The 22 members are faculty in the Keck School of Medicine of USC and represent two departments at USC. These members are international leaders in identifying the etiology of prostate, breast, pancreatic, liver, colorectal, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma/myeloma, with a focus on elucidating the underlying causes of disparities in risk.
The program members direct important population-based resources that provide cases and samples for the NCI funded grants including the Multiethnic Cohort, the California Birth Cohort and the USC Residual Tissue Repository, as well as only one of two biostatistical methodology P01s awarded by NCI. In recent years, CE members have made novel discoveries including:
- comprehensive identification of genetic risk factors for prostate cancer, breast cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and multiple myeloma (MM) in different racial/ethnic groups;
- identification of potentially carcinogenic molecular signatures in e-cigarette users;
- elevated risk of pancreatic cancer among individuals with late-onset diabetes in African Americans and Latinos;
- cytomegalovirus as a novel risk factor for ALL and MM;
- development of a multiethnic polygenic risk score for aggressive prostate cancer that is being translated to a clinical study with collaborators in the TACS Program, and
- demonstration that exposure to air pollution is a risk factor for breast and brain cancer and is associated with decreased survival from brain, lung and liver cancer.