Dr. Hong's research focuses on breast cancer survivorship and prognosis. Specifically, her interests are on the influence of lifestyle, comorbidity, genetics, and immune factors on breast cancer outcomes.
Dr. Hong currently leads the Women’s Health After Breast Cancer Study, which is focused on breast cancer survivorship. Women with newly diagnosed breast cancer being treated at Roswell Park are invited to participate in the study prior to their breast cancer treatment and are prospectively followed until three years post diagnosis. The primary aim of the study is to examine how breast cancer diagnosis and treatment impacts quality-of-life among breast cancer survivors and the physiologic pathways underlying these relationships. The study is currently funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (awarded to Drs. Ambrosone and Hong) to examine interrelationships between immune phenotype, circulating vitamin D levels, quality-of-life, and psychosocial factors among breast cancer survivors. Newly diagnosed patients who are interested in the study can telephone Ms. Nancy Barone, the study coordinator, at 716-845-4963, or Dr. Hong at 716-845-7785.
Dr. Hong is also leading a five-year study with colleagues at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers University in a study newly funded by the National Cancer Institute, to examine the role of obesity, related comorbidities, and their management on quality-of-life and disease prognosis among 1,700 African American breast cancer survivors. They plan to test the hypothesis that obesity and obesity-related comorbidities are associated with sub-standard breast cancer treatment, poorer quality of life, and poorer breast cancer outcomes in African American women and that poor outcomes are mediated by compromised immunity, obesity-associated inflammation, higher circulating insulin-related growth factors, and low levels of circulating vitamin D. Moreover, they hypothesize that better management of obesity-related comorbidities at diagnosis and during breast cancer treatment among African American breast cancer survivors will be associated with more optimal breast cancer treatment, as well as better outcomes in these women.
Dr. Hong is an ad-hoc reviewer for several journals, including Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Clinical Cancer Research, and Obesity, and has reviewed research grants for the United States Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, the California Cancer Research Program, and the National Cancer Institute.