The 2021 Herd of Hope Team Research Grant

The 2021 Herd of Hope Grant research team poses together.

The 2021 Herd of Hope Team Science Research Award

Individual and corporate partners throughout Western New York have banded together to rally behind team research projects with the potential to save lives since 2018. The Herd’s signature blue buffalos have been multiplying in the last four years, paving the way for a third grant to propel cancer science forward at Roswell Park.

The 2021 Herd of Hope grant will drive forward a project led by Richard O’Connor, PhD, Professor of Oncology in Roswell Park’s Department of Health Behavior. The study will investigate links between tobacco use, cancer and consumer perceptions of the intersection of the two.

“Emerging issues at the intersection of tobacco regulatory science and cancer prevention”

Tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, remains the single largest preventable contributor to cancer. It is strongly associated with lung cancer but can also lead to oral cancers, which is concerning given new oral nicotine products marketed by the tobacco industry. Dr. O’Connor’s team will investigate:

  1. Consumer perceptions of new oral nicotine products;
  2. Potential health effects of oral nicotine products; and
  3. How community dental professionals talk to their patients about tobacco and nicotine use and arm professionals with the information gathered in the first two studies.

“As these new oral nicotine products are introduced and use increases, we need to better understand what effects, if any, they have on cancer risk, given what we already know about cancer risks associated with smoking,” Dr. O’Connor said. “We’ve taken this team approach so that we can get perspectives on these questions from different disciplines.”

Dr. O’Connor and his team are looking to the future.

“We hope to generate some important preliminary information about what consumers think about these products and what their oral health effects are, so that we can design better studies moving forward to conduct deeper, more impactful assessment of these emerging products.”

Investigators and key personnel:

Richard O’Connor, PhD, Professor of Oncology, Department of Health Behavior

Maciej Goniewicz, PhD, PharmD, Professor of Oncology, Department of Health Behavior

Maansi Bansal-Travers, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Department of Health Behavior

Pamela Hershberger, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Nicolas Schlecht, PhD, Professor of Oncology, Department of Cancer Prevention & Control

Nicholas Felicione, PhD HRI Scientist, Department of Health Behavior

Liane Schneller, PhD HRI Scientist, Department of Health Behavior

© 2018 Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center