cancer center researchers have led and contributed to studies demonstrating the role of tobacco, physical activity and diet and obesity, among many other cancer risk factors. USC Norris investigators have also advanced our understanding of the genomic factors contributing to cancer risk.

To read full article on USC News, click HERE.