The Breast Cancer Research Foundation seeks “to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.” Since 1993 BCRF-supported investigators have been deeply involved in every major advance in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. In 2015-2016, BCRF is awarding $48.5 million in grants to more than 240 scientists to advance this work. Among those recipients is Stephen Hursting, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor of Nutrition at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute.

Dr. Hursting, who has received BCRF grants since 2003, conducts studies suggesting that moderate weight loss may be insufficient to reverse the cancer-associated metabolic and inflammatory perturbations that occur with chronic obesity. This year, Dr. Hursting continues his collaboration with BCRF researcher Dr. Carol Fabian in testing a combination of moderate weight loss with one of several additional interventions that have the potential to have high translational impact, including anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent sulindac. They will also compare these regimens with a type of bariatric surgery called sleeve gastrectomy in an experimental model of breast cancer.

They anticipate that the metabolic reprogramming and severe weight loss (~25 percent of peak weight) associated with the bariatric surgery will be the most potent anti-cancer intervention, and that anti-inflammatory interventions combined with moderate weight loss will also reduce the obesity-related mammary tumor burden in their laboratory model. These studies continue to build on the collaborative efforts of Drs. Hursting and Fabian in linking preclinical and clinical research on breast cancer prevention. (Reprinted from the BCRF website.)

Learn more about Dr. Hursting’s research and progress here.