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DCEG News Updates

The latest news and research findings from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

    • Haoyu Zhang Appointed Earl Stadtman Investigator
      , by Maura Kate Costello, M.A.

      Appointed in August 2022, Dr. Zhang will develop scalable statistical methods and software to analyze large-scale multi-ancestry genetic data to address questions related to health disparities and to advance genetic research in diverse populations.

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    • Early HPV Vaccination is Important in Reducing HPV 16/18 Prevalence
      , by Elise Tookmanian, Ph.D.

      Using NHANES data, DCEG researchers found that HPV vaccination before sexual debut virtually eliminated HPV 16/18 in females but vaccination after debut only reduced HPV-16/18 prevalence by 40 percent compared to those unvaccinated. Only 59 percent of U.S. childhood HPV vaccinations occurred before sexual debut.

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    • Tobacco Smoke at Home Linked To Higher Mortality Across Diverse Group of Nonsmokers
      , by Elise Tookmanian, Ph.D.

      Nonsmokers exposed daily to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) at home had higher mortality risks than those unexposed in a nationally representative study of the US population. These findings were observed across population subgroups of race and ethnicity, education, and household income, according to a study led by Dr. Daniela Gutiérrez in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch.

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    • Largest GWAS Maps Variation in Human Height
      , by Jennifer Loukissas, M.P.P.

      The international consortium known as GIANT published results from the largest-known genome-wide association study (GWAS)—nearly 5.4 million people—and identified more than 12,000 genetic variants associated with variation in human height. Dr. Sonja Berndt played a major role in the study. These findings were published in Nature on October 12, 2022.

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    • Novel Potential Risk Factors Identified for Treatment-Related Thoracic Soft-Tissue Sarcomas
      , by Jennifer Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Drs. Lene Veiga and Amy Berrington in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch explored the risk of thoracic soft tissue sarcomas among breast cancer survivors in two U.S. cohorts. They identified a history of hypertension or diabetes as novel potential co-factors for radiation-induced angiosarcoma.

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    • Despite Recent Declines, Gastric Cancer Remains Leading Cause of Cancer Death in the Americas
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Drs. Constanza Camargo, Christian Alvarez, and collaborators in Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Spain, analyzed data from the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program and the World Health Organization to provide the most up-to-date estimates on gastric cancer mortality trends at a country-specific level for Hispanic/Latino populations. Patterns differed by country, sex, and age, revealing potential for prevention.

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    • Stephen Chanock Recognized at Special Love Gala
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Dr. Chanock received the Randy Schools Light of Love Award "in grateful recognition of his nearly 30 years as Camp Fantastic medical director and his commitment and compassion to the children and families of Special Love."

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    • Increased Meningioma Risk Following Treatments for Childhood Cancer
      , by Elise Tookmanian, Ph.D.

      In the largest pooled study of childhood cancer survivors to date, Dr. Lene Veiga in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch and former fellow Dr. Diana Withrow, observed that meningioma risk increased linearly with the treatment radiation dose. Meningioma risk was higher for children treated before age 10 and persisted over 30 years after radiotherapy. Receiving the chemotherapy drug, methotrexate was also associated with increased risk of meningioma, but no dose-response relationship was observed.

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    • Erica N. Johnson Joins DCEG in the Role of DEIA Resource Specialist
      , by Maura Kate Costello, M.A.

      Erica N. Johnson, Ph.D., M.A., joined DCEG in September 2022 to serve as the primary resource for developing the divisions' organizational strategy for diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and cross-cultural initiatives.

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    • Diptavo Dutta Appointed Earl Stadtman Tenure-track Investigator
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Diptavo Dutta, Ph.D., joined DCEG as an Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch and affiliate member of the Biostatistics Branch. Dr. Dutta will integrate genetic and ‘omics’ data to understand the contribution of ancestry and genetic factors to cancer etiology.

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    • Alexander Keil Appointed Earl Stadtman Investigator
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Dr. Keil was appointed Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch in May 2022. He studies occupational and environmental exposures that consider exposure across the life course as well as the complex interactions between exposures and health.

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    • 2022 Summer Intern Program
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      DCEG welcomed 36 summer interns for the first-ever hybrid program. Support was provided by Diane Wigfield, program manager in the Office of Education, the NCI Training Directors, and 49 DCEG staff, including investigators, staff scientists, and trainees, who served as mentors.

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    • 2022 IARC/NCI Joint Workshop on HIV and Cancer
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Joint meeting of experts from IARC and the NCI to discuss HIV and cancer. Topics ranged from the state of the science, gaps in research, opportunities for future studies, and barriers and challenges in the field.

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    • A Healthy Lifestyle May Help Former Smokers Lower Their Risk of Death from All Causes
      , by NCI Staff

      Findings from an analysis of a large group of former smokers who participated in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study showed that former smokers who adhered to evidence-based recommendations for body weight, physical activity, and alcohol intake had a lower risk of mortality than former smokers who didn't adhere to these recommendations.

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    • Amy Berrington Departs DCEG for the U.K.
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Dr. Berrington has been a major asset and made tremendous contributions through her robust research program, her superb leadership of the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB), and her vision in guiding DCEG through the process of developing the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. Dr. Berrington has been an outstanding mentor to many and exemplifies the highest standard of leadership in cancer epidemiology.

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    • Steven Moore Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH
      , by by Julian Cantella, M.A.

      In September 2022, Steven Moore, Ph.D., M.P.H., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH and promoted to senior investigator in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch. Dr. Moore is an internationally recognized expert on the role of physical activity in cancer etiology and the uses of metabolomics in epidemiologic research. His findings have contributed to evidence-based public health recommendations for physical activity and cancer prevention.

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    • Jacqueline Vo and Jennifer McGee-Avila Received AACR Scholar-in-Training Award for Health Disparities Meeting
      , by Elise Tookmanian, Ph.D.

      Dr. Jacqueline Vo and Jennifer McGee-Avila received the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Scholar-in-Training Award for the 2022 AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved.

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    • In Memorium: Professor Dame Valerie Beral
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Professor Dame Valerie Beral made tremendous contributions to the field of cancer epidemiology. She will be deeply missed by her colleagues and friends in DCEG.

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    • 2022 HHS Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Service to America
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Six DCEG staff were recognized by the department for their service at the southern border as part of Operation Artemis and Operation Allies Welcome, initiatives run by the Office of Refugee and Resettlement.

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    • 2022 Cancer Health Disparities Award Winners
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Drs. Jongeun Rhee and Charles Breeze, and Akemi Wijayabahu received funding for their projects. The DCEG Cancer Health Disparities Award aims to expand cancer disparities research within the Division by encouraging postdoctoral trainees to initiate new and highly innovative cancer disparity and/or minority health research projects that they will continue into their independent research careers.

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