Cancer Prevention and Outcomes

Members of the Cancer Prevention and Outcomes (CPO) program conduct research designed to reduce cancer risk, improve outcomes and quality of life, and eliminate disparities across the cancer care continuum. Its broad, interdisciplinary membership includes chemoprevention scientists, immunologists, gastroenterologists, epidemiologists, social and behavioral scientists, clinical oncologists, and biostatisticians.

Program Leadership

Joan Neuner, MD, MPH

Joan Neuner, MD, MPH

Department of Medicine
Division of General Internal Medicine

Program Aims

  1. Develop novel chemopreventive agents and immunopreventive vaccines, with an emphasis on reducing the risk for aerodigestive cancers. CPO scientists will continue their intra- and inter-programmatic collaborations between basic scientists, clinical investigators and gastroenterologists to develop innovative basic and clinical studies to assess and reduce cancer susceptibility.
  2. Improve cancer outcomes by identifying and addressing factors that affect cancer control, cancer care access, and quality and value of care. CPO members will continue to foster new collaborations that develop innovative approaches to improve cancer outcomes by identifying and addressing processes that affect cancer control and cancer care access, quality and value, and to reduce cancer disparity by evaluating the mechanisms of cancer disparities and develop novel interventions to reduce inequities among targeted populations.
  3. Reduce cancer disparities by evaluating the contributing mechanisms and developing novel interventions to reduce inequities among targeted populations.

Selected NIH Funded Projects, CPO Program

AIM ONE - Chemoprevention

Michelle Battle_Academic Profile

Michele Battle, PhD | GATA4 in Development of a Normal Squamocolumnar Junction and Barrett’s Esophagus

Explores how abnormal re-activation of the transcription factor GATA4 in the esophagus contributes to the pathology of Barrett's esophagus (BE), a premalignant condition.

Individuals with BE have an elevated lifetime risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), a deadly cancer with a five-year survival rate of ~18%.

Identification of GATA4 and its downstream targets could lead to future therapies and/or biomarkers for BE and other pre-cancerous conditions.


Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD

Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD | Chemoprevention of Lung Cancer with Mitochondria-Targeted Honokiol

Evaluates the potential of Mito-Honokiol to prevent lung cancer and deadly metastasis to the brain

Co-investigators include Micael Hardy, PhD, Aix-Marseille University; Charles Myers, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; and Jacek Zielonka, PhD, research director at the Free Radical Research Center and Department of Biophysics

Stuart Wong, MD

Stuart Wong, MD | Inhibition of Oral Tumorigenesis by Antitumor B

Evaluates a widely used Chinese herbal formula called Antitumor B as potent cancer preventive agents for squamous cell carcinomas

Uses an innovative Window of Opportunity (WOO) clinical trial where participants receive Antitumor B in the window of time between their diagnostic biopsy and surgery




Selected NIH Funded Projects, CPO Program

AIMS TWO and THREE - Cancer Disparities and Outcomes

Kirsten Beyer_Academic ProfileKirsten Beyer, PhD, MPH | Racism, Residential Racial Segregation and Breast Cancer Survival Disparities among Black, Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Women

Built upon previous breast cancer disparities research, associated racial bias in housing with breast cancer survival among Black women in Milwaukee

National study among Black, Hispanic and non-Hispanic women

Milwaukee case study

Construct and compare segregation measures

Determine if segregation is associated with breast cancer survival

Explore how Black and Hispanic breast cancer survivors in a highly segregated metropolitan area navigate cancer survivorship in the context of segregation

Joan Neuner, MD, MPH

Joan Neuner, MD, MPH | Socioeconomic Disparities in Adherence to Oral Hormonal Therapy for Breast Cancer

Based on 2015 JNCI paper showing trends toward high rates of nonadherence in using Aromatase inhibitors were reversed with either copayment elimination or low-cost generics

Study will further explore adherence to aromatase inhibitors in the context of pharmacy deserts and other barriers

Case Study, State of Wisconsin 

Alan Nyitray, PhD

Alan Nyitray, PhD | Prevent Anal Cancer Study

Addresses novel anal cancer screening methodology for those at greater risk for anal cancer: gay and bisexual men, especially gay and bisexual men who are HIV-positive. 

This study will find ways to detect anal cancer earlier, when it’s much easier to treat.

Learn more, including links to the eligibility survey

Melinda Stolley, PhD

Melinda Stolley, PhD | Every Day Counts

Addresses late-stage breast cancer disparities in Milwaukee

Lifestyle interventions, quality of life, biomarkers in women with metastatic breast cancer

Avanzando Juntas (Moving Forward)

Adapts the Moving Forward weight loss intervention for Latina breast cancer survivors (BCS)

Community engaged process, survivors and United Community Center are partners

Examines effects of the adapted program on body weight, body composition, behavior and biological markers among Latina BCS