Hashibe Group Research

Identifying Genetic & Lifestyle Risk Factors

Our research is focused on the molecular and global epidemiology of cancers of the head and neck, thyroid, endometrium, ovary, lung, testis, and colorectum. The goals of our research are to identify genetic and lifestyle risk factors for cancer, and to evaluate the long-term health effects among cancer survivors.

Research Projects

Utah Cancer Survivors Study

There are over 100,000 cancer survivors in Utah, with an additional 11,000 Utahns diagnosed with cancer each year. The aim of this study is to learn about the long term health effects and quality of life experience of cancer survivors. Although the immediate side effects of cancer treatment are known, less is known for effects that may occur years after cancer treatment. 

Epidemiology of Testicular Cancer in Utah

The testicular cancer incidence rate in Utah is one of the highest in the US. The aims of this study are: 1) to investigate the testicular cancer trends for the Utah population, 2) to examine prenatal and perinatal factors as possible risk factors for testicular cancer, and 3) to study survival, and incidence of late effects among testicular cancer patients in Utah.

Nose and Throat

Head and Neck Cancer Susceptibility Genes

Each year in the world, 600,000 individuals are diagnosed with head and neck cancer, which includes cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx.  Genetic variants in alcohol metabolism genes have been identified as head and neck cancer susceptibility genes, but the role of other genes is unclear.  In this study we will exome sequence 200 familial head and neck cancer cases, apply case-control mutation screening to the candidate predisposition genes identified in 2,000 cases and 2,000 controls, and assess whether the genetic risks differ by subsite and epidemiologic risk groups. 

International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium

The INHANCE consortium is a collaboration of research groups leading large molecular epidemiology studies of head and neck cancer. We aim to improve the understanding of the causes and mechanisms of head and neck cancer. We are currently developing the first risk prediction models for HNC and for oral cavity, oropharyngeal, hypopharyngeal, and laryngeal cancer. (http://www.inhance.utah.edu)

DNA Background

Multicenter Head and Neck Cancer Case-Control Study in East Asia

In East Asia, 68,500 individuals are diagnosed with head and neck cancer each year. Approximately 62% of men and 6% of women smoke tobacco in East Asia, but the incidence rates of head and neck cancer are low. The aim of the study is to understand the role of lifestyle and environmental factors (tobacco, alcohol, indoor air pollution, green tea), genetics and HPV infection in the development of head and neck cancer in Asia. (http://www.interchange.utah.edu/)

Lung Cancer Case-Control Study in Nepal

Of the 1.3 million cases of lung cancer estimated to occur each year worldwide, 672,000 cases occur in low and middle income countries (LMC). Lung cancer is the most common cancer among men and the third most common cancer among women in Nepal. This case-control study is designed to investigate the lung cancer risk profile in a LMC, exposure biomarkers and genetic susceptibility.

News & Blog

Presenting at Nature Conference
Mar 10, 2020

Presenting at Nature Conference

March 10, 2020. Esther Chang, Qinging Hu, Seungmin Kim, and Krista Ocier presented their posters a the HCI/Nature Conference on Transdisciplinary Cancer Interception: Leveraging Biology to Improve Prevention and Detection... Read More

Risk for Aging-related Diseases Elevated Among Thyroid Cancer Survivors
Nov 22, 2017

Risk for Aging-related Diseases Elevated Among Thyroid Cancer Survivors

Risk for aging-related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes was significantly higher among thyroid cancer survivors in Utah than it was among age-matched, cancer-free individuals, with those diagnosed before age 40 having the highest risk for some of the diseases, according to results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research... Read More