Breaking the obesity-cancer link: New targets and strategies

3:05 pm-3:45 pm

Room: Lomond Auditorium

Programme stream(s): Living with and beyond cancer
Programme session type(s): Plenary session

Chair: Sam Ahmedzai, National Institute for Health Research
Speaker: Stephen Hursting, University of North Carolina, USA

Dr. Hursting is Professor in the Department of Nutrition and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also Professor at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis, NC. He earned his PhD in nutritional biochemistry and MPH in nutritional epidemiology from UNC-Chapel Hill, and he completed postdoctoral training in molecular carcinogenesis and cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Prior to joining the UNC faculty in 2014, Dr. Hursting was Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, the McKean-Love Endowed Chair of Nutritional, Molecular and Cellular Sciences in the UT College of Natural Sciences, and Professor of Molecular Carcinogenesis at the UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center (2005-14). He also previously served as Deputy Director of the NCI’s Office of Preventive Oncology and Chief of the NCI’s Nutrition and Molecular Carcinogenesis Laboratory Section (1999-2005). An international leader in the area of nutrition, obesity, metabolism and cancer, his lab focuses on the molecular and metabolic mechanisms underlying obesity-cancer associations, and the impact of obesity- energy balance modulation (eg, calorie restriction and exercise) or pharmacologic agents on cancer development, progression, and responses to chemotherapy. Primarily using genetically engineered mouse models of breast cancer (recently in parallel with several clinical trials), colon cancer and pancreatic cancer, Dr. Hursting has identified the IGF1/Akt/mTOR and NF-kB signaling pathways as key targets for breaking the obesity-cancer link. His publications establish causal links between obesity, cancer and several systemic factors (including IGF-1, insulin, leptin and IL-6) and components of their downstream signaling pathways (including mTOR and NF-kb).