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Thomas E. Rohan, MBBS, PhD, DHSc
Harold and Muriel Block Chair,
Epidemiology and Population Health
Leader, Cancer Epidemiology Program
Associate Director for Population Science
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, New York
Seeking to improve risk prediction and prevention of breast cancer.
Laboratory studies are ongoing to identify new biomarkers to predict risk of invasive disease in early pre-cancerous lesions.
This research may lead to more accurate prediction models of breast cancer risk and improve the clinical management of women at risk.
A family history of breast cancer may increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer, however, do not have a family history of the disease. Being able to identify women at high risk for breast cancer who would not otherwise be considered at risk is an important goal in the prevention of breast cancer. Dr. Rohan is conducting a series of studies aimed at understanding the early development of breast cancer to identify biomarkers for more precise risk prediction.
Full Research Summary
Understanding the molecular basis of breast cancer development has the potential not only to lead to further improvements in breast cancer treatment but also to assist with breast cancer prevention. We know that the presence of various types of immune cells in the vicinity of a tumor (the tumor immune microenvironment) influences the progression of invasive breast cancer. However, there are few studies on the role of the immune system in breast cancer development.
This year, Dr. Rohan and his team will use a novel test to assess the role of the immune microenvironment in the progression of invasive breast cancer. This approach may lead to the identification of biomarkers of disease risk. Additionally, they will continue ongoing analyses of data from several ongoing cohort studies to identify risk factors for both pre-invasive (DCIS) and invasive breast cancer.
The ultimate goal is to improve prediction of breast cancer risk and the clinical management of women at risk.
Dr. Thomas Rohan is Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and Associate Director for Population Sciences in the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, and he recently completed a term as a member of the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Counselors. He is a cancer epidemiologist with extensive experience in the design, conduct, and analysis of studies of genetic/molecular, nutritional, and hormonal factors in the etiology and pathogenesis of breast cancer. He has published widely on these topics, and he has co-edited books on cancer precursors and on cervical cancer. Dr. Rohan also has extensive experience in conducting translational studies that involve multiple investigators and require careful planning and coordination.