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Cancer Prevention

Seema Khan, MD
Seema Khan

Bonnie Spring, PhD
Bonnie Spring

Membership Roster

The Cancer Prevention Program of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center is a multi-disciplinary program focusing on three thematic areas: novel strategies for cancer risk stratification and early detection, innovative behavioral interventions to reduce cancer risk, and the discovery and development of new devices and therapeutics to reduce cancer risk.

The Program Leaders are Seema Khan, MD and Bonnie Spring, PhD. An esteemed surgical oncologist, Dr. Khan is the Bluhm Family Professor of Cancer Research, Co-Leader of the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center and Director of the Bluhm Family Breast Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program. Dr. Spring, a distinguished psychologist who studies behavioral risk factors, is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Director of the Institute for Public Health and Medicine's Center for Behavior and Health.

The objective of the Cancer Prevention Program, comprised of 28 faculty members from 11 departments and 3 schools, is to facilitate and focus research on primary and secondary cancer prevention within the Cancer Center. Between August 2007 and July 2012 there were 401 cancer-relevant publications from the Cancer Prevention Program members. Fifty-three (13.2%) of these publications represent intra-programmatic collaborations and 175 (43.6%) of these publications represent inter-programmatic collaborations. Further, a total of 6,247 individuals were entered on to Cancer Prevention Program studies, with 1,111 entered on to interventional trials.

Total cancer relevant funding for the Prevention Program is $12,328,943, with 85% coming from peer reviewed funding. Peer reviewed funding is $10,466,682 (total) and $7,633,648 (direct), with $3,134,489 (41%) from NCI and $4,499,160 (59%) from national level peer reviewed sources.

The contribution of prevention efforts to recent declines in cancer mortality, the demonstrated success of cancer chemopreventive agents, and evidence indicating that the large majority of cancers are caused by environmental factors (many of which are linked to behavior), coupled with the inherent humanitarian and economic logic of preventing cancer, all support the importance of this work. This Program actively seeks to expand the capabilities and efficacy of cancer prevention by developing and employing cutting edge technology, measurement tools and methods, and drug- and behavior-based interventional strategies. It does so by leveraging members' interests and capabilities across disciplines. The Program's integrated focus on cancer prevention provides an environment that fosters intra- and inter-program collaboration, and has spawned cutting-edge advances in the field.

The goals of the Cancer Prevention Program are:

  1. To identify novel strategies for cancer risk stratification and early detection
  2. Develop, test, and implement innovative behavioral interventions to detect and reduce cancer risk
  3. Discover and develop new devices and therapeutics to reduce risk