Barbara S. Hulka Distinguished Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health
Area of Interest
Olshan’s cancer research involves studies of the molecular epidemiology of cancers of the head and neck and evaluation of risk factors for childhood cancer. Olshan is conducting a national study of neuroblastoma. The study is examining gene and gene-exposure interactions as potential risk factors.
The head and neck cancer studies focus on gene-environment interaction involving variation in genes involved in the metabolism of tobacco and alcohol and repair of DNA damage. The studies have also included investigation of alterations of tumor suppressor genes and human papillomavirus. Related projects have examined environmental, clinical, and genetic predictors of survival among head and neck cancer patients. Olshan has recently completed a North Carolina study of gene-environment interaction in head and neck cancer. This large, population-based study enrolled over 1,300 patients with head and neck cancer and over 1,300 persons without cancer. In addition, the study is evaluating disparities in access to health care and the occurrence and treatment of head and neck cancer among different ethnic groups. A follow-up survivorship study of the patient group is underway.
News and Stories
Poor oral health could lessen survival from head and neck cancer
An international study has revealed strong associations between oral health and survival among people diagnosed with head and neck cancer.
Protein could help identify head and neck cancers that require less intensive treatment
Adding detection of immune cell protein SYNGR3 to current protocols could lead to a more reliable way of determining which patients with head and neck cancer need less intensive treatment.
Expanded community data project will improve understanding of cancer
UNC Lineberger’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement has begun a major, new data-driven initiative that will comprehensively describe the cancer burden in North Carolina.
Endometrial Cancer Center of Excellence focused on advancing research and care, eliminating disparities
UNC Lineberger is launching the Endometrial Cancer Center of Excellence to advance the scientific understanding of the causes, prevention and clinical treatment of endometrial cancer.