University of Vermont Cancer Center Research Programs

UVM Cancer Center programs are organized to facilitate translation of discoveries from innovative basic science and translational investigation to clinical trials. Our programs focus on the biological continuum of cancer control, initiation, progression, and population dynamics with emphasis on translating laboratory discovery to patient care.

View Member Directory

View Clinical Trials

Cancer Control and Population Health Sciences (CCPHS)

Addresses timely questions that are relevant to cancer prevention, early detection and survivorship with a focus in the areas of breast cancer screening, tobacco control and survivorship; additional focus on these in the context of our rural catchment area.

Sprague, Brian & Villanti, Andrea

Program Leaders

Brian Sprague, PhD, Director of the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System & Associate Professor Surgery

Maija Reblin, PhD, Associate Professor and member of the Vermont Conversation Lab.

Scientific Program Themes

  1. Ascertainment and evaluation of risk factors contributing to development of cancer; specifically, behavioral risk factors and biomarkers of risk.
  2. Evaluation and development of cancer screening strategies with emphasis on harm reduction.
  3. Investigation and improvement of health-related outcomes and quality of life for cancer survivors.
  4. Ascertainment and improvement of access to high-quality cancer care and cancer prevention for rural populations.

Program Goals and Specific Aims

The mission of the Cancer Control and Population Health Sciences (CCPHS) program is to advance cancer prevention, detection, and survivorship through population science approaches. The program emphasizes scientific exploration to reduce the burden of cancer across all segments of the population and improve health equity across our catchment area. Our research is collaborative and multidisciplinary, spanning basic, clinical, and population science.  The CCPHS program has developed three thematic aims in cancer prevention, detection, and survivorship that reflect the existing strengths and research priorities of its membership: 

Aim 1: Reducing tobacco use in vulnerable populations and providing evidence to guide tobacco policy. Program members lead observational studies of real-world tobacco use patterns and conduct intervention studies of innovative tobacco cessation approaches. This work generates evidence used by regulatory bodies, public health organizations, and healthcare providers to reduce tobacco use. 

Aim 2: Evaluation and development of cancer screening strategies that maximize benefits while minimizing harms.  Members identify effective approaches for delivering effective cancer screening, with a particular focus on the evaluation of new technologies in clinical practice and risk-based screening strategies that seek to maximize the benefits of early detection while minimizing harms such as false positive tests and unnecessary biopsies.

Aim 3: Develop behavioral interventions to improve the health and quality of life of those at risk for cancer, cancer survivors, and their caregivers.  Program members identify key behaviors associated with health promotion, symptom management, and well-being at all stages of the cancer care continuum and implement interventions at the individual, dyadic, institutional, community, or policy level.

Host Factors and Tumor Progression (HFTP)

Encompasses chronic inflammation, obesity, diet, exercise, nutrition, coagulation, immune surveillance and modulation, vaccines, tumor cell niches, metastasis, and symptom management. This program focuses on parameters in the host that promote or impede progression or recurrence, with an emphasis on host conditions that may influence progression to clinically significant disease.

Kaufman, Peter & Lian, Jane

Program Leaders

Peter Kaufman, MD, Professor of Medicine

Jane B. Lian, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry




Scientific Program Themes

  1. Mechanisms of cancer contributed by host factors from initiation to metastasis in order to develop clinically relevant solutions.
  2. Influence of the tumor tissue microenvironment from various cell types (CSCs, stromal, hematopoietic and immune cells) on migration, angiogenesis, EMT and metastasis.
  3. Translation of findings to patient care.


Molecular Mechanisms of Malignancy (MMM)

Basic research in cancer stem cells, DNA damage and repair, genome instability, cell cycle defects, corruption of signaling pathways, redox homeostasis, changes in cell differentiation and cell metabolism, cell motility, and environmental carcinogens. Discovery in this program is directed toward identifying cellular biomarkers with prognostic value and new therapeutic targets.

MMM Program Leaders: Marc Greenblatt and Seth Freitze (left to right)

Program Leaders

Marc Greenblatt, MD, Professor of Medicine

Seth Frietze, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Health Sciences, UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences


Scientific Program Themes

  1. Epigenetics.
  2. Molecular mechanisms of hematological malignancies.
  3. Mechanisms of breast cancer progression and breast cancer treatment response.
  4. DNA damage and repair and its role in carcinogenesis.
  5. Redox signaling in the pathology and therapy of disease.

 


Monthly Program Meeting Details

CCPHS Program Meetings: First Wednesday of every month, noon - 1 p.m. 

MMM Program Meetings: Fourth Friday of every month, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.