Dr. Terry Hyslop and UNC’s Melissa Troester will serve as Co-PIs on a study of social stressors and impact on metastatic breast cancer disparities.
This study is one of three metastatic breast cancer research projects recently awarded by the Susan G. Komen organization. All three projects will be co-led by a Duke Cancer Institute investigator and a UNC Linberger Comprehensive Cancer Center investigator. These grants will boost evidence-based research into the biological and societal drivers of breast cancer metastasis and mortality and will accelerate the development of potential new treatments.
This project will leverage high quality, individual-level tumor biology and social determinants of health data from the Carolina Breast Cancer Study (CBCS) with community-level variables in order to better understand disparities. Researchers will evaluate how stress contributes to higher metastasis rates and worse breast cancer outcomes in Black women as compared to white women. This evidence-based research will support interventions to improve breast cancer outcomes for Black women.
Terry Hyslop, PhD has been researching disparities in cancer for a number of years. One of her earliest funded projects as a PI came from Susan G. Komen (foundation) to assess how to use neighborhood-level measures of socio-economic status and its impact on breast cancer disparities. This new project will focus on metastatic breast cancer and how social stressors may contribute to disparities in risk for developing metastatic breast cancer, and how these stressors may contribute to disparities in risk for already having metastatic breast cancer when diagnosed with breast cancer.
Discussing the project, Hyslop said “Our end goal is to develop a rigorous statistical modeling framework that will allow us to integrate the broad range and volumes of data to improve our understanding of contributors to metastatic breast cancer disparities. We want to further our knowledge of the relationship of social stressors and immune system signaling. There is a significant amount of research focusing on using immune therapies in cancer and furthering our understanding of those at risk for non-response to these therapies can guide clinical trial recruitment as well as alternative treatment strategies for these patients.”
Read more about this study and the other two awards on the Duke Cancer Institute website.